When you have a physical or emotional health issue and have a family member who is a medical professional, it often makes sense to visit him or her for help. For example, you might see a family member who is a chiropractor or physical therapist if you have a back injury, and may go to a family member who is a psychologist if you're dealing with anxiety of depression. If your predicament is the result of an accident and you're thinking about potentially taking legal action in the future, however, you should stay away from family members who are medical professionals. Here are some reasons why.
Their Opinions Might Not Seem Neutral
In a personal injury case, the testimony of any medical professionals you see will be critical to supporting your case. However, if you've seen medical professionals who are members of your family, the other party's legal team may argue that these professionals are not being neutral. For example, if your psychologist will be supporting your case's claim that you're going through a significant amount of anxiety as a result of your accident and injury, the attorneys may argue that the therapist is exaggerating your anxiety to help you because you're related.
You'll Spend Less Money
The amount of money that you spend on your medical care in the wake of an accident resulting from another party's negligence factors heavily into how much you're awarded in damages. The problem with seeing a family member is that he or she might give you a discount — and this means that you won't be able to get as much money back in the suit. For example, if you go to a massage therapist after your injury, he or she may charge you 50 percent of his or her normal rate. When it comes to adding up all of the money that you've spent on medical costs, a higher number will result in a higher settlement — and your attorney will also be able to argue that your increased costs have had more of an emotional toll on you.
They May Not Be Experts
It's generally a good idea to see experts in your injuries or issues after an accident if you plan to pursue legal action. Your family members who are professionals may not be specialists in the appropriate area, and this may be detrimental. When you contact a personal injury attorney soon after your accident, he or she will be able to suggest the names of certain medical professionals who are experts with your type of injury. Their findings can prove to be helpful to your case.
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