It is common for people injured in accidents to be confused and not know where to get help. Many times they run to an attorney before seeing a doctor. Some believe it is best for their case if a lawyer sends them to “their lawyer’s” doctor.
It’s really not, let me tell you why.
The law in Florida has always provided that if a witness is shown to be biased it can damage his or her believability even if they may be telling the truth. In a case decided in 2014 the court expanded the ability to look into the potential for bias in doctor/lawyer relationships during a case.
The court reasoned that lawyers in a civil suit have a limited ability to look into how much money an expert has been paid by the party who hired them. But the rules do not prevent discovery of potential bias of the witness.
This allows attorneys to investigate potential bias of treating doctors by looking into direct referrals to and from law firms including the percentage of income the doctor earned from the relationship.
The theory behind this is that a physician’s financial stake in treating patients referred by law firms could create a bias to provide favorable testimony for their patients so the physician gets more referrals from law firms.
While many attorneys have a long list of objectives and well trained doctors they could recommend to you without harming your case, you must be wary of attorneys that insist on helping you find treatment or will not take your case unless you use their doctors. This kind of “service” can kill the value of your case if it turns out every case the lawyer gets is referred to a certain doctor.
If your lawyer insists on you only seeing “their doctor,” beware.