9 Mistakes People Make When Seeing Doctors After an Accident

July 31, 2023Kolton Opdahl
Auto AccidentsInjuries

In today’s blog we will discuss the 9 mistakes people make when seeing doctors after an accident. Personal Injury Claims are unfamiliar territory for many people. Because of this, there are hiccups that a lot of people run into. Today we discuss 9 of the most common mistakes people make when seeking medical care after an accident.

It’s essential to understand that any information you provide or actions you take during a medical appointment will likely be documented. This makes it crucial to be entirely truthful and not deceive your healthcare provider. Make sure to not use these 9 mistakes people make when seeing doctors after an accident.

Mistake #1: Waiting to See a Doctor

Delaying medical treatment after an incident can lead defense lawyers to argue that your symptoms are exaggerated, and insurance companies may question the severity of your injuries. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Even if you don’t experience immediate symptoms, as it can improve your case outcome and help identify any internal injuries.

On the other hand, make sure you don’t hire a lawyer before taking a trip to visit the doctor. This could give the jury the wrong idea – that your legal claim is a bigger priority over your health. 

Mistake #2: Missing Medical Appointments

Insurance companies and lawyers are able to see whenever you skip a doctor’s appointment because it will be noted on your medical records. This is the perfect opportunity for them to claim that:

  • You’re not really hurt as bad as you say
  • You don’t care about your health / getting better

On top of this, your medical provider may feel like you aren’t committed to your treatment plan. Not to mention it can be irritating if you’re constantly late or not showing up to your scheduled appointments. Don’t be this person! You want to work with your doctors, not against them. Try your utmost best to be proactive and punctual, and show up to every single appointment. If you can’t make one of your appointments for some reason, call the office as soon as possible to reschedule. Your doctor will need to document and explain any lapses in care.

9 mistakes people make when seeing doctors after an accident

Mistake #3: Not Sticking to the Facts

It can be hard to remember every detail of a car accident, especially if it happened quickly and unexpectedly. At any point when you’re asked about the accident, stick to the things you know for sure to be true. Even if you know that the other driver was completely at fault, you must still choose your words very carefully. For example, if you’re asked specific questions such as:

“How fast was the other car going when they hit you?”

DO NOT guess. Unless you are certain, never tell them a random speed. Many car accident victims unintentionally overestimate how fast the other car was going upon impact. This can cause juries and insurance companies to question your credibility and leave room for contradiction. Remember, it’s okay to simply respond with “I don’t know,” or “I don’t remember.”

Mistake #4: Not Being Honest about Health History

As we briefly mentioned earlier, honesty is the best thing you can bring to the table at your visits. Expect them to ask questions about your physical state prior to the accident, along with general medical history. When disclosing these details, make sure to include as many details as possible. Doctors cannot diagnose you conditions 100% accurately you if they have inaccurate or missing information. Remember that lawyers will analyze everything including pre-accident medical records up to the current date. Please don’t try to cover up any injuries. The best outcome for you (big settlement and no pain or long term conditions) happens when you give your doctor all the information they need.

Mistake #5: Talking to Your Doctor About Legal Cases

Keep the legalities of the auto accident and medical side separate. Talk about the legal side with your attorney and the medical treatment with your doctor. Most doctors don’t want to be involved in legal claims. Who can blame them? Most doctors chose to become a doctor to treat patients, not to be interrogated by lawyers or asked to testify in court for a case. It is not necessary for you to tell your doctor about the details surrounding your legal claim or lawsuits. Should your doctor approach and ask questions about your legal claim, you can answer them. However, if you don’t know the answer or are unsure how to respond refer them to your attorney.

9 mistakes people make when seeing doctors after an accident

Mistake #6: Not Telling Your Doctor About Your Pain

This ties into the honesty factor. Many people don’t want to sound dramatic or give others the impression that they are a complainer. This leads to refrain from discussing the full extent of their injuries, boundaries, and limitations. If you don’t speak up about your injury, then there will be no official medical documentation of it. Unfortunately, insurance companies and lawyers are also not going to believe that you are in pain just because you say you are. They want records and documentation to prove it. 

Additionally, you may be assessed on progress throughout your assigned treatment plan. It is crucial that you’re honest about your experience. If you haven’t improved or have gotten worse, notify your doctor quickly. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on. Don’t try to tough it out or wait for the injury to get better on its own. In fact, worsening symptoms is a sure sign to call your doctor for a re-evaluation.

Mistake #7: Not Cooperating With Your Doctor

If you were in an auto accident, chances are you may be referred to a medical provider that you have never seen before. Doctor-patient relationships are very important, but unfortunately there are instances where you may not always get along with your doctor. Especially a new one who you haven’t had time to build trust with yet.

In the circumstance that you don’t care for your  doctor, it’s still important to cooperate with their instructions. Asking questions is definitely encouraged and appreciated. Please don’t blatantly ignore your provider. If your provider prescribes you a medication that doesn’t work or has adverse effects on your health, talk to them immediately. It’s a common mistake for people to completely stop taking medication without consulting their doctor first. You never want to admit that you voluntarily chose not to follow your doctor’s plan.

Also, remember that anything negative you say to your medical provider has the potential to end up on your chart. Insurance company lawyers will use anything they can to portray you as a poor patient.

Mistake #8: Stopping Treatment Too Early

Beware: Refusing to continue receiving treatment will give insurance companies the impression that your injury is healed. Our advice is to stay committed to your treatment plan until you’ve reached the maximum medical improvement. Find out the specifics on when you can call your doctor (if needed) following the completion of treatment. 

Mistake #9: Not Keeping Documentation

Your lawyer needs to know every medical provider that you visit after an injury. Along with each of the doctor orders & referrals. You will also want other records given by insurance companies. This is good preparation because your lawyer will be able to collect all the necessary documents when the time comes.  

Thanks for reading today’s blog: The 9 Mistakes People Make When Seeing Doctors After an Accident.

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