Telling a Doctor About Your Injuries After a Car Crash

doctors around a patientThere are many types of injuries accident victims may suffer during a car crash. Unfortunately, not all of them are visible. Seeking medical care immediately is a vital part of protecting your health. However, how you describe your symptoms is also a key factor in helping you get the right treatment sooner. Time is often a critical component when you suffer a severe injury in a car crash.

Not sure what do to after a car crash that causes you harm? The licensed attorneys at Anderson & Cummings are ready to help. Call our firm to discuss your situation and learn if you may have legal options.

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Should You Accept Treatment at the Crash Scene?

EMTs at the crash scene are trained to look for and recognize injuries. Accepting this treatment can help you get transported to a nearby hospital faster. With many injuries, getting treated sooner can have a significant impact on your ability to recover.

Another reason to accept treatment at the crash scene is that your body is still in shock. This can mask pain and also your ability to make decisions. You could have sustained serious internal injuries in the crash. Even though you do not see a visible wound, you may have internal bleeding or serious head trauma.

Does the Doctor Need to Know Details About Your Car Crash?

It can provide insight to your doctor to know that you were in a crash. It may also be helpful to inform the doctor 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 types of critical details, however, you should not discuss the details of the crash any more than that.

Details your doctor does not need to know, for example, include:

  • Guesses about how fast you or the other vehicle were going
  • Whether you feel guilty for any reason about the crash
  • If you wish you had braked sooner or done something differently to avoid the crash

These types of statements could end up in the doctor’s notes and they are not helpful to your car crash claim. If the insurance company learns about these statements, they can use them against you to devalue or deny your claim.

In short, stick to critical points about the crash that have an impact on your injuries, not on actions related to fault for the collision. Crash scene investigators and first responders will make those determinations. You may feel guilty about a crash even if you did not cause it.

Does it Matter How You Describe Your Injuries to the Doctor?

Absolutely. Being specific in describing your symptoms, no matter how small, can often provide useful insight to your treating doctor. For instance, saying you have a headache may be true, but it does not tell the whole story. Describing your pounding headache, along with having nausea and sensitivity to light and noise could indicate a concussion.

In short, when telling your doctor about your injuries, be as specific and detailed as possible:

  • Where you hurt – Back of your head, down your leg, in your chest, etc.
  • Type of pain – Stabbing, pounding, shooting, burning
  • Degree of pain – mild to unbearable
  • Numbness or tingling in any extremities (arms, legs, etc.)
  • Do you have any dizziness, balance or vertigo issues?
  • Are you feeling nauseous or have you vomited? If so, when did it start and how many times did you throw up?
  • Did you hit your head, eyes or face?
  • Can you close your teeth together?
  • Are you experiencing flashes of light in your eyes, blurry vision, or a curtain-like shadow impairing your vision? – These symptoms could indicate a retinal detachment, which is very common if you strike your face or eyes on something hard during the crash.

Describing your symptoms specifically can help your doctor better determine your injuries and what diagnostic testing you may need.

What if I Have Preexisting Injuries or Other Medical Conditions?

It is extremely important to be completely upfront with your doctor about any preexisting injuries or medical conditions you have. If you previously hurt your back, for example, your crash could aggravate that old injury and make it worse. It is also critical that you tell your doctor about any medications you are taking.

You may be worried that telling your doctor about a preexisting injury or medical condition could harm a potential claim. However, covering these things up is far worse. The insurance company will find out when they review your medical records and use it against you to cast doubt on your credibility. It is better to be honest about everything throughout your medical treatment and the legal process.

Injured in a Crash? Call Our Trusted Law Firm to Discuss Your Situation

Trying to figure out how to handle things after a car crash is extremely overwhelming. This is especially true if you suffered any physical harm as a result of the crash, especially if you sustained severe injuries.

Learn how our experienced vehicle accident attorneys in Fort Worth may be able to help. Call for a free case review anytime, night or day. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we manage your case. We only get paid if you do.

Millions recovered for our clients. Call (817) 920-9000 today.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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