What Should I Discuss with My Doctor After a Car Accident?
Being involving in a car accident is not an easy experience, especially if you or someone you love has been injured. While it can be helpful to collect as much information as you can for later use in a potential personal injury case, the most important thing to focus on following a wreck is your health. While some victims may receive medical attention at the scene of a crash, others may not. In either scenario, it is still vital to seek a timely medical evaluation or a follow-up visit with your doctor.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, our award-winning personal injury lawyers are committed to helping injured victims across West Palm Beach and the state of Florida from the very moment they reach out to our firm for help. While this assistance entails thorough case evaluations, independent investigations into a crash, and diligence in crafting effective claims, it also consists of providing the support and resources victims need during difficult times.
As such, we help guide and assist our clients in obtaining the necessary medical evaluations and treatment they need to begin their recoveries, all while we focus on the nuts and bolts of their legal case. Although we are readily available to help, we do understand that many victims are simply not sure of the next steps to take. Even if you or a loved are not sure about speaking with a lawyer just yet, you should still be intent on seeking medical attention as soon as you can. When you do, keep the following in mind:
- Your accident – When seeking a medical evaluation following any type of auto wreck, you want to provide your doctor with as much information as possible about the collision. Doing so can aid them in determining what to look for, what types of injuries may be present, and how to begin an assessment. Was your vehicle rear-ended? Did you hit your head? Did you lose consciousness? These are the types of questions you may receive, so it is best to come prepared and discuss anything you can remember about the crash. Remember, some injuries may not present themselves immediately after an accident, and by discussing the type of crash you were involved in, a doctor can look for common injuries you may have otherwise been unaware of or did not think were very serious.
- Your symptoms and injuries – In addition to discussing what occurred in a collision, you will want to openly discuss your injuries, that you are aware of, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing. While you may think certain symptoms indicate a certain condition or a condition that you believe is not serious, a doctor will have a better perspective on their underlying cause and severity. Discussing symptoms and injuries can also help medical professionals determine which diagnostic tools to use in order to rule out more serious issues, such as MRIs, create plans for treatment, or refer you to the necessary specialists.
- Your Prognosis – When discussing your accident and injuries, as well as any time you follow up with a doctor, you should ask about your prognosis, or their medical opinion regarding your injuries, how they will impact your life in coming days and weeks of healing, and what can be expected in the long-term, including whether there may be permanent effects. With this information, you can better understand the full scope of your injuries, what types of activities or things to avoid, and how your recovery may progress.
- Treatment – When a medical professional has the information they need to make a diagnosis or begin treatment, you have every right to ask about options. In some cases, especially with severe injuries, medical intervention may be a necessity, or options may be limited. In others, you can discuss treatment options and gauge their effectiveness with your doctor, including conservative approaches or minimally invasive treatment. Your doctor will also provide recommendations as to what they feel will best help you given your unique situation.
- Working – Many accident victims return to work prematurely, which can cause further harm and delay recovery. When you discuss injuries, symptoms, and treatment recommendations with your doctor, they will gain a better understanding of how your injuries may affect your ability to maintain employment, especially when you discuss your work and the type of duties you typically perform. Aside from recommending rest, your doctor may also suggest that you avoid certain types of activity or job duties that can aggravate your injuries, such as lifting or sitting for extended periods of time. Doctors can also provide you with notes and documentation you can provide your employer to excuse you from work if necessary.
Seeking timely medical treatment is important not only for your health and wellbeing but also because it provides documentation of your injuries. Should you choose to pursue a personal injury case, this documentation can help limit an insurance company’s ability to argue that you were not really hurt in a wreck, a tactic they often employ when victims wait too long to get medical evaluations and treatment.
Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman has helped guide numerous car accident victims step-by-step through all facets of their case, including medical treatment. Learn how our team can assist you and fight for the compensation you deserve by contacting us for a free consultation.