Seeing a Medical Specialist for Diagnosis and Treatment Purposes

You should be cautious about who you see because some specialists tend to be overly optimistic about your recovery

During your recovery, your family doctor may want to send you to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, or physical and rehabilitation specialist.  You should be cautious about who you see because some specialists tend to be overly optimistic about your recovery by downplaying the extent of your injuries.  It is their job to be positive and encouraging. Also, they see you for a very short period and may not accurately record your history.

You should accept the family doctor’s recommendation to see a specialist as the fact a referral is being made tends to support that the injuries are more than a “minor injury”.

ICBC will invariably get a hold of the consultation report from the specialist through disclosure of clinical records.  These consultation reports can provide ICBC and its defense counsel with ammunition against your claim. For example, if you have a pre-accident back injury and it is not noted in the consultation report, the defense lawyer may turn around and suggest you were hiding that information from the specialist, even though the topic was never raised in the appointment.

Also, ICBC can rely on the optimistic outlook of a specialist by sending notice to the Plaintiff’s lawyer that they intend to rely on the specialist’s opinion at trial. ICBC will argue that the specialist is unbiased and so the optimistic opinion of the specialist should be accepted over the opinion of an expert retained by your lawyer.

There are some good, Plaintiff friend specialists, who regularly help Plaintiffs in pursuing the ICBC claim by writing a favorable report, when asked. If you have a good idea of the more Plaintiff friendly doctors, you can suggest the referral to your family doctor. Therefore, a good understanding of who is good and who is bad is very helpful.

In summary, a referral to a specialist from your family doctor can be a good thing not only to help with the diagnosis of your injuries but also address treatment. The specialist may also be Plaintiff friendly and a good source of a helpful report that bolsters your case. However, some specialists are harmful to your claim by being poor note takers or not wanting to support their patient against ICBC. It really comes down to the individual doctor.