When seeking care after a car accident, your instinct may be to go to a trusted primary care doctor to evaluate your injuries and create a treatment plan. Many people are surprised when they visit their long-time doctor and are told to seek care elsewhere- after all, doesn’t a PCP treat everything? While they may be able to help with some injuries, you will likely be sent to an auto injury doctor in this scenario. Not only are they more familiar with the injuries and conditions that car accidents cause, but they also are more familiar with the billing and insurance process. Even if it feels strange to see a different doctor, auto injury doctors’ offices are the best place for you to be treated.
How Family Doctors Work
When you are sick, experiencing unusual symptoms with no inciting incident, or need general preventative care, your family care doctor is the best option. They should understand your medical history, and their focus is typically internal health maintenance rather than traumatic injuries. They may miss key signs of injuries in some cases. More often, they will refer you to someone who specializes in your injuries, adding time to your recovery.
Additionally, these doctors do not handle bills in the same way as auto injury doctors. Many family doctors require payment upfront, rather than billing car accident-related costs to the insurance company, meaning you have to pay upfront and hope for reimbursement later. This is because they do not participate in third-party billing, meaning they will also not bill the car insurance company.
In their usual practice, a family doctor is able to file through health insurance and understand their payment ahead of time. However, auto insurance companies are more likely to try and negotiate bills, which primary doctors do not usually allow. Therefore they do not often work together. Even if your doctor is able to treat you, it will cause a lot of issues with your insurance paperwork.
In addition to trouble with the billing process, a primary care doctor may not provide the documentation that is necessary for your insurance claims or court filings. Your ability to seek compensation relies heavily on your medical records displaying not only your injuries, but their cause, your treatment plan, and how well you worked with the doctor. While a family doctor keeps medical records, they are typically not as detailed as is expected for a car accident claim, and this may hurt your compensation.
Additionally, many injuries that are commonly sustained in car accidents need further documentation and evidence to be properly recorded. For example, soft tissue injuries often do not show up on x-rays and instead need more advanced imaging like CT scans and MRIs, which many family doctors do not perform. Working with auto injury doctors often provides access to these more sophisticated technologies and allow these injuries to be a part of your record.
Auto injury doctors also work often with patients seeking compensation and are able to create medical records that are to this standard. They will understand your medical history and understand your crash to determine causes of injuries and help draw lines between the accident and your injuries.
Expert Medical Care
In addition to the tactical issues seeing a primary care physician, you will also receive more pinpointed care when seeing auto injury doctors. Do you know how long after a car accident the injuries appear? Many injuries can occur days or even hours before you begin to notice symptoms when the adrenaline from the traumatic crash wears off. An expert will be able to identify these injuries even before symptoms are occurring, meaning you get accurate care starting as soon as possible. Because these specialists know what to look for and ask about, they may identify concussions or internal injuries early enough to prevent major problems.
At AICA Orthopedics, our specialists work together to not only identify your injuries, but also to create personalized treatment plans designed for you. After a car accident, you will see a range of auto injury doctors, including chiropractors, orthopedists, and neurologists, as well as skilled physical therapists and pain management specialists. We also work every day with lawyers and car insurance companies to provide thorough documentation that aids in insurance claims, as well as bill in the most efficient way possible. If you have recently been in a car accident, skip the extra time and expense of your family doctor and come to one of the AICA Orthopedics locations in the greater Atlanta area.