Should My Lawyer Dictate My Medical Treatment? In today's world, professional roles are very clearly defined. Your doctor is much better at attending to your medical needs than he is arguing your case in court. In the same way, your lawyer is much better at handling your legal issues than he is directing your medical treatment. There may be exceptions but they are rare. If you have been injured in an accident, it is critical that you obtain medical treatment right away. This maximizes your chances to recover quickly and completely from whatever injuries you may have sustained in the accident. Medical treatment is always paramount to a legal consultation, if there are serious injuries. There is no question that it is the job of a health care professional to direct your medical treatment. If an attorney insists on you receiving treatment from a particular doctor, a red flag should go up immediately. It is your right and responsibility to select your own doctor or to be treated by medical professionals who are within your health insurance company's network. If an attorney attempts to direct your treatment be sure you know why and be sure it is in your best interest. Conflict of Interest An attorney's loyalties should only be to the best interests of his client. The term "conflict of interest" means that a person in a position of authority has competing interests, often personally or professionally. This makes it difficult for the individual to fulfill his duties to both parties at the same time. A conflict of interest may exist even in cases where nothing unethical or inappropriate has taken place. Even an appearance of a conflict is sufficient to erode the credibility of a professional and is expected to be avoided. Such scenarios may also prove disadvantageous to claimants during the trial when defense attorneys will be quick to point out such referral arrangements between doctors and attorneys. Pre-arranged partnerships between lawyers and doctors could be detrimental to your case. Can Lawyers Make Recommendations? There are instances where it is acceptable for a lawyer to recommend a doctor. A lawyer may make such a recommendation when asked. For example, if a client is having trouble finding a doctor and specially requests a referral, a lawyer may make a referral. Also, sometimes, in preparation for a trial, an attorney may retain a doctor who can testify to some critical aspect of a client's case. These are "expert witnesses" who can enlighten the court or the jury to some aspect of your case. An expert witness should not be the one who provides medical services on a lien because he or she will benefit from the settlement of the case, which the defense is likely to bring out in court. Finding the Right Attorney It is crucial that you find a personal injury attorney who values integrity and professional ethics. An attorney who does not compromise on ethics and refuses to take shortcuts will clearly bear your best interests at heart and fight for your right to receive fair compensation. You need an attorney whose loyalties are clearly focused on you and not on furthering his own interests. The best personal injury lawyers will also offer advise and allow you to make the decisions that have an impact on your case and your future. Your best course of action is to consult with a very successful personal injury law firm as soon after your injury as is practical. The worst time to get the right advice is after you needed it.