If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, your first step should be getting better as soon as possible. Seek medical attention right away after your injury and then follow up as needed to heal completely. Don’t think, “I’m fine, and try to shake it off.” You may have injuries that do not present until later which could be debilitating.
In addition, if you decide to file a personal injury claim, your treating doctor will be an important witness in proving your medical damages. It’s crucial to receive medical treatment from a qualified healthcare professional who has your best interests at heart: one who’s committed to your health and successful rehabilitation and who’s prepared to serve as an advocate on your behalf to the insurance company or in court.
Most folks worry that the medical treatment they need for an injury may be extensive and expensive. Also, they may have concerns that long-term medical care may also be necessary. Worrying about the cost and inconvenience of obtaining needed medical treatment will only prolong your successful recovery and rehabilitation, and could exacerbate your problems with unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Physicians typically draft office notes and reports for each patient’s visit at their office or in a hospital or clinic. Your healthcare providers will document every interaction they have with you, and every time they see you in the hospital. What the medical staff note can impact any legal action you may take. Whatever the doctor documents about your injury or condition is what the insurance company, defense attorney, judge, and jury will examine and use in making decisions about your damages recovery.
What you say to your doctor will impact what they write. As a result, unless you’re 100% recovered, never tell a doctor “I feel fine” or “I feel better.” Most of the time, such comments are followed by an “except ….” “You know doctor, I feel fine, except my left leg is still throbbing. I have no flexibility, and the pain keeps me awake all night.” If your physician has been treating this condition for some time, the odds are that his records will say, “Patient feels fine” or “patient improved.” But, you really aren’t. Plus, you’ve just created an obstacle for you and your attorney to overcome.
Get ready for your visit with your doctor, and consider how your injury or condition has been since you last saw them. You should tell him or her each of your complaints quickly and succinctly. Describe what triggers any pain and if it hurts after certain activities or at certain times of the day. Plus, you should be ready to give your healthcare team examples of things that your injuries have kept you from doing, or have made difficult to do, like walking, working, or other activities.
Don’t exaggerate. Just state your issue and don’t qualify it with “I’m fine.” That’s because you really aren’t fine unless or until your doctor says so.
Insurance companies will try every trick in the book to determine you weren’t injured to the extent your doctor says you are and that you’re exaggerating your claimed injuries. Or they’re say it wasn’t their insured’s fault and that it was your fault. An insurance company might also assert that you have prior medical conditions. If you wait to get medical treatment after an accident, they’ll use this to try to devalue your personal injury claim.
Resist the temptation to say “I’m better” or “I’m fine” if you aren’t.
When choosing a personal injury legal team, find one who’s compassionate and committed to your needs and goals. Call an experienced, empathetic litigator who will fight for your rights at Buchanan Firm. We offer a free consultation and will thoroughly listen and provide answers.
Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after hours, at home, or in the hospital to accommodate you.
Contact us today.