Should I Let My Lawyer Dictate My Medical Treatment?
The job of a California car accident lawyer is to counsel you about your legal rights. It is not their job to pick a doctor or a medical treatment for you. That is your doctor's job. Sometimes your personal injury lawyer might not have your best interest at heart and may send you to the right direction. Often doctors and attorneys have agreements where they recommend their clients to each other. However, doctors and lawyers take advantage of these alliances at your cost.
Some attorneys and doctors may have ulterior motives
Attorneys and doctors usually stay within their fields of practice. But there are some attorneys and doctors that have arrangements in which the doctor refers his/her clients to the attorney and vice versa even if it may not be in the best interest of the client. It is your right and responsibility to choose the right medical treatment for you and your family.
If you think you need to see a specialist, then you should consult with your family doctor not your car accident lawyer. After the lawyer refers you to the doctor of his/her choosing, the doctor may over-treat or over-charge you for medical treatments that are never administered. This is followed by the lawyer in turn ignoring the over-billing on the doctor's part. This is a very rare occurrence but if your accident injury is pushing you towards a certain doctor, then it may serve you well to be extremely cautious.
Among other things, my book "The Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Personal Injury Claim" warns of the dangers of letting your attorney direct your medical treatment.
Sometimes it is acceptable for attorneys to recommend a doctor but it is still demonstrates a conflict of interest
The only time that it is acceptable for your California personal injury lawyer to provide any direction in terms of your medical treatment is if you ask them to do so. Even still, I do not direct my clients to doctors because I think that the best person to guide your medical treatment is your family physician.
I firmly believe that a lawyer must never take a position that could have adverse effects on the people he/she represents. Your personal injury lawyer is the one person who is supposed to have your best interest at heart while settling a claim. If your accident injury attorney has such an arrangement with a doctor or recommends you to a specific doctor then that means the lawyer is not completely committed to you from the beginning even if there aren't any other improprieties being carried out.
So, If you lawyer is having a conflict of interest from the start then it would be wise to consult with a different car accident lawyer or at the very least be extremely cautious while proceeding with that particular attorney.
If you would like to know what is the best way to choose a lawyer that best fits your needs, feel free to visit our "How To Choose A Lawyer" page.