Doctors can only treat the ailments they know about, which is why it is important to be thorough when meeting with a doctor to discuss health issues. This is particularly important after being injured in a car crash. The symptoms and injuries you tell your doctor about will be noted in your medical records, which helps to connect those injuries to the accident.
Victims often fail to disclose minor symptoms to their doctors. Victims think the symptoms must not be that serious so there is no need to say anything to the doctor. Unfortunately, if you wait to report an injury, the insurance company is going to try to use this against you to deny or undervalue your claim.
Below, our licensed Lake Charles car accident attorneys discuss the importance of being thorough when talking to your doctor about your injuries. It is also important to keep your doctor updated on new or worsening symptoms. Waiting to report these things could draw out your recovery and potentially hurt the value of your claim.
Talking About Your Injuries
It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. That way doctors can assess and stabilize your injuries to try to prevent them from worsening. Without treatment, injuries can get much more severe, and your recovery could take longer.
There are situations when an untreated injury can be life-threatening. For example, if you hit your head in the crash, you may have suffered a brain injury. A brain bleed could cause permanent damage to your brain or result in death. This may be particularly true if you wait too long to seek treatment.
If you do not go to the doctor, there may be swelling in your brain, depriving it of oxygen. This could lead to permanent brain damage. Sometimes a brain bleed can take days or weeks to cause symptoms.
That is why it is important not to ignore a head injury or other injuries you may have suffered in the crash. Make sure to inform your doctor about body parts that got hit during the crash, even if you do not see a bruise or feel severe symptoms.
Keep your doctors informed about all symptoms you are experiencing:
- Are you struggling to move an arm or leg?
- Do you have a headache?
- Do you feel dizzy or confused?
- Does your back or neck hurt?
- Do you have a limited range of motion in your neck?
- Have you been feeling nauseous?
If you were dealing with any injuries or preexisting medical issues prior to the crash, make sure to tell the doctor. He or she can determine if these issues were made worse by the crash. This helps to differentiate between preexisting injuries and new injuries.
The insurance company will try to use an existing injury against you to downplay your claim. That is why it is so important to have a doctor differentiate between new and old injuries. This can make it more difficult for the insurance company to pin all your symptoms on a preexisting injury.
Discussing the Crash
It can be helpful to tell the doctor what you remember about the crash, as this could give the doctor clues about the types of injuries you suffered.
- Were you jostled around during the crash?
- Did you hit your head?
- Were you rear-ended?
- Were you wearing your seat belt?
- Do you know how fast you were going at the time of impact?
Make sure not to exaggerate what happened. There is no need for this, and it could affect your credibility as you seek compensation. If you say something that is later proven to be false or proven to be a wild exaggeration, your claim may be denied. The insurance company may also dramatically undervalue your claim, saying your injuries are not that serious.
You can simply state the type of crash and where it happened. If you are unsure about other details, there is no need to get into them.
Keeping Your Doctor Informed Throughout Your Treatment
Discussing all your injuries with your doctor after the crash is just as important as keeping your doctor informed about the progress of your treatment. If your injuries get worse or treatment is working, make sure to inform your doctors. This allows them to update your medical record, helping to validate your injuries and link them to the crash.
You need to demonstrate you are trying to get better. This helps to prove you have significant injuries that require treatment. If you stop treatment or do not follow the doctor’s orders, the insurance company will claim you are not really injured and do not need very much compensation.
It is understandable that you may need to reschedule some appointments. Make sure to attend the rescheduled appointment. You should also keep your lawyer informed about these things. That way he or she is prepared for the insurance company to bring this up.
Your attorney can give you more tips on how to strengthen your claim and protect it from the insurance company’s attempts to downplay it.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat for Help Following a Car Crash
Did you know many car crash victims who hire attorneys recover more compensation than those who do not hire attorneys?
Insurance companies know this, which is why they often discourage crash victims from talking to an attorney. Unfortunately, many crash victims take the insurance company’s word for it.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we offer a free legal consultation to discuss your legal options and there are no upfront fees. Despite what insurers may say, our goal is to get you the maximum compensation. We have a proven track record of recovering compensation for our clients.
Contact us today to learn more. No upfront fees: (337) 984-8020.