In our practice, we often find car accident victims who don’t want to be a bother. They would rather do only the base amount of work. Not believing their situation is important, they report only their major injuries to a doctor, receive treatment, and move on.
The desire for a quick resolution and the worries over causing trouble can become a problem later. Never assume that your situation isn’t important enough. The life you lead is valuable, and your injuries can make that life more difficult. Furthermore, the expenses associated with your injuries make life even harder when you are under-compensated.
In this article, we will explore properly reporting your injuries to a doctor and how doing so protects you later.
Proper Reporting Gets You the Best Treatment
After a car accident, your top priority is your body and your health. Nothing else matters if you don’t receive the proper treatment.
You should always seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if you believe you are fine. Once you do, tell the doctor everything. Any little ache or pain, from headaches to a swollen pinky finger, should be reported. Remember, some injuries are delayed. You won’t even feel the full effects of them until days or weeks later. Allowing a doctor to examine everything could result in early detection, preventing further harm.
If you have preexisting pain, tell your doctor about that, too. At best, it could be unrelated an unrelated problem, and you can still receive treatment for this ailment. At worst, it could be a prior injury that will be exacerbated by your car wreck, and you need treatment before it gets even worse.
Don’t worry about being annoying. Don’t try to be a tough guy or gal, and don’t be concerned about causing a fuss. Examining you is the doctor’s job, and they’re happy to get paid either way. A good doctor takes every minor ache seriously, and they should spend as much time as is necessary to check you out.
In the best-case scenario, they won’t find anything wrong. This means that you won’t become a bother later, which is exactly what you wanted in the first place. More importantly, the doctor may find something they can fix, keeping you healthy and functioning.
Thorough Reporting Protects You from Insurance Companies
For now, Florida is a no-fault state (although this could change soon). This means that regardless of who caused an accident, each person’s car insurance covers their individual expenses.
This, however, is not true in every case. In cases of gross negligence, such as drunk driving, the at-fault driver’s insurance may be responsible for covering the victim’s bills.
By reporting all your injuries to your doctor, no matter how minor, you can protect yourself against unscrupulous insurance companies. All the cute lizards and silly actors in TV commercials cannot hide one simple fact: Insurance companies are not your friends. No matter what, their biggest concern is their bottom line, not your medical bills.
When deciding whether you are worthy of receiving benefits, the at-fault insurer will scrutinize your entire life. They will look for inconsistencies in your diagnoses, medical history, doctor visits, work, and more. The company is looking for any excuse to deny your benefits. By accurately, thoroughly reporting all ailments to your doctor, you can make it much harder for them to do so.
Unreported Injuries Can Be Used Against You
If an injury is delayed or gets worse after your initial treatment, the insurance company will challenge its validity. Let’s say you are hit by a negligent driver, and you visit the doctor. Your biggest concern is the pain in your lower back, but you don’t tell the doctor about the slight pinch in your neck. You receive proper treatment for your back injury, but over time, your neck pain grows worse and worse.
If the matter goes to trial, this oversight becomes an attack on your character. The insurance company’s legal team argues, “If the plaintiff’s neck was in such a bad state, why didn’t they tell that to the doctor when they had the chance?” This is a very common argument used in many civil lawsuits.
Imagine you are on the jury when the defense makes this point. Quite likely, you’ll find yourself swayed by this argument.
You can’t tell your story retroactively in court. The facts are the facts. If you didn’t report pain to your doctor, that fact is all the court sees. You can bring forth witness testimony from friends, family, and coworkers who all attest to your pain. If, however, that pain isn’t on record, the defense can easily sow seeds of doubt into your story.
If you’ve been in a car accident, and you’re having trouble receiving your necessary benefits, we can help. For a free consultation, call us today at (800) 391-4337. You may also contact us online.