1. How do I find the right doctor?
2. I was involved in a car accident, and the other driver's insurance policy won't pay for my medical bills. Why should my insurance pay when the other driver was at fault?
These materials have been prepared by Gerald Madison for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, and attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The materials found on this page, and linked pages are meant for persons who have had accidents in Nevada since the laws vary from state to state.
You may have found the right doctor and not know it. Once you cultivate the other half of the patient/doctor relationship, you may discover that the doctor you have will properly diagnose and heal you.
Finding the right doctor begins with accepting responsibility for your own treatment. In today's medical environment, most doctor's don't have the necessary time to spend with each patient to get a complete understanding of their history and complaints to make a proper diagnosis. You are much more likely to get the proper diagnosis if the doctor had more time to learn about you, but since that isn't the case, it's your job to learn how to get the most out of the time you have with your health care providers.
A physician friend of mine, Mayer Horensten, wrote an excellent article that tells how to prepare for your doctor appointments, "How to Get the Best from Your Doctor's Visit". I always give my clients a video tape to assist in this journey called "How to Deal with the Doctor". Finally, I have each client keep a daily diary so that they can learn about their complaints. We number each pain, and then we grade it twice each day, in the morning and in the evening, from 0 to 10. They write down all activities that increase the pain, what they did to alleviate the pain, which is the first step to finding the right doctor.
Most doctors treat your medical records like they own them. You must change your attitude about these records. The records are yours and you should understand what the doctor writes in your chart. I suggest that on your second visit that you ask to look at your chart. Anything you don't understand or can't read, have it explained to you. The analogy is simple. For example, if you owned a business and never checked on your employees, you would probably discover on a surprise visit that they were goofing off. Once you start checking your medical chart, it is highly likely that the doctor will start paying more attention to you and your problem. After all, he is your employee in every sense; you are paying him for attending to your medical problems.
To understand this, you need to understand how the Nevada system operates. The liability carrier for the other driver will only make one payment, the final settlement. This works in their favor sometimes because some injured victims don't have any health insurance or any med pay. It can be difficult to get good medical treatment without any money. Contrarily, it's easy to get the best medical treatment if money is no object. Now you need to understand how insurance companies settle cases. They look at how much treatment you got, and if you had $25,000 in medical bills, you will certainly get a bigger settlement. While if you had the same injury, and you only has $500 in treatment, the insurance company could argue for a much lower settlement. This isn't fair, but most auto insurance companies won't advance payment for treatment, and the victim is limited to doctors who will take liens on their cases.
Finally, you want your insurance company to pay for your bills because it won't reduce the money you will recover from the other driver's insurance company. If the other driver's insurance company paid the medical bills, it would be deducted from your recovery resulting in a smaller recovery.