Seeking a Second Medical Opinion About a Car Crash Injury

second opinion on chalkboard
second opinion on chalkboard

A lot of people seek out a second opinion for life-threatening medical conditions, like various types of cancer. You can also seek out a second medical opinion about injuries suffered in a car crash. Victims of car crashes may seek a second opinion because they disagree with the treatment plan or because they think their injury is more serious than the doctor is saying.

Below, we discuss the benefits of seeking a second opinion about a car crash injury and how this decision could impact your claim for compensation. If you have any questions about seeking compensation after a car crash, call Friedman, Domiano and Smith today. An initial legal consultation with a Cleveland vehicle crash lawyer is free of charge.

No upfront fees or legal obligations. Call today: 216-621-0070.

Common Reasons Crash Victims Get Second Opinions

Auto accident victims often want a second medical opinion when they disagree with the first doctor’s recommendation for treatment. For example, the victim might not want to get surgery even though the doctor is recommending it. On the other hand, the victim might want surgery even though the first doctor is not recommending it.

Surgery may increase the value of a claim for compensation, but there are times when it does not. You should never get surgery just because you think it will result in you receiving more compensation from the insurance company. You need to carefully consider the benefits and risks of getting surgery.

There may also be times when the victim feels the first doctor is not taking the injury seriously enough. For example, the victim may think he or she needs physical therapy to recover from the injury, but the doctor might not. He or she may tell the victim to simply rest and take some medication.

Other reasons for seeking a second opinion may include:

  • You have not responded well to the treatment prescribed by your first doctor. You may want to see if another doctor could recommend an alternative treatment. It is vital to not stop treatment, as this could weaken your claim for compensation.
  • You want to have peace of mind by finding another doctor who can confirm the first doctor’s diagnosis.
  • You are struggling to maintain communication with the doctor or schedule more appointments.
  • You want to be sure the first doctor did not miss something, such as if you have multiple injuries and have suffered significant complications.

Who to Seek a Second Opinion From

Choosing what type of doctor to see for a second medical opinion may depend on the recommendations for treatment. For example, if you were recommended for back surgery, but you want to confirm it is necessary, you should get a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon. A chiropractor might not be the best option for a second opinion.

You might want to get an opinion from your primary care doctor because you have an established history with him or her. However, your primary care doctor probably does not have the ability to treat a car crash injury.

If you need recommendations on what other doctor to see, you can ask friends or family members for options. You can also look at online reviews of doctors.

When you go to another doctor, make sure to detail the first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Make sure to bring your medical records and test results. The second doctor might not know you very well, so make sure to discuss the issues that are important to you. Tell him or her what you have concerns about.

You may be concerned about how your first doctor will react to you seeking a second opinion. However, doctors should understand, even though they may disagree with you. If the first doctor has a bad reaction to you talking to another doctor, this may be a reason not to continue treatment with the first doctor.

Could Seeking a Second Opinion Help or Hurt Your Claim?

If you seek a second opinion from a qualified medical professional and you follow his or her treatment recommendations, it is much harder for the insurance company to argue about the severity of your injuries. Your attorney can counter the insurance company by saying you are taking things so seriously you want to make sure you are getting the best treatment possible.

Getting a second opinion is preferable to stopping treatment altogether. If you stop treatment, the insurance company can say your injuries have healed or were never that serious to begin with.

However, car insurance companies are always looking for things to use against crash victims to lower the value of their claims for compensation. The insurance company may say you are getting another opinion because you want to get a doctor to recommend more expensive or even unnecessary treatment.

Make sure to inform your lawyer that you have sought another opinion and tell your lawyer what you want to do after getting the second opinion. 

What if the Insurance Company Requests a Second Opinion?

Crash victims often go with the first doctor’s treatment plan. There are various reasons for this. They may trust the doctor, or they may be responding well to the treatment that has been prescribed.

The insurance company may be the one asking for a second opinion through an independent medical exam. The term “independent” is deceptive because the doctor who performs the exam is usually contracted by the insurance company. The independent doctor often reaches a conclusion that benefits the insurance company and not the injured victim.

It is important to talk to your lawyer about the insurance company’s request for an independent medical examination. Your lawyer can prepare you for an independent medical exam to help you protect the full value of your claim.

Call Today. Our Experienced Attorneys are Here to Help

You do not need to navigate the car accident legal process on your own. Our attorneys are ready to help you and there are no upfront fees with our services. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we fight for victims of another’s negligence and have recovered millions for our clients.

Seeking maximum compensation for victims. Call 216-621-0070.


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