Whether your doctor likes it or not, he or she is a key player in your personal injury case. An insurance company or jury is not just going to take your word for it when you claim to be injured. They are going to want proof. Your doctor can give them that proof. However, even with a doctor on your side, there are things that you may be doing to jeopardize your own case. In this post, we highlight those mistakes and provide suggestions for how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
The number one mistake that most personal injury victims make is failing to obtain immediate medical care. A lot of accident victims claim to be fine after an accident but then, two months down the road, experience excruciating back pain and crippling headaches. Unfortunately, the longer one waits to obtain medical care post-accident, the harder it is for him or her to prove that an injury was the result of the accident. If you are reading this and have yet to visit a doctor, call your healthcare provider today. Even if you are not in pain or do not think you are injured, an initial medical report can go a long way toward helping you recover compensation.
Mistake #2: Failing to Attend Follow-Up Appointments
If your doctor requests a follow-up appointment, it is for a reason. Maybe your doctor discovered an issue that he or she wants to keep an eye on, or maybe your doctor just wants to see how well you are improving. Whatever the case, if the opposing party sees that you missed an appointment, it will use that knowledge to claim that your injuries are not as serious as you claim them to be.
Mistake #3: Failing to Ensure Accurate Documentation of Your Injuries
Doctors are busy people and oftentimes they will use shorthand in their paperwork to discuss an injury. While this might work internally, it could pose a huge headache for a personal injury victim and his or her lawyer. If you have already filed or plan to file a personal injury claim, make sure that your doctor’s notes are thorough, accurate, and legible. Additionally, make sure they are detailed. Be as specific as possible regarding your symptoms, even if you think that one or more symptoms is insignificant. You never know what bit of information may end up saving your case.
Mistake #4: Failing to Take the Prescribed Medication
Worse than not attending a follow-up appointment is failing to take the prescribed medication. There is a reason that your doctor prescribed a certain medication for a particular time period; he or she believes that it will help. If you stop taking your medication without consulting with your doctor first, the insurance company or jury may assume that you are not actually injured. If your medication makes you sick, drowsy, sore, or all three, talk to your doctor about switching you to a different drug that comes without side effects but that is just as effective.
Mistake #5: Stopping Medical Treatment
If you stop medical treatment without the okay from your doctor, you might as well throw your claim out yourself. Even if you think a course of treatment is ineffective, or if you feel better and do not believe you need to waste more time on frequent medical visits, keep going.
At Capital Financing, we help accident victims fund everything from medical expenses to living expenses in the time between filing a claim and reaching a settlement. We also try to help victims maximize their compensation. If you want to learn more about what you can do to maximize your personal injury claim, check out our other articles or call our office today.