Five Tips for Talking to Your Doctor about Your Car Accident Injuries
After being involved in a car accident, you need to see your primary care physician or another doctor as soon as possible to get examined and to start treatment for any physical injuries that you may have suffered from the crash. Your treating physician can serve as an important resource in a legal claim to recover compensation for car accident injuries. However, to maximize your doctor’s ability to contribute to your claim, you should follow these five tips when talking to your doctor about your car accident injuries.
Give a Complete Medical History
Your doctor needs to have a full picture of your medical history before they begin treating you for injuries you suffered in a car accident. If you go to see your primary care physician who you have been treating with for years, they will likely already know your medical history. But if you go to see a doctor for the first time after a car accident, you need to make sure they take a detailed medical history. That way, your doctor can more accurately diagnose injuries and other medical conditions as having been caused by the car accident, rather than by something else.
If you fail to tell your treating physician about prior joint or back pain or prior injuries or surgeries, the fact that your doctor did not know about your medical history can later be used to discredit their medical opinions about the cause and severity of your car accident injuries.
Make Sure They Know You Are Seeing Them After a Car Accident
You should also ensure that your doctor knows that you are seeing them after having been involved in a car accident. If you come to the doctor’s office with specific complaints, you need to be clear that your pain or other symptoms began after a car accident, or that you believe your pain and symptoms are related to the accident.
In addition, it can also be helpful to provide your doctor with details that you remember about the crash, such as where your car was hit (e.g., rear-end collision, T-bone collision), where you were sitting in the vehicle, whether the airbags deployed, and whether any part of your body hit the inside of the passenger compartment or whether you were struck by any objects.
Don’t Minimize Your Symptoms and Complaints
Some people may be inclined to minimize their complaints and symptoms to their doctor, either because they don’t think their doctor will believe them, or they don’t want to be a “bother” to their doctor, or they think they need to “tough it ou.t” However, you should never withhold or minimize the pain or other symptoms you experience with your doctor. Don’t exaggerate symptoms, but do provide your honest subjective description of your condition and let your doctor make the determination about the type and severity of your injuries.
Understand Your Treatment Plan and Prognosis
After you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, you need to know what your treatment will involve and what your doctor expects for your prognosis at the end of your treatment plan. Make sure to ask your doctor about the treatment you are expected to undergo and what kind of recovery you are expected to make. This will not only help you prepare yourself physically and emotionally for the medical recovery process, but it will also help you begin to calculate your losses and expenses that you might seek financial compensation for in a car accident claim or lawsuit.
Confirm Whether You Still Can Work
Finally, you should ask your doctor about your ability to work. If your doctor diagnoses you with injuries from an accident, you should not return to full-time, unrestricted work if doing so would affect your recovery. Instead, you should ask your doctor whether you should go back to work with your injuries. If you can work, you also need to confirm whether you require any accommodations for your injuries, such as restrictions on lifting weight or standing, or restrictions on the number of hours you work.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys Today for Help in Pursuing Your Claim
If you have been hurt in a car crash that was caused by a negligent or reckless driver or other party, call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at 512-580-8334 or use our website’s contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation to speak with our car accident attorneys about your case. We can go over your legal rights and options after an accident and discuss what we can do to help you pursue fair and full financial recovery for your injuries.