Don't Make These Errors When Seeking Medical Treatment After an Auto Wreck
There are many important things to remember after being injured in a car accident. One of the most vital is when you file a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company, you need to show his or her fault in causing your crash and the extent of your injuries.
Your medical records and the expert opinion of a doctor or another care provider are essential for proving the seriousness of your injuries, treatments you need, your prognosis, and your damages.
Did you also know that your actions will also help prove—or disprove—how seriously you were injured? Even though common sense says this is true, many car accident victims forget this and make mistakes on how they handle their medical care. Here, we discuss some common errors to avoid.
Mistakes Not to Make When Dealing With Your Doctor
When you're being treated for injuries after a car accident, keep in mind that everything you say to the doctor, nurse, or aide, as well as your actions, will be recorded in your medical records. The insurance company obtains your medical records as part of their investigation of the claim. If you're making any of the mistakes listed to below, you're giving an insurance representative a legitimate reason to raise questions about the severity of your injuries.
Here are mistakes you should avoid:
- Not seeking immediate treatment. When you don't see a doctor soon after your crash, you raise questions about whether the collision or another incident caused your injuries. Also, you jeopardize your health, because symptoms of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and other serious conditions may not be immediately apparent.
- Dishonesty. You need to be completely honest with your doctor about any prior injuries to the same body part injured in the accident, the pain you're experiencing, and your limitations. When you exaggerate or are untruthful, the doctor and the driver’s insurance company will discover this, and you've jeopardized your credibility and the value of the claim.
- Skipping follow-up care. It's important to go to all of your doctor’s appointments and follow your doctor’s advice regarding your treatment. If you do the opposite, your doctor will be less sympathetic to your claim and a less helpful witness. In addition, if an adjuster sees notes in your medical file that you missed appointments, had gaps in treatment, or didn't follow your doctor’s advice, he or she might use these factors to deny or reduce the claim when negotiating with your attorney.
- Improper documentation. It can be hard to remember all the doctor’s appointments you went to, the treatments you received, and the medications that you took if you don't keep documentation of this information. It's important to do this in an organized fashion so you can provide it to your attorney if necessary and use it to refresh your memory when preparing for a deposition or testifying at trial.
Were you or a family member injured in a car accident due to a negligent party's actions? Let me help you investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, file your claim, and negotiate your settlement so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. I offer a free consultation to discuss your case and legal options. To schedule your appointment, call my office today.
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