Whether you've been hurt because of a car wreck, a work accident, an assault due to inadequate security or other negligence, it's crucial for you to communicate how you are feeling with the physician or medical staff treating you.
Too many times, we've had clients who were hesitant about discussing their injury with their doctors. They felt like they had to "suck it up" and only accept the bare minimum of the help and care they needed. They didn't want to seem like they were "whining" or "complaining."
The thing is, you have every right to complain! You're in pain. If you don't say anything, how will anyone know you need help? When you tell your doctors and their staff about the problems you are experiencing, you are helping them help you.
Here's what you should do when suffering from an injury caused by a car accident or work incident (regardless of whether or not you file a personal injury claim).
Describe All of Your Injuries in Detail
It is extremely important for you to tell the nurse or doctor about all of your injuries, even if something only hurts a little. Medical staff are not mind readers - tell them what hurts and how it hurts (pinching, burning, aching, stabbing, numb, etc.). Many injuries are internal, such as muscle strains and bone fractures.
Describe the crash or incident and tell them what happened to you. This will allow the medical staff to have an accurate picture of what happened to you and check you for injuries you may not realize you have.
Why It's Important:
Notifying your physician of all of your injuries means they will be documented in your medical records. Medical records are vital for your personal injury case because they list all of your pain, tests, exams, prescriptions, therapy, and other miscellaneous items. They are sent as part of the demand package when it's time to settle your claim to prove you were hurt.
Do Not Assume an Injury Will Go Away
Maybe you're hurting after a wreck or work injury but you hope it goes away on its own after a few days or weeks. You may be worried about the cost of going to the doctor or don't have health insurance.
The best course of action is to always go to the doctor after a serious incident as soon as possible. You don't know whether you're actually hurt or not, or how severe the injury could be. A trained medical professional should make that judgment.
Why It's Important:
Your condition could worsen, making it more difficult for your doctor to treat you. It also means the insurance company may not consider your injury related to the initial incident and allege that you are making it up or hurt yourself afterward.
Tips for What to Do While Treating
When our law firm takes on a case, there are several habits we recommend clients develop during their treatment. These practices not only improve their personal injury case outcomes, they also ensure the client gets better sooner.
- Tell each doctor or nurse you see about all of your injuries.
- Keep all medical appointments. If you cannot make an appointment, call the doctor's office. Tell them why so they can document the reason. This keeps the insurance company from penalizing you when assigning a settlement value to your claim.
- Comply with the doctor's treatment recommendations. If they tell you to go to therapy three times a week, then go three times a week.
- Keep an organized list of every doctor's office you visit and any medical bills, invoices or instructions you receive.
- Let each doctor know about other medical facilities or practitioners you have seen for your injuries, as well as what tests, treatments, and prescriptions have been given to you.
- Go to the doctor for a final "discharge" visit. This will allow the doctor to summarize all of your injuries, treatment, and recommendations for the future. The doctor can also render an opinion as to whether or not your injuries are permanent.
Here are the main takeaways from today's post:
- The details of your injuries and medical treatment are what your case is built around.
- Playing tough hurts you down the road.
When it comes down to it, getting the proper medical care is vital. Nobody wants to get hurt, nobody likes being hurt, and taking time off of work to go to the doctor or have surgery done is stressful.
What we always emphasize with our clients is that no detail is too insignificant. Your health is important and your pain shouldn't be minimized.
If you have questions about a potential personal injury claim and need help finding a doctor to treat your injuries, call or email Gary Martin Hays & Associates today. We'll take your claim and your injuries seriously and protect your rights.