As a personal injury lawyer, I have to guide my clients to the best care possible so they can get the best recovery possible. Like a painting in my office, “Recovery,” my job is to help my clients recover. You see billboard lawyers advertising how much money they get from their clients but that is only a small part of what a lawyer does for a client. A personal injury lawyer’s job is to get the clients life back. A large part of that is getting the client well, physically well. They should be made well so that they can get back to the things they were doing before their injury. That requires medical providers for the most part. Medical providers are anybody that provides support, therapy, advice, counseling, instruction and care (including pharmaceuticals, surgery and injections). Just what are these various professionals and semi-professionals. Here’s the list of professionals my clients have seen to get their lives back:
Emergency Departments (a.k.a. “ER”/ Emergency Room): These facilities are open 24 hours a day. You want something like that if you believe you are in danger of dying. Many years ago, these places were the only place you could go for care. That is not true anymore. Only go there if you need to be admitted to a hospital for surgery after an injury. Go there for injuries like the following: bulging bruises under your skin, getting knocked out, being dizzy or confused, bad cuts that clearly need to be stitched (anything bigger than a quarter inch), repeated throwing up, loss of feeling in any part of your body, blurry vision, ringing in your ears, not wanting to be touched, panic or violent episodes. Some people believe you will see a doctor there. This also is not anymore.Unfortunately, emergency departments in hospitals have become a place where the staff is told to overuse CT scans. CT scan should cost about $250 because CT scans are just glorified x-rays. Unfortunately, hospital chains like HCA and Bayfront charge $4,000.00-$5,000.00. Shocked? You should be. It’s an outrage to charge this. If you don’t have health insurance that cuts the bills of these greedy hospital chains, you may be liable for a bill of $25,000.00 for a doctor’s visit that used to cost $850.00. I wish this was not true. A research team did a study which was reported in the Washington Post. It showed that, of the 50 top billing hospitals in the United States of America, Florida had 19. Of these gouging hospitals, all but one was a for-profit hospital. In central Florida alone there were 7. It is an epidemic of greed and government failing to protect us from these for-profit hospital predators. so, unless you’re really hurt, you need to go to a walk-in clinic.
Walk-in Clinics: Most of these facilities are staffed by the same doctors that you would see in the emergency department. If you have an automobile case using PIP insurance from your automobile policy, make sure that the person seeing you is a medical doctor. Although registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants are helpful, you want a doctor to see you to preserve your insurance benefits. (Long story – has to do with the legislature trying to stop fraud by the injury clinic billboard doctors and their ilk). Walk in clinics are a good place to go to get checked out and avoid the outrageous bills of a for-profit chain hospital ER.
Family Doctors: always like to think our family doctors will look after us. Unfortunately, most family doctors have been burned by these billboard/TV lawyers who refuse to pay the doctors after case is settled. The most common reaction you will get when you call your trusted, beloved family doctor is “we don’t handle car crashes.” They will likely send you to one of these injury clinics whose specialty is billing your PIP insurance the full $10,000 within three months. don’t be unhappy with your family doctor, with these injury clinics and billboard/TV lawyers they have gotten a bad taste in their mouth. You have a legitimate injury otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. The lawyer you hire should know credible reliable doctors that will not overtreat you or over bill you.
Internal Medicine These doctors are the equivalent of family doctors for folks over age 40. you will likely get the same reaction from them if you come with traumatically caused injury.
Physical medicine/Physiatrists– This is a relatively new medical sub-specialty combining neurology and orthopedics. These doctors specialize in dealing with people who have connective tissue injuries, specifically injuries of the muscles, ligaments, discs, meniscus (tissue between joints), fascia (tissue bundling muscle groups together) basically anything musculoskeletal. They can also diagnose injuries to the nerves, blood vessels and other things that are not bone. Many can also diagnose neurological injuries incidental to these other injuries. Most specialize in neck, shoulder, elbows, wrists, back, hips and knees injuries. Most of these doctors have a sports injury emphasis in their practice but they can also treat people who have been involved in car crashes or have fallen. they can also refer to other specialists who may be necessary to fix everything wrong with you.
Sports medicine: as mentioned above, many physiatrists have a specialty in sports injuries. you’ll have to call the office and find out if they will treat you after a traumatic injury. The trauma they are most familiar with is caused by sports -related activity. they see a lot of these types of injuries so, even though yours is caused by a fall or a car crash, they can still help you recover.
Chiropractors: are Medical providers who are not medical doctors. They cannot set a broken bone or write a prescription. However, the right chiropractor can really make your body feel good. The main techniques they use for treating you is “adjustments.” They push and pull your spinal vertebrae to get them “in alignment” so nerves are not being pinched. However, they also use electro muscular stimulation (EMS), hot and cold packs, massage and sometimes even physical therapy. The good thing about chiropractors is they can change their type of care (modality) without needing a prescription from a medical doctor. That is not the same for physical therapy clinics. The downside for chiropractors is anyone you to come three times a week for a two-hour session. That is an impediment to getting your life back because, after crash you may have missed work. Your boss wants you to work and the chiropractor want you to come in. Most chiropractors will work with your schedule. Some even have Saturday hours. Most of the injury clinics you see on billboards and bus benches are owned or composed of chiropractors. Don’t judge the rest of chiropractors by what those people do though.
