Why You Should Not Discuss the Details of Your Case With Your Doctor

man putting finger over mouthThe most important thing to do after getting injured in a car crash is to seek medical treatment. You need a qualified medical professional to diagnose all your injuries, provide stabilizing treatment, provide pain relief and determine what ongoing treatment is needed.

When you meet with the doctor, you should discuss all your symptoms in detail. Do your best not to leave anything out. You do not want to let an injury go untreated and potentially get worse. Waiting to get treatment could cause your recovery to take longer.

However, while it is important to discuss your injuries in detail, you should not discuss specific details of your car crash claim with the doctor. Below, we discuss the reasons why and how statements about your claim could come back to haunt you later.

Your Doctor Needs to be Focused on Your Injuries and Treatment

A doctor’s job is to treat people who have an injury or illness. It is important to explain what caused the injury (you fell down or were in a crash) but how it happened can create medical documentation problems.

Doctors may recommend, follow-up appointments with specialists, testing, surgery and more.

That is why the doctor needs to know everything about your injuries. You should give a detailed explanation of how you are feeling and what your symptoms are. Where are you feeling pain? Do you have limited mobility? Do you have a headache or blurred vision? These are types of questions you may need to answer when meeting with a doctor following a car crash.

Your doctor does not need to know about your insurance claim. In fact, most doctors do not want to become involved in your claim any more than they need to be. If you start giving your doctor a lot of details about your claim, it may affect his or her willingness to treat you or even to reach conclusions about the cause of your injuries.

Your lawyer might need your doctor to record a deposition or testify at trial. However, your attorney can determine if this is necessary, which means you do not need to discuss it with your doctor. If you tell the doctor, you may need him or her to testify, he or she may not want to continue providing treatment.

Doctors have a lot of patients to meet with and provide treatment, whether they are at their own office or in a hospital. They need to be efficient in their discussions with patients. It does not make sense to get bogged down in a conversation about your claim. You want the doctor to be focused on you and your injuries. Doctors may not want to continue treating a patient who keeps talking about his or her case.

Dangers of Discussing Your Case

Whatever you tell your doctors is likely to be noted in your medical records, including statements you make about the case. Doctors often try to document as much as possible when meeting with patients to provide treatment.

Talking to your lawyer about your case is confidential, but statements you make to others should never be considered confidential. In fact, your medical records are evidence that the insurance company will review.  You may have said something that could be used against you, such as a statement that sounds like an admission of fault.

Statements made to the doctor could contradict statements you make later to the insurance company, or statements made in a deposition or at trial. Insurance companies are always looking for some way to attack the victim’s credibility.

Making statements about the value of your case also have no place within a medical appointment. The insurance company will use these statements to claim you are only after money and are not injured. The insurance company’s first offer of compensation may be far below the amount they find in your medical records.

You should also avoid telling your doctor about things you talked to your attorney about. Conversations with your attorney are confidential, unless you reveal what was said and it gets documented somewhere else, like your medical records. For example, if your attorney says it may be tough to validate your case, the insurance company may think it has a good chance of success if the case makes it to court. The insurance company may be less likely to try to settle the case in good faith.

Give Us a Call Today to Discuss Your Claim

For decades, the licensed Bloomington auto accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law have been taking on insurance companies to secure the compensation our clients need. Our services come at no upfront costs, so there is no financial risk in being represented by our firm.

We are ready to discuss how we may be able to help you. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Lawyers. Ready to help: (612) TSR-TIME.

Discussing Your Car Crash Injuries with a Doctor

doctor examining patient's kneeOne of the most important things to do after being injured in a car crash is to seek medical care. You do not want your injuries to get worse because of a delay in treatment. The sooner you start getting treated, the sooner you can complete your recovery.

It is important to be thorough when talking to doctors about your injuries, not only to optimize the care you receive, but also for the strength of your case. Omitting information could give the insurance company room to dispute your credibility and lower the value of your claim.

Below, our experienced Minneapolis auto accident attorneys talk about what crash victims should discuss with their doctors. If you have more questions about what to do after being injured in a crash, TSR Injury Law is here to help. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation.

