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What Do You Ask When Seeing a Doctor After an Accident?

What Do You Ask When Seeing a Doctor After an Accident?

Published by Programme B

Accidents happen. Oftentimes, survivors are in a state of shock following accidents and do not even notice pain or an injury. However, seeking medical attention as soon as possible following an accident is extremely important. Continue reading for a better idea of what needs to be discussed with a doctor after a collision.

  1. What injuries do I have and how will they affect my life?

When seeing a doctor after an accident, ask about the extent of injuries present because of the accident. Knowing the answer to this type of question will be vital to a personal injury case. Also, be sure to go to every follow-up appointment, as it could be detrimental to your case if you do not. 

  1. Could my injuries cause more severe or additional health problems in the future?

Sometimes, people do not fully heal from an injury. It is important to ask the doctor what long-term effects could come from an injury. Be on the lookout for future signs and symptoms, and always follow up immediately with a doctor. 

  1. What caused the injury?

It may seem obvious that the injuries were caused by an automobile accident. However, it is important to understand, specifically, how the injury was sustained. The doctor may be called upon as an expert witness in court, and while they cannot always give a definitive answer to why something happened, they can certainly give their expert opinion.

  1. When can I go back to work?

Taking time off of work is often a necessary part of the healing process, even if it seems like the injury is not severe. Returning to work earlier than recommended could make an injury worse and prolong the healing process. Always ask a doctor if it is safe to return to work or if additional time off is recommended. If the doctor recommends taking time off, ask for a written letter to provide the employer. This letter may be used later in a personal injury claim to demonstrate how your life was negatively affected by the accident. 

  1. May I have copies of my medical records?

It is always important to ask for copies of medical records. These will serve as documentation of the injuries sustained to be used in court, settlement proceedings, or negotiations with insurance companies. Typically these can be given out when asked, but occasionally a more formal request form, complete with signature, is required. Regardless of the requirements involved, it is imperative to have copies of these records. 

  1. What do you need to know about my medical history?

It’s very important to fill a doctor in on medical history prior to the accident. Doctors rely on history to diagnose and treat patients. Providing only partial history will keep a doctor from reaching an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. If you try to hide prior information, lawyers for the other side may research and then discredit your claim. Always be honest about medical conditions. 

  1. Don’t talk to the doctor about legal issues.

Most doctors want to treat patients, not deal with lawyers. If a doctor asks a question, be honest. But, in general, leave the legal aspects of the injury to the lawyer and the medical aspects to the doctor.

Getting medical care is one of the first things to do when you’ve been in an accident. Be careful to ask all the right questions to make sure your case is as strong as it can be. 

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