Physical therapy clinic: This is pure physical therapy. Some of the things they do overlap with things you will have in a chiropractor’s office. However, you will not get any advice. You will have a professional who will run you through the exercises your medical doctor tells them to have do but they cannot change the therapy the doctor told them to give you. You have to go back to your doctor to change it. All you can do is cease the therapy if it’s too painful or not improving you. This is like chiropractic except these professionals have an emphasis on your range of motion and strengthening your muscles. You will see these folks generally three times a week for two weeks (like a chiropractor). Then go back and see your doctor. If you need more treatment, the doctor will order more.
Massage therapist: These professionals reduce the symptoms you are having from your musculoskeletal injury. You can see one at the chiropractor’s office or a physiatrist’s or orthopedic/sports medicine doctor’s office.
Orthopedic surgeons: You will see this doctor in the emergency department (ER) if you had to go there for a broken bone, it will get set at
the hospital. If it needed to be surgically fixed, you will likely be admitted to the hospital and have the surgery within a day or two. Bones heal quickly after the initial shock, the body gets straight to work healing the bones. That’s why it’s important to have them in proper alignment so they don’t grow back badly. An orthopedic surgeon will put them in proper alignment. If you get a cast in the emergency department from the orthopedic surgeon, you will have to follow up with him or her later. The cast will have to be taken off after 3 to 6 months. orthopedic surgeons can also fix nerve pain in your back, shoulder, elbow, or wrist. That is because the surgery to fix your bones also fixes the area where the nerves are relieving nerve pain. If you have burning, hot, shooting pain or pain that starts in one party your body and goes to another part of your body and orthopedic surgeon can fix that I have yet to meet an orthopedic surgeon that is out for the money. Most of the ones you meet in the emergency department are there to make you well.
Neurologist: a neurologist only diagnosis things. Your family doctor, orthopedic or other professional will refer to this doctor to figure out where the pain is coming from.
Neurosurgeons: To get anything fixed, like a nerve that is “pinched” (impinged or compromised- in medical terms), you have to have one of these professionals. If you have burning, hot, shooting pain or pain that starts in one party your body and goes to another part of your body and orthopedic surgeon can fix that. These professionals do many things that orthopedic physicians do but come from a background of neurology instead of
Pain Management Physicians: you will be referred to these doctors if you have chronic pain that you cannot get rid of. you will only receive pills here and only a certain amount. Medically the American Medical Association has suggested that opioids or other narcotics only be given for a very short period of time (seven days sometimes). As you know, the United States is in an opioid crisis because of over prescription of addictive drugs. The worst thing about it is these addictive drugs are not really necessary to get well in most cases. Most folks can get as well they are going to get from the physical therapy, chiropractor or massage therapy. Your lawyer should know how best to use these kinds of doctors, if at all.
Neuropsychologist: a blow to the head which results in loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, ringing in ears is a brain injury. The “CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults.” As the CDC correctly notes, a brain injury is a serious injury. Medically they are called “traumatic brain injuries” (TBI). This is a scary condition to have. Your lawyer must recognize that you have this condition and get you to the right professional for diagnosis. Depending upon the severity of this brain injury, you may need to be examined to find out what the extent of your brain injuries are. Some neuropsychologist are able to give cognitive brain therapy (CBT) or other types of stimuli that will help restore damaged brain function. Diagnosing it is important to determine the extent of the injury from a traumatic event. These professionals help your lawyer do that.
Psychiatrist: In the event of a very serious brain injury, the brain stops functioning correctly. You can experience hallucinations, extreme mood swings, paranoia, or other cognitive (brain) dysfunctions. in those extreme situations, a psychiatrist is absolutely necessary to prescribe anti-psychotropic or other drugs to help you restore your normal brain function. Your lawyer should know which psychiatrist to use.
Whatever your condition is, there is a therapy and a professional out there waiting to help you recover. It’s important that you realize your lawyer has to know who these people are, how much they’re going to charge you, how they are going to get paid and whether they are going to help you toward your goal of getting back your life.
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I am a full-service personalized, personal injury lawyer with a statewide practice in all 67 counties. I have 31 years of experience to put to work for you. Call me so I can answer your questions: 1-800 – 535 – 3002. Email: JSteele@JSteelelaw.com Skype: ScienceCan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JSteeleLaw/ Twitter: @JSteeleOlmstead or @FlaBicyleLawyr Whatsapp: J. Steele Olmstead Instagram: jsteeleolmstead.
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