After an accident, you should get medical attention as quickly as possible. If you file a lawsuit for your injuries and damages, your medical records and possibly testimony from a doctor are important. Which doctor you see is often up to you, but there might be pushback from opposing parties.
Immediately after an accident, an injured person may see any doctor they want to. Most people go to their primary care physician or any available doctor in the emergency room. Under certain circumstances, you might have to be examined by other physicians of someone else’s choosing. However, this should not stop you from also seeing your own doctor. In many injury cases, injured plaintiffs must undergo independent medical examinations by an impartial doctor. While you can almost always choose your own doctor, the defendant or the court might also choose a doctor. Talk to your attorney about any required medical examinations and who chooses the doctor.
Our Mississippi personal injury lawyers can be reached for a free case review at (844) 876-4357 at the offices of Howe Law.
Seeing Your Own Doctor After an Accident in Mississippi
After an accident, the first thing you should do before speaking with an attorney or talking to anyone about potential legal action is get to a hospital. Even if you do not think your injuries are severe or are worried about medical expenses, you should not gamble with your health. Naturally, you can usually choose where you go for medical treatment.
Choosing your own doctor is a bigger deal than many people realize. Being forced to see a doctor at someone else’s choosing is not just inconvenient. It is a violation of your bodily autonomy. Even if someone wants you to see another doctor, you must consent to being examined by that doctor.
In emergencies, you might be taken to a hospital or doctor you did not choose. For example, an ambulance might take someone badly injured and unconscious after a car crash to the nearest emergency room. In such cases, the accident victim likely did not select the hospital or doctors who treated them. If you find yourself in such a situation, you have the right to be examined by another doctor of your choice when you are ready.
When You Might See a Different Doctor After an Accident in Mississippi
There might be situations where a plaintiff in an injury case must be examined by doctors they did not choose for themselves. In some cases, the defendant might want you to be examined by a doctor they have chosen, or the court might select an impartial physician. While the court might require some medical examinations, you often have the right to have a second exam performed by your own doctor.
Workplace accidents may involve unique legal claims, and there might be different rules regarding medical examinations. After an on-the-job accident, you might file a Workers’ Compensation claim. These claims are covered by insurance carried by employers, and insurance companies are rarely willing to make any payments without a little investigation. It is not unusual for insurance companies to request to see your medical records or have you evaluated by a doctor they have selected.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you might have to agree to be examined by the insurance company’s doctor if you want compensation. However, you are always free to also be examined by your own doctor. If the doctors reach different conclusions, you have your doctor’s exam results to support your claims.
Independent Medical Exams
If your injuries and medical records are in dispute, or if you did not receive any medical attention for your injuries, the court in your case might require you to submit to an independent medical examination. While the physicians performing these exams are supposed to be impartial, they are sometimes selected or at least approved by defendants.
In some cases, defendants push for independent medical exams because they want to poke holes in the plaintiff’s case. Generally, you should not have to cover the costs of the exam, and the exam should be reasonable. You should not be made to travel long distances, take significant time off work, or otherwise be overly burdened by the independent medical exam.
If you must go through such an exam, our Biloxi personal injury lawyers can help you arrange another exam with your doctor. If the results of the independent medical exam undermine your claims for damages, we can use the results of your exam with your own doctor to push back.
Doctors often testify in injury cases as expert witnesses. Both you and the defendant may offer your own doctors as medical experts. If the defendant wishes to offer a medical expert witness, they usually need copies of your medical records for their expert to review. Sometimes, they might take it further and ask you to allow their doctor to examine you.
The nature and extent of the exam may vary based on your injuries and what kind of information the medical expert needs. We can help you push back against such a request by arguing that an examination is unnecessary and that your existing medical records from your initial medical treatment should suffice for experts to review.
Who Can Choose My Doctor After an Accident in Mississippi?
As said before, you can almost always choose your own doctor after an accident. Even if you cannot make such a choice because you are badly injured and unconscious, you can still get follow-up treatment from a doctor of your own choosing.
Under certain circumstances, other parties might be able to select the doctor who examines you. The defendant or an insurance company can sometimes arrange for another doctor to examine your injuries. However, you should always talk to your attorney about such exams, as they are not always mandatory. In some cases, courts will not force plaintiffs to be examined by the defendant’s doctor if existing medical records are sufficient.
Call Our Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys for Help
Call the offices of Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 about scheduling a free case review with our Gulfport personal injury attorneys.