After being involved in a car crash, there are some details injury victims should never discuss with their doctors. Doing so could irreversibly damage a claim.
The top priority is seeking medical care for your injuries without delay. Your doctor needs critical details about where you may have been hurt, along with symptoms you are having to help ensure you get treated quickly.
At Anderson Cummings, we can guide you on the details your doctor should know and which ones are best left unsaid because they could put your injury case at risk.
Injured in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence? Contact our law offices anytime, night or day to find out about your legal options. An experienced Fort Worth auto accident lawyer is ready to help. This initial consultation is completely free, and if we represent you, there are also no upfront costs or fees.
Mistakes Victims Make With Doctors After a Car Crash
It is helpful for your doctor to know that you were in a crash. It may also be helpful to inform him or her about certain aspects of the crash. For instance, it could help if the doctor knows you had a crash while traveling in a small car. A larger vehicle gives more protection, so your injuries might be worse if you were in a smaller, lighter car.
You may also want to say what type of crash you were involved in. The damages from a head-on crash, for instance, are often different from those sustained in a rear-end collision.
Beyond these and other critical details, you should discuss your injuries with your doctor. However, there are many other things you should avoid doing with doctors after a crash.
What Should Crash Victims Avoid Doing With Doctors?
It is good if victims are thinking about the right way to manage an injury claim after a crash. However, there are many mistakes victims should avoid when dealing with doctors after a crash, including:
Not Seeking Medical Care Right Away
There are many reasons victims should see a doctor right after a crash. The most important reason is that it can help to ensure you receive the medical care you need as soon as possible. With certain types of injuries, such as a head or brain injury, delaying getting medical care could be life-altering or even fatal.
Skipping Multiple Follow-up Appointments
Missing scheduled appointments can seriously damage your car crash claim. While you may have a good reason for missing an appointment or two, the insurance company does not look favorably on injured victims who are not trying to get better.
Stopping your treatment before the doctor discharges you is as bad as skipping your follow-up treatments. Doing either of these things gives the insurance company the chance to say you are not hurt as badly as you say. If you say you have severe injuries but fail to follow up with your medical care, it casts doubt on your credibility. Once your credibility is damaged, your claim could be significantly reduced, and in some cases, completely denied.
Failing to complete your treatment could also cause your injuries to worsen. This can make it harder or even impossible for you to fully recover.
Not Taking Prescribed Medication
Medication your doctor prescribes could help you to manage pain. It may also be to help prevent infection while open wounds are healing. If you have a valid reason, such as an allergy, to medication your doctor has prescribed to you, you should speak to him or her to discuss alternative options.
Lying About Your Medical History
Many crash victims may have preexisting medical conditions or prior injuries. Very often, victims may be afraid to mention these medical issues to the doctor or even their attorney. They may even lie and say they were not previously injured. This is another bad idea. The attorney for the at-fault party has a right to request relevant medical records. This means even if you do not mention a preexisting injury, they will find out about it anyway.
It is much better for your attorney to know about any preexisting injuries or medical health issues. When your attorney is fully informed about anything to do with your case, he or she can better prepare. If caught off guard, however, it is harder to do damage control.
Failing to Tell Your Doctor How Your Injuries Affect Your Daily Life
Just like there are things you do not want in your medical records, there are also details that can help your case. For instance, being honest about the amount of pain your injuries are causing you. You should also say whether your injuries are causing you limitations. Some examples might include:
- Not being able to bathe or go to the toilet without help
- Being unable to sleep because of the amount of pain
- Having to hire someone to take care of your laundry and other housework
- Paying someone to mow your lawn because you can no longer do it
- Not being able physically or emotionally to relate to family members due to pain
- And more
The damages you recover in a car crash claim should include pain and suffering damages, along with economic damages, such as medical costs or lost wages.
Discussing Crash Details With Your Doctors – a Big Mistake
Your doctor needs to know general things about how you got injured, such as if you were rear-ended. This can help him or her have a better idea of the type of injuries you might have sustained. However, giving unrelated details about your crash can hurt your claim. Your doctor puts notes in your medical records, including the details of what you say to him or her.
For example, telling your doctor that you feel sorry about what happened could be transcribed in your medical records that you feel you were to blame in some way. Since the insurance company will see these medical records, they may try to use your words to shift some or all of the blame for the crash to you.
More examples of details your doctor does not need to know:
- Guesses about how fast you or the other vehicle were going
- Whether you feel you could have done something to avoid the crash
- If you wish you had braked sooner or had both hands on the steering wheel
Any statements you make are likely to end up in the doctor’s notes, and they are not helpful to your car crash claim.
In short, stick to critical points about the crash that have an impact on your injuries, not on actions related to fault. Crash scene investigators and first responders will assess who caused the crash. You may feel guilty about a crash even if you did not cause it.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Situation After a Car Crash
At Anderson Cummings, we have your best interests in mind. Like you, we want the maximum possible compensation for your damages, and we are ready to work hard on your behalf.
Our firm has recovered over $100 million in compensation for our clients, this is solid proof that we know what is needed to build a strong case. Contact us anytime, night or day to get started with a free case review. There is no obligation to do anything. There are also no upfront costs to pay. We only get paid if we win your case.