Doctor: What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?
A common question asked after a car crash is, who do I see for my injuries? The answer depends on the nature and extent of the damage to your neck or back. Some injuries are pretty standard, such as whiplash injuries, which are typically a neck or back sprain. These types of injuries recover over time with the help of physical therapy and medication. Other injuries, such as damage to a disc, can be much more complicated and do not respond to conservative treatment. In this article, we address the different kinds of doctors we typically see for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle collision.
SEVERITY OF THE INJURY
In many cases, the degree or severity of the symptoms dictates who a person should see. As an example, a spine specialist, such as an Orthopedist or Neurologist, may not be needed for an individual who complains of a minor neck or backache. The person may be better off seeing his primary care physician or a chiropractor who can decide on a treatment plan such as physical therapy. For more extreme pain or numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, the person injured in the car crash should consider seeing a spine specialist.
A doctor’s background, training, and experience vary from one doctor to another. The most crucial factor is the doctor’s experience. As an example, there are many different kinds of orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons. Some primarily treat the joints, such as knees and shoulders. Others focus on the spine. Some perform spinal surgery, while others do not. Similarly, some neurologists do not treat the spine, and others address the spine but do not do surgery. Do not ignore the doctor’s experience and whether he treats the kind of problem you have.
Another consideration specific to surgeons is the number and types of procedures the surgeon has performed. As an example, we have represented people who have suffered severe spine injuries requiring an artificial disc replacement. The process involves removing the damaged disc and putting an artificial disc in its place. The surgery is complicated, and not every spine surgeon does the procedure, or not a lot of them. Hence, ascertaining the types and number of operations the doctor has done is particularly relevant.
Most doctors have a blog or social media presence. After a car crash, we recommend researching the doctor before making an appointment. Yelp reviews can be very beneficial.
EVALUATING THE DOCTOR
There are many other qualities the doctor, and his or her staff should have. The doctor and his or her team should be courteous and professional. The office should be clean. The doctor should present well and be genuinely interested in your problem.
Be prepared before you see the doctor. Bring a list of your medications. Be prepared to discuss your medical history. Your history is important because the doctor is trying to find out other potential causes for your problem. Ask questions during your appointment. Ask the doctor about your treatment plan. If your treatment involves invasive procedures, such as injections, ask how many procedures the doctor has done. Risks and benefits of the procedure should be discussed. Ask about any alternatives.
If the plan involves surgery, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. A doctor who wants you to rush into surgery is probably not the right doctor for you.
HOW DO I PAY FOR THE DOCTOR?
Victims of a car crash do not always have health insurance. The absence of coverage does not mean you do not have access to competent and credible medical treatment. Many qualified and skilled doctors will work on a lien. A lien is an agreement that means you promise to pay the doctor after you have settled your case.
CALL US AFTER A CAR CRASH
You should not have to worry about your medical care or payment. At MCIS, we will walk you through this most trying experience and help you recover from your car crash. Schedule a free consultation.