VA Personal Injury Lawyer Must Work Well with Doctors | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Successfully working with the doctors and other health care providers is critical to getting a maximum recovery in a personal injury claim. The attorneys at our firm bend over backwards to try to keep the doctors happy who are treating our injured clients and whose testimony is key to winning the injury case in court.

See also these related Virginia personal injury and car wreck articles:

The only way that you can put into evidence in court that the accident caused certain injuries is through a doctor. That is certainly true in any significant injury case in the Virginia Circuit Courts. In relatively smaller car accident cases in the Virginia (VA) Small Claims Court, called the Virginia (VA) General District Court, there are ways to put into evidence the doctors’ opinions in writing with live or deposition testimony.

However, in the Virginia (VA) circuit court, for any case over $15,000 in value, you are forced to bring in a doctor’s testimony that the car wreck caused specific injuries. Without the testimony of a doctor, the case would likely fail. Thus, it is critical to have good relations with the doctors and be cooperative with them to secure their expert testimony for trial. 

It amazes me that some other injury lawyers may not treat the doctors in the most courteous way, given how central they are to winning the personal injury trial. I have heard many horror stories from doctors about lawyers who will subpoena them to come to court for a personal injury case without even talking to the doctor about what their opinions are about the client’s injury.

Sometimes doctors are not cooperative with personal injury lawyers. Some doctors just don’t want to be bothered about law suits and insurance claims. Other doctors may have had a bad experience with an injury attorney who did not treat them properly or cause them to be embarrassed in court.

I have tried to explain to some of these doctors that the patient has given me permission in writing to speak to them to help present their accident case in the most effective manner. If, for some reason, the doctor is unwilling to cooperate in presenting the injury case or has opinions which do not make sense, I need to know that as soon as possible in the personal injury litigation. By learning of the doctor’s difficulty early on, I can find other physicians who can do an independent review of the case and provide the necessary evidence at trial.