Your life can be turned upside down after a car accident. You’re likely to be without transportation, without guidance on insurance coverage for your injuries, and out of work without the funds to seek medical treatment. Despite the obstacles you face, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately. Most importantly, seeing a doctor immediately after a car accident protects your health. Seeking immediate medical treatment for your injuries also helps set up the foundation you must have to be fairly compensated for your car accident claim. Once you’ve established a treatment plan with a physician, the next step to receiving fair compensation for your injuries is to ask your doctor the right questions, including the severity of your injuries and how long you’re going to be out of work.
These are the top 5 questions you must ask your doctor:
What injuries do I have and how severe are they?
If your injuries from a car accident are not visibly apparent and do not show up on initial X-ray imaging taken at the emergency room, it could take days or weeks for your doctor to give you a full assessment. At your initial visit, ask your doctor to explain all of the injuries you have, the severity of your injuries, and what potential injuries/complications they will be monitoring you for moving forward. This may not only help build your case, but also help prevent an exacerbation of your injuries. Tell your doctor as much information as you can about the collison and your health so they can make the best assessment possible.
Could this injury have been caused by the wreck?
Your doctor’s medical opinions could play a direct role in your personal injury case after getting injured in a car accident. Keep notes on what caused your injuries in order to prevent an insurance company from insinuating that your injuries were caused by something unrelated to your car accident. It’s important that the doctor notes that your injuries were likely caused by the car wreck.
How will my injuries affect me in the future?
Sadly, some injuries will last a lifetime. Ask your doctor if any of your injuries will have long-term effects on your health, both directly and indirectly. A foot injury may impact the way you walk and could affect your legs and lower back in the long run. Find out what treatments and/or medications are available to keep your pain and suffering to a minimum.
Will I be able to work?
A quick return to work could exacerbate your injuries. After a thorough assessment, discuss how long you will be out of work and what types of activities you should avoid during your recovery. Doctor’s notes that establish how much time you need off of work can help when seeking damages for missing work. They would be critical for worker’s compensation or disability cases.
Can I have a copy of my medical records?
When you’re dealing with a personal injury case, maintaining a file of your medical records and billing is helpful. Ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records, which may be provided directly or through a formal request. This includes records of tests, X-rays, long-term care plans, medications and referrals. Our firm can order all of these records and related billing, however, it can expedite the process if you utilize your rights to obtain copies of your medical records and bills directly from your doctor.
Another benefit of obtaining your records directly from your doctor as soon as possible is that, in the event that your medical records contain inaccurate information, you can immediately ask the doctor to revise your records. Getting these records yourself can also save you money. Doctors often do not charge the patient for obtaining copies of his or her personal medical records. If the related records and/or billing are requested by an attorney, there will absolutely be a fee. For information on the expense of obtaining medical records after a car accident in Tennessee, see T.C.A. 63-2-102: Costs of reproduction, copying or mailing of records.