If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault, you could have a range of injuries, from minor bumps and scrapes to a serious injury that requires weeks of hospitalization.
However, no matter how minor the accident, we always recommend that our clients see their health care provider. Your doctor or nurse practitioner will play a key role in determining how much compensation you could obtain for your injuries.
If this is the first time you have sustained an accident-related injury that was not your fault, you may not be sure of what to say or what not to say to your physician.
What You Say to Your Doctor Is Important
Your healthcare provider plays a critical role in documenting the extent and severity of your injuries. Although you may be owed compensation, insurance companies do not make it easy to recover damages.
If a healthcare provider has cause to doubt the severity of your injury, the insurance company may use that to deny your claim. Your physician will also play a role in determining whether the injuries were related to the accident or may have happened either immediately before or after.
Your medical records help establish how the injury happened, which in turn plays a role in recovering compensation from the insurance company or in establishing a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit.
What You Should Not Say to Your Doctor After an Accident
We recommend that our clients see their healthcare provider as soon as possible after an accident. During the first visit, most people are not concerned about filing a personal injury lawsuit and are interested only in their health and wellness.
In the following visits, it’s important to be prepared when you speak with your doctor. Many doctors would like to avoid litigation, if possible, which can complicate the situation. If you can, talk with your personal injury attorney before your follow-up visits with your doctor. Here are a few tips on how to handle your doctor’s office visits.
Never lie about your injuries: You must not fake an injury or lie about the severity of the injury. Your doctor is a highly trained medical professional. You want your doctor to be your advocate so you can recover fair compensation for your injuries. If your doctor doesn’t trust you, the insurance company may have an easier time denying your claim.
Do not talk about your claim or lawsuit: While your doctor is a highly trained medical professional, they should not be dispensing legal counsel about your accident. Additionally, once you have initiated a personal injury claim, what you tell the doctor can be shared in court or with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
This means that you are no longer speaking in confidence. It is best to get your medical care from your physician and leave all conversations about a personal injury lawsuit out of any discussion you have with your doctor.
Don’t be evasive about your past medical history: Doctors rely on your past medical history to help make a diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment. You might be concerned that the insurance company will believe your accident-related injuries are from a pre-existing condition. However, if you give the doctor inaccurate information, it can also hinder your medical treatment. Always provide complete medical details to your physician.
Do not hide your pain: If you are experiencing serious pain that prevents you from going to work, be sure your doctor knows. You may be struggling financially and want clearance from the doctor to return to work, but working while you’re in pain could make your injuries worse. Unfortunately, it can also reduce the value of your claim.
In addition to these four potential mistakes you may make with your healthcare provider, it is also crucial that you show up to all your medical appointments and continue medical treatment as long as it is prescribed.
The insurance companies will look at your medical records as they are considering what compensation they might give you. If you habitually skip visits or stop treatment, they may claim that your injuries are not as serious as you say they are.
This is a valid reason for them to reduce the level of your compensation or deny your claim altogether. Whenever you miss an appointment and have a valid excuse, ask the doctor to note that in your medical record.
Contact Us for Help After an Accident
If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, the legal team at Veron Bice, LLC could fight to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
While we understand that compensation cannot make up for your injuries, it can help pay mounting medical bills and make up for lost wages.
Our team believes that you deserve the best legal representation possible. That’s why your first consultation with our legal team is free, and if we decide to work together, you are not charged a fee until we get money for you.
Call our office today at 337-310-1600 for your free, confidential consultation. One of our lawyers will listen to the details of your case and answer your questions.