The Injured Victim Does Not Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, or another type of accident which has caused you harm, then you as the victim are always responsible for proving that you were injured in the particular incident. Insurance companies and juries often believe that if you aren't hurt badly enough to seek immediate medical attention, you aren't hurt badly enough to deserve compensation. Rest assured, the validity of your injuries will be challenged by the defense at every turn.
Don't ignore signs of pain, even small ones, as such signs are often indicative of a more serious injury. If you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to ask the police for an ambulance and to be transported to the hospital. See a doctor as soon as possible, as minor injuries can always get worse, and often do. You don't want the first words the insurance attorney says to the jury to be, "He didn't even see a doctor for two weeks."
The Injured Victim Does Not Tell The Truth To Their Own Doctor
A doctor will usually ask if you had any injury or sickness BEFORE your current
problem. It is important to be honest when answering this type of question. Doctors use past medical history to diagnose and treat you. Providing incomplete or inaccurate information can impact the quality of the medical care you receive. Concealing prior injury or sickness from your doctor will also hurt your legal case. If you provide your doctors with incomplete or inaccurate information, their medical opinions could be rejected by insurance companies and juries. The same advice goes for describing the accident. Don't tell your doctor the car was "totaled" if it was only scratched. The insurance company's attorney will destroy your credibility with that contradiction.
Keep in mind that an injury does not have to be 'fresh' to be compensated. Pain from an old injury that was reactivated can be as painful, if not more, than the original injury caused.
The Injured Victim Asks The Doctor For Legal Advice
A doctor's job is to focus on your medical condition, and help you heal. In order to do that job, a doctor does not have to know about your lawsuit or your lawyer. Sharing your legal issues or concerns with a medical care provider should be unnecessary. Most doctors do not want to be involved in a lawsuit. If you tell a doctor he or she is treating an injury that is the subject of a lawsuit, it could impact the willingness of your doctor to provide treatment or reach important conclusions. Remember that whatever you say in confidence to a doctor is not confidential at all once you file a personal injury claim.
The Injured Victim Fails To Attend Follow Up Doctor Appointments
Once you claim injuries in a lawsuit, you put your medical records will be released to the insurance company. Insurance companies and juries get to see your medical records. When you skip a medical appointment, your record just says "no show" Excuses - no matter how valid - usually do not make it into the record. Such entries could make it look like you were not committed to getting better. Skipping medical appointments or showing up late could also irritate your doctor. Irritated doctors do not make good witnesses for their patients. If you need to cancel - call in advance and reschedule. You don't want the insurance company's lawyer saying, "It must not have hurt that much, he didn't even show up for his appointments," or "he would have recovered from this injury if he had just gone to the doctor when he should have."
Injured Victims Fail To Help Get Their Injuries Documented Accurately
Insurance companies and juries will not believe that you are in pain just because you say so. They need to read about your pain in your medical records. When insurance companies and juries review your records, they will be looking to see how soon you reported pain after an injury and how long you continued to report that pain. One effective way to help make sure your specific pain and limitations do make their way into a busy doctor's chart is to write it out beforehand and give it to him at your office visit. How your injury has impacted your everyday life is important- being unable to negotiate stairs, or kneel at church, or perform your job, are matters that you should make known. You should keep a copy of what you hand to your doctor for yourself, and also make sure your attorney gets a copy.
The Injured Victim Fails To Tell The Doctor of The Inability To Work
Insurance companies and juries will not believe that your injury affects your ability to work
just because you say so. If your injury is affecting your ability to work, it is important to
mention such a problem to your doctor. Again, keeping notes that you give to the doctor at your office visits can be a good idea. Additionally, your insurance company may not fully compensate you for your lost wages unless your doctor fully documents your medical inability to work.
The Injured Victim Fails To Take Medication Prescribed By Their Doctor
There is a reason why doctors prescribe a particular type of medication for a particular time period. You should follow your doctor's recommendation until your doctor tells you
something different. If you think a medication is making your muscles ache or your stomach hurt, say so; side effects are not rare, and your doctor can usually switch you to another drug that will be just as effective. Don't put yourself in the position where you have to admit that you chose not to follow your doctor's advice. This can be devastating to your claim.
The Injured Victim Stops Medical Treatment
Insurance companies and juries often believe if a person stops receiving medical treatment for an injury, the injury must be healed. They also believe that significant gaps between treatments suggest that you healed from one injury and must have suffered a new one unrelated to the first. If you have an injury that is affecting your ability to function, you should seek medical treatment until you are healed or until a doctor tells you that there is nothing more that can be done to improve your condition. If you are still suffering and your doctor tells you to "come back as needed" or "call me if you have any problems," you should ask how long you should wait to call if you continue to have the same level of pain and disability. Keep in mind you may not be able to be completely cured from your injury. However, you should continue to treat until you reach your maximum medical improvement. And once you do, you should try to maintain that level of health.
Injured Victims Do Not Address Their Depression and Anxiety
Often pain and/or disability can trigger depression and anxiety. Psychological conditions like depression and anxiety are just as real as broken bones. They cannot be overcome without appropriate treatment. A person who causes another person physical injury is also responsible for resulting psychological conditions. Insurance companies and juries usually only compensate victims of injury-related depression and anxiety if those conditions are properly diagnosed and treated by medical professionals.
Injured Victims Fail To Keep A File
It is important that your lawyer knows every medical care provider that you see after an
injury. It is also important that you keep track of all doctor orders, treatment referrals and/or work restrictions. Keeping a file of all materials provided to you by health care providers and insurance companies will ensure that you can provide all necessary information to your lawyer at the appropriate time. In turn, your lawyer will be able to present your injury case to the insurance company in a way that maximizes your recovery and compensates you for all of your injuries, not just some.