If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you think that the aches and pains will eventually go away. But, did you know that a doctor appointment following an accident must be handled a little differently than you are used to?
When seeking medical evaluation or treatment following an accident, you need to be more proactive when discussing your injuries with your doctor. You need to make sure the doctor knows each ache and pain, and request evaluation or diagnostic procedures the doctor may feel are helpful. Each and every visit with your doctor must be thoroughly documented in order to obtain compensation from the other driver’s insurance carrier.
How To Prepare For Appointments:
- Make a List of Questions. It’s not uncommon to have a list of questions, and concerns going into a doctors visit. However, once the appointment arrives, you may forget to ask some of the questions, or address some of your concerns. We recommend keeping a written list of questions to ask, and concerns you may have, and present the written list at each visit.
- Keep A Pain Journal. After an accident, it’s common to have “good days,” and “bad days” when it comes to pain. Often times, if your doctors appointment falls on a “good” pain day, you may minimize your overall level of pain, causing your doctor to believe, falsely, that your pain has disappeared, or is improving.
By keeping a journal, and taking it with you to your doctor visits, your physician can get a more complete and accurate representation of your condition, and treat you accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating to an injured person to be suffering from pain, and reading in their medical records that they are “pain free.” These types of inaccuracies can also sink your case, because defense lawyers will use that one “good day” against you. Keep a journal to give your doctor a complete and accurate overview of your pain and symptoms.
- Don’t Go It Alone. It’s also helpful to take a trusted friend or family member with you to doctor appointments. Many times, it difficult to pay attention to what the doctor is telling you when you’re being examined, poked, and manipulated. Having a trusted friend there to help you document and record the doctors instructions can be helpful.
The Bottom Line – If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to be proactive in your medical care, rather than just going along with the flow. Understanding how important complete and accurate medical documentation of your injuries is will help you to take the steps necessary to ensure your doctor is not cutting corners, and is properly documenting your treatment.
If you are passive, and just go with the flow, without raising concerns, or keeping track of your pain or symptoms on a day to day basis, you should not be surprised when the lack of medical records comes back to bite you. Don’t give the insurance company any ammo to use against you – take a proactive role in your medical treatment and recovery.
While your main priority after an accident is a full recovery from your injuries, there are many things that you can do to protect your rights, and your family’s future. Find out how to take control of your situation with a copy of our free book: “10 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Texas Accident Case.” This free book by our San Antonio personal injury lawyers has helpful insights into the most common mistakes injured people make that can destroy their case, and threaten their family’s future. Get a free copy of our book today, and avoid making these costly mistakes.