After a car accident, a visit to the doctor could not only ensure you’re receiving needed treatment for your injuries but also be the most important component to winning your case. Even if you feel like your injuries may not be that serious, getting the okay from a medical professional is a wise decision. “People need to let their bodies guide them and be the boss of what steps to take after an automobile accident. If you’re just a little sore, you might wait a few days to see if that goes away,” Brad says.
If your doctor suggests additional care such as seeing a chiropractor, pain management specialist or physical therapist, it is imperative that you follow through with that treatment plan. Brad says, “I have seen many cases wrecked over the years simply because clients didn’t follow the medical professional’s advice. Just do what the doctor tells you to do.”
In addition to making sure you’re seeking proper medical attention, obtaining the needed medical records for your case can be a headache. “My suggestion is to let the lawyers handle it. We know what to get and how to get them,” Brad says.
Brad also says that under no circumstances should a client blindly allow the other driver’s insurance company access to their medical attention. “At some point the other side will have access to the medical information pertaining to the case, however their access needs to be limited. They will want broad medical records that might not even relate to the injuries you’ve obtained in that specific accident. An attorney will help limit what they can access.”
There are four major questions someone should ask their doctor following a car accident:
1. What specifically are my injuries, and what is the severity?
The more you understand about your injuries, the more likely you will be to avoid things that may slow your recovery. You should also find out how long the pain will last and if additional care is needed.
2. How were these injuries caused?
Obviously your injuries were caused by a car accident, but you need your doctor’s opinion of exactly how your injuries happened. Do you have a concussion because your head hit the steering wheel? Did the speed of other driver’s car affect how badly your back was injured? Getting your doctor’s professional opinion, especially in writing, could stop insurance companies from blaming your injuries on something unrelated to your crash.
3. What future health issues will I face?
Make sure to raise questions about long-term health or side effects you may experience.
4. When Can I Return to Work?
Commonly a car accident will result in missed time from work or restricted activity. Getting a doctor’s recommendation and establishing needed time off will help in seeking damages or get reimbursed for reduced earning potential.
While being armed with the right questions to ask your doctor after an accident is helpful, Brad says it’s not always what you ask but what you tell. “Be sure to tell the doctor all the issues you are having. Don’t leave anything out. The defense could use that against you in your case,” he says.