You’ve Been In An Accident, What’s Next?
Part 2 – Medical Attention
We discussed the details of reporting your accident in the previous blog. Next up – what you should do regarding medical attention. It’s important to note that the medical aspect of your claim can play a big role when it comes to insurance companies and compensation.
First and foremost, it is imperative that you cooperate with emergency and ambulance personnel. If the EMS workers or police suggest that you take an ambulance to the hospital to be checked out, don’t argue with them…just do it! Seeking medical attention immediately can often make the difference in how quickly you recover. Keep in mind that your adrenaline is going to be at its height after a car accident and that you may not “feel” like you’ve been injured. Listen to the professionals and do as they suggest. Don’t diagnose yourself and then leave and go home!
Next, be honest and describe in detail how you feel and what doesn’t seem “right”. Be as specific as possible as some primary injuries from the accident can lead to secondary complaints down the road. Medical professionals will know this and make note of it. Often you will be instructed to seek follow-up medical treatments after you leave the emergency room. If the emergency room doctor recommends follow-up treatment, then he or she believes you need it. This is not the time to try and save a few dollars. Your attorney will counsel you about how to ensure your medical bills get paid.
Disclose your complete medical history when you see the follow-up doctor. Include any information about past injuries, medications you take and diseases you have had. The more information you can give the doctor, the better off you’ll be. Also, the healing process will be smoother and possibly quicker. Tell your doctor about every ache and pain you are experiencing at each appointment…don’t leave anything out.
Follow your doctor’s orders. If he or she asks you to undergo diagnostic tests, comply as soon as possible. Early diagnostic tests can be the main source of proof that your injury was a result of the accident. These tests also ensure that your doctor has a complete picture of your injuries and allow your doctor to plan your treatment accordingly.
Last, but certainly not least, comply with your doctor’s advice regarding restrictions, medications and treatments. For instance, if you are instructed not to perform some physical activity such as heavy lifting, don’t do it! If you do, you can compound your injuries and worse yet, ruin your legal case. The insurance company is hoping you won’t follow your doctor’s orders, and will use this as evidence to disprove your case.
Dealing with medical issues after an accident can be daunting. If you have any questions or doubts as to what to do, consult your personal injury attorney before you do anything. It’s always better to be informed and do things correctly from the beginning – your case will go smoother and you’ll be back on your feet sooner.