Seeing a Doctor After Car Accident
One of the first things that you should do is go to a Doctor after car accident. You need injuries evaluated and a treatment plan created by the Doctor. But getting all the information to the Doctor is extremely important. And it can make or break a personal injury case.
Filling in Forms at Doctor After Car Accident
One of the most key pieces of evidence in a personal injury case is the initial questionnaire you fill out at that first appointment. You typically complete these forms by hand.
The importance is when a physician paraphrases something in his records, the patient (you) can explain that it was not exactly what you meant or said. Generally, the physician will agree that they are not quoting verbatim what the patient (you) is telling them.
In a hand drafted questionnaire, however, it is difficult to explain that what was written was anything other than what you wrote. The more you have to explain a medical record means something else, the more the jury and an insurance company will use that against you.
The patient is usually stuck with that initial explanation of:
- how the accident occurred
- if you were wearing a seatbelt
- whether you had prior injuries to the same area before
- if you have ever seen a chiropractor before
- whether you have ever had MRIs before
Be Honest About Prior Accidents
In every case, being honest with the physician about your pre-existing condition will help your case. Most physicians will recognize that an injury on top of a prior injury, is still an injury.
A surefire way to torpedo your own personal injury case is to hide a preexisting injury. If a doctor documents that you have a new injury and that there were no prior injuries, and then they find out later there were injuries – it will cause problems. Finding out later there was a prior injury you did not disclose, will render the initial findings moot. The doctors’ initial diagnosis and opinions will become useless.
For Example, if you have had an MRI, chances are very high, you would remember having an MRI. If you had prior treatment for neck pain following a prior car accident you should remember that. If you then mark “none” for prior injuries, the defense will see this as being deceitful. Defense attorneys will make sure to highlight this to a jury or judge, and it can hurt your case.
Always, list everything at the beginning. If a body part heals and has no further concerns, it will only come across as more legitimate. In turn, it will help bolster the remaining complaints.
Describing the Accident
Another area is the explanation of how the accident occurred. The rule is ‘less is more’. When explaining the accident in forms and talking to the Doctor, keep it brief.
For example, “I was at a light and got rear-ended”, or “the other car pulled out in front of me”, etc.
List Everywhere it Hurts
It is also important to document each and every area affected by the accident initially. If you fail to mention your shoulder at your initial visit, then go see a doctor three weeks later about your shoulder, it will be difficult for them to link it to your accident. Your doctor (and the insurance company) will wonder why it was never mentioned. Both will have a difficult time linking the new injury to your accident. Trying to do this can be fatal to your case.
Make Sure You Get Professional Help
Accidents are traumatic enough. Not knowing that you should have said more or should have said less through the process can have a profound effect on your case. Seeing a Doctor after a car accident is important in more ways than one.
Make sure that you seek out an experienced Jacksonville Auto Accident attorney. They will be able to guide you through the process.
The Personal Injury Attorneys at Harris Guidi Rosner, have proven track records. They can help you through the process. This way you will have the best chance to heal, be made whole and move on with your life. Call today for a free no obligation consultation.