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When your doctor wants to close your case before you're better

doctor.jpgIf there's one thing I've learned in my 20 years representing injured people, its that everyone experiences injuries differently. I've seen people walk away from major wrecks without needing any treatment at all and I've seen people suffer for years from relatively minor incidents.

As a lawyer, I don't give medical advice. But I do tell my clients that if they are hurting they should be seeking some kind of treatment to help them feel better and restore them to the condition they enjoyed before the accident. In many cases, that treatment includes an ongoing course of chiropractic or physical therapy.

Occasionally we see a situation where the doctor wants to "close the case," or terminate the client's accident-related treatment before the client feels they've completely healed. This is a difficult situation. We generally advise our clients to follow their doctors' advice, but we also tell them that they are in charge of their health care decisions, and that nobody knows their body better than they do themselves.

In some cases, the doctor may be motivated by money. Did your PIP or other medical coverage just run out? Is the doctor worried about getting paid? Doctors provide a valuable service and they deserve to get paid, but the availability of insurance should not determine the course of your treatment.

In other cases, you may simply disagree with the doctor. In situations like this I encourage a detailed and frank discussion with your doctor to discuss your treatment goals, and why you feel you still need treatment. Ultimately, if you can't agree it is absolutely acceptable to seek a second opinion from another provider. You don't want to be seen as shopping for a doctor who will give the opinion you want, but you do get to seek advice and treatment if you feel it is necessary.

Just like lawyers, doctors can be valuable advisors, but ultimately your claim, and your body, belong to you. The more knowledge you have, the better able you will be to make the decisions that are best for you.

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