Getting medical treatment should be your first priority after a car accident.
Seeing a doctor ensures an accurate diagnosis of your injuries and their extent, a plan to help you heal and recover, and an official medical record proving when and how your injuries occurred that can come in handy if you decide to file an injury claim.
While you’re being treated, it’s important to know that what you say—and don’t say—can affect your chances of getting compensation later.
In this blog, we’ve got tips on how to talk to your doctor after a car accident to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Always Be Honest About Your Injuries
Honesty is always the best policy, including when you’re talking to your doctor after a car accident. That means telling him or her exactly how much pain you’re in, where you’re hurting, and how much your injuries are affecting your life.
Never exaggerate the severity of your injuries in the hopes that you may get more compensation. If the insurance company finds out you weren’t truthful about your injuries, it can jeopardize your claim. You also shouldn’t downplay your injuries, as doing so can result in you receiving less compensation than you’re truly owed.
Tell Your Doctor About Any Pre-Existing Injuries
It’s common for people who are hurt in car accidents to aggravate old injuries. Be sure to tell your doctor if you suspect that the car accident caused a pre-existing injury to flare up or worsen. You should also let him or her know about pre-existing injuries that weren’t affected by the car accident.
If you don’t tell your doctor about pre-existing injuries, he or she may attribute them to your crash. Insurance companies often look for evidence of pre-existing injuries when people file injury claims. If your insurer or the other driver’s insurer finds evidence that an injury you’re including in your claim happened before the crash (even if the crash aggravated it), but you didn’t tell your doctor, they may deny your claim.
Be Upfront About How Your Injuries Affect Your Ability to Work
Some car accident victims become physically incapable of working due to their injuries. For example, people who do manual labor may be unable to work at all if they break certain bones during their car accidents.
Other car accident victims may be incapable of working due to pain, even if they are physically capable of performing the motions required to do their jobs. It is also common for car crashes to cause chronic pain conditions, even after injuries have appeared to have healed. Never attempt to hide your pain levels and how they affect your ability to do your job, and never try to work through the pain. Pain is an important aspect of injury claims, and being honest about how your pain prevents you from working can make a big difference in how much money you may receive.
Discuss How the Crash Affected You Psychologically
In addition to your physical pain, it’s also important to discuss your mental and emotional pain. Many people who are injured in car accidents experience depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. These mental health issues can be just as disabling as broken bones and physical pain.
Even if your doctor is a general practitioner, it’s important that he or she knows how the crash is affecting you psychologically. Your doctor may be able to help you manage and recover from any mental health problems either by prescribing certain medications or by referring you to a mental health professional who can provide more specialized treatment.
Work Through Any Scheduling Conflicts for Appointments
Getting medical treatment after a car accident isn’t a one-and-done thing. People who are injured in car accidents often require weeks, months, or even years of treatment to fully recover. It’s likely that your doctor will ask you to come back for checkups and treatments for the foreseeable future after your initial visit.
It’s important to work with your doctor to ensure that you can make it to your appointments on time, and when you can’t, that you reschedule them ASAP. Insurance companies use missed appointments as evidence that victims aren’t as hurt as they claim, and that can lead to reductions in payouts or even denied claims.
Our Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help After a Crash
Your doctor is one of your most important resources after a car accident. Not only can they help you get on the road to recovery, but their diagnosis and treatments for your injuries also create valuable evidence to help you win your claim. But just as it’s important to have a good relationship with your doctor, it’s also important to build a relationship with a law firm you can trust.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work closely with our clients’ doctors to ensure they’re getting the best possible care and to get the medical records needed to build their claims. Trust our decades of experience and track record of success. We’ve helped countless Oklahomans get maximum compensation after car accidents, and now we want to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.