What to Say to a Doctor After a Car Accident

patient speaking with his doctor

At Bourne Law Firm, we stress the significance of immediate medical attention following an accident, crucial for both your health and recovery and as a cornerstone in developing a robust legal case.

In car accident claims, your medical records serve as important evidence, corroborating the extent of your injuries, justifying your claims, and connecting the accident directly to your injuries.

Therefore, what you say to the doctor is very important. Follow these rules when seeing a doctor after a car accident.

1. Always Be Honest About Your Past Health with Your Doctor

When visiting your doctor after an accident, they will ask about your health history before the incident. They may also ask about any past injuries, especially if they affect the same body part injured in the recent accident. It's essential to tell the truth about your health history.

Doctors use your past medical information to diagnose and treat you. If you leave out details, it can affect the quality of care you receive. But, it can also also harm your legal case.

Once you make a legal claim, insurance companies and their lawyers will look into your health history before the accident. If you've had an injury to the same body part before, they will likely find out. Trying to hide a previous injury or forgetting to mention it to your doctor can lead to problems and harm your case.

On the other hand, clearly documenting that you aggravated an old injury will help your case. In Georgia, the 'eggshell plaintiff' principle acknowledges that the responsible party remains liable for damages, even if the accident aggravated a pre-existing condition.

We have handled numerous cases where our clients got great settlements for an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. However, to get fully compensated it is essential to go to the doctor as soon as practicable and document the aggravation.

Make sure to document every single body part that was injured!

For instance, we had a client who injured her hand when someone else ran a red light. The next day her knee was aching too, but she didn’t plan to see the doctor about her knee because it was an “old injury.” Thankfully, she consulted with us and reported the aggravation to her doctor soon after the accident. Because she acted quickly and reported the condition to her doctor, she was able to receive additional compensation and physical therapy for her aching knee.

2. The Need to Share Your Work Situation with Your Doctor

As you discuss your health status with your doctor, it's essential to mention any difficulties you're experiencing at work due to your injuries. Explain your job duties and highlight any tasks that have become challenging or impossible due to your condition. This information helps your doctor understand your practical situation and allows them to evaluate your need for work restrictions.

Work restrictions are essentially limitations or modifications recommended by a healthcare professional that impact how you perform your job, given your medical condition. These might involve limitations on the amount of weight you can lift, how long you can stand or sit, or even the mental tasks you can undertake.

Expressing your concerns about work-related difficulties with your doctor serves a dual purpose. First, it ensures you don't further harm yourself by attempting to perform tasks that might worsen your injuries. Second, work restrictions issued by your healthcare provider constitute valid proof that your injuries have hampered your ability to work, which becomes a crucial element in claiming lost wages.

3. Ask the doctor’s office to bill “med pay” if it is available.

Med Pay is an optional car insurance coverage in Georgia that pays for immediate and necessary medical services following a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. This can include ambulance fees, hospital care, surgery, X-rays, and even professional nursing services, among others. Med Pay is designed to pay medical expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

If you have Med Pay coverage, it's important to discuss this with your doctor or the billing office at your medical provider's practice. Often, they can bill your Med Pay directly, helping you avoid out-of-pocket costs at the time of treatment. This can streamline your billing process and allow you to focus on your recovery instead of financial matters.

However, remember that Med Pay limits often exist, which means your coverage only extends up to a certain amount. Ensure you're aware of your limit so you can manage your medical expenses accordingly.

4. Document your pain and disruptions in your daily activities

Your doctor can't know everything you're going through unless you tell them. It's crucial to be open about your pain and the disruptions to your daily life. Sharing these details allows them to understand the full extent of your injuries and the impact they are having on your life, which they can reflect in their medical notes.

When discussing your pain, it's essential to be specific and accurate. Don't shy away from articulating the nature of your discomfort, its intensity, and how it fluctuates throughout the day. Utilizing a pain scale of 1-10 can be beneficial in this regard, but it's important not to

exaggerate. For instance, a "10" on the pain scale should only be used to describe the most unbearable pain imaginable. Overstating your pain could potentially undermine your credibility and negatively impact your claim.

Similarly, detailing how the accident has affected your daily activities is significant. Whether it's challenges in performing your job, difficulties in carrying out household chores, inability to pursue hobbies, or disruptions in your sleep pattern, all these aspects contribute to painting a clear picture of how your life has been affected post-accident. Be frank and thorough in providing these details, as they will serve to substantiate your claim for compensation and underline the necessity for a fair settlement.

Dealing with an accident can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go through it alone. Our team is here to assist you, offering expertise and compassion at every step. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and need legal advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Bourne Law Firm. Your health and well-being are our top priorities, and we're committed to helping you navigate this challenging time. Remember, we're only a call away.

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We only represent people for injury or death that happened in Georgia. However, if you live in Georgia and the incident happened in another state, we may be able to represent you.

Our office is located in Cumming. Serving all of Georgia.