Plaintiff personal injury attorneys have to deal with savvy, well-paid insurance attorneys who will use common behavior while you are at the doctor’s office to deny your claim.
Your attorney may have instructed you on some of these issues, but if not, or if you do not have an attorney, consider the following when you do visit a doctor after a car crash in Pinellas, Florida, and avoid these common mistakes.
Give your doctor a complete history
It starts while filling out your doctor’s intake form. Typically, you will be asked to fill out a very long intake form when you arrive at a doctor’s office. Often, people quickly gloss over this step as a nuisance. They sometimes list only the worst issue at the time leaving what seems like the less painful issues off. People also get bored with filling out the form or get impatient and leave off what they consider “ancient history.”
Do not do either. Take the time and be complete in giving all of your current symptoms and complete history. The insurance companies will go through your written history with a fine-tooth comb looking for omissions. They will try to impeach your doctors’ opinions by saying “that doctor didn’t even know he/she had prior pain in that area, how can he know if this crash caused this injury?”
Furthermore, If you completely leave an injury off the intake form because you did not think was significant, and it becomes more problematic later, the insurance attorneys will assume that you had absolutely no pain at all. They will point out that “you had no complaints at that visit, therefore, you are trying to collect for an injury that happened after the car crash.” This happens most often with joint pain like knees that begin after a crash as dull, intermittent pain but degrade over coming months and eventually become very costly personal injuries requiring expensive treatment.
If you fail to include a complete history of pain, even when it was years prior, the insurance attorneys will call you deceitful and accuse you of trying to collect for old injuries. Be open and honest about prior injuries so that your doctor can identify positively if this is a new injury or not.
Do not embellish
Lying about injuries is obviously one of the most damaging things you can do to your case. If you are injured you do not need to embellish or make up symptoms. I typically withdraw if I suspect that my client has lied about their injuries. These days, with MRIs and modern medical treatments, doctors can spot people who make up symptoms.
Be specific about your symptoms
Your doctor will be best able to identify your injury and treat you if you are specific with regard to the level and frequency of your pain.
If you have been in a car crash and have pain that warrants a doctor’s treatment, you are already going through a lot. Make certain that you do not make a mistake at your doctors visits which give the insurance company a chance to deny paying for your medical bills.
If you have any questions about your treatment or your rights and responsibilities after a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney immediately.