Discussing the Crash with Doctors

Make sure to tell the doctor how you were injured. The doctor will probably have many questions about how the crash occurred. Having answers to these questions helps your doctor with properly diagnosing and treating your injuries. Do not exaggerate about the crash. Saying you “were hit at 60 mph” does not help when you truly don’t know and only gives the insurance company room to doubt you. Keep the explanation simple on how the crash happened. It is not actually relevant to the medical treatment. “I was rear-ended” or “I was going straight on a green and another car ran a red light” is sufficient.

Tell the doctor what you remember about the crash, particularly where your vehicle got hit and if any parts of your body hit things inside the vehicle, like the steering wheel, dashboard, window, gear shift, or anything else. Medical treatment may be affected by crash facts by explaining “my left shoulder hit the side door when I was t-boned” as an example.

You want to give the doctor as much information as possible so he or she can determine where and how you may have been injured.

Explaining Your Injuries

Tell the doctor where it hurts and how severe the pain is, even if you think the pain is minor. Describe the pain as well. For example, is it an ache, burning or stabbing pain?

Inform the doctor of other symptoms you are experiencing, such as limited mobility, nausea, dizziness, confusion, headaches, numbness, irritability, behavioral changes, etc. Radiating pain or numbness into your arms/hands or your buttocks and legs are extremely important to mention. These symptoms could indicate an injury you are unaware of, such as an internal injury, nerve damage or brain injury.

Make sure to inform the doctor about any injuries you had before the crash. If you never treated for an injury, it is not as important as injuries or pains you have treated for before the crash. Your doctor can determine if you aggravated an existing injury and help to differentiate between your new injuries and the old injury.

If you are concerned that revealing a preexisting injury may hurt your claim, you need to know that you can still seek compensation. The insurance company may try to use your existing injury to devalue your claim, but an experienced attorney should know how to counter any arguments. That is one of the reasons hiring a licensed attorney is so important after being injured in a crash.

Your pre-existing medical issues may have made you more likely to suffer an injury in the crash, but that cannot be used to devalue your claim or bar you from seeking compensation.

Continuing Your Treatment

The discussion about your injuries should continue after your first meeting with a doctor. When you return for a follow-up or visit other doctors, keep them updated on how you are feeling and describe any changes in your symptoms. This information will be noted in your medical records – consistent updates on your condition shows you are receiving treatment and trying to get better. These records also reiterate your injuries, which helps to validate your claim. Complaining that your neck hurts to your spouse is not the same thing as reporting it to your doctor. Doctors create medical records and bills and that is what insurance companies need to review.

It is important to follow the doctor’s orders about managing your injuries. For example, if the doctor tells you to avoid certain physical activities, make sure to avoid them. If you disobey the doctor, you could hurt yourself more and prolong your treatment and recovery. It could also work against your claim. The insurance company could say you are ignoring your doctor’s orders because your injuries are not as bad as you said.

You may need to reschedule some appointments for a variety of reasons. That is OK, if you have a good reason, and you attend the rescheduled appointment. Keep your lawyer informed as well. The insurance company may try to use rescheduled appointments against you, claiming you are not really hurt.

What if I Have Questions or Concerns About Treatment?

There are times patients are concerned about taking medications or undergoing a particular treatment. It is important to discuss these concerns with your doctor. He or she should be able to answer your questions about medication side effects, the pros and cons of surgery or another medical intervention.

Maybe you have used a medication before and suffered unpleasant side effects. If that is the case, inform your doctor and he or she may be able to prescribe something different.

If you are unsure about something a doctor is recommending, you may want to get a second opinion. Sometimes another doctor confirms what the first doctor said, and this can be reassuring to some people. If the other doctor has a different opinion, you at least have options to consider.

We Are Here to Help. Call to Learn More

Unsure how an attorney can assist you after a crash?

Learn how by calling TSR today to schedule your free legal consultation. Crash victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than crash victims who go it alone.

This is because attorneys are committed to recovering as much compensation as possible for the victim, unlike the insurance company that wants to pay out as little as possible.

TSR Injury Law has a proven track record – over $1 billion recovered for our clients.

We are ready to help. Call us at (612) TSR-TIME.