Is It Wrong to See Your Primary Care Physician After a Car Wreck?
One of the first things you should do after a car accident is to have your injuries examined. This could be done at the scene if medical personnel arrived, an emergency room, or at your primary care physician the following day. Where you receive medical attention is not important.
There is nothing wrong with seeing your primary doctor after a car crash. In fact, our Philadelphia car accident lawyers highly recommend seeing your doctor, even if you believe you did not suffer a serious injury. However, you should see your doctor sooner than later. If you wait weeks or months, you could jeopardize your health and your chances of receiving compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance settlement.
Your health is important. After a car crash, the full extent of your injuries might not be readily apparent. Therefore, seeing your doctor within 48 hours is critical. If the accident was not your fault, having medical records to substantiate the severity of your injuries could be a vital part of an insurance negotiation or trial. At the Reiff Law Firm, we understand the importance of medical documentation. After you see your doctor, call our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
Mistakes People Make With Their Primary Care Physicians After a Car Accident
Seeing your doctor after an accident is advisable. You will not find an attorney who will tell you otherwise. Our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers will work closely with you and your medical providers to build a compelling injury claim. Whether you decide to pursue a settlement with an insurance company or take your case to court, the burden falls upon you to prove your injuries resulted from the car crash. Medical records are a crucial component in meeting this burden.
While seeing your primary physician is not wrong, people make mistakes when dealing with their doctor that could hurt their chances of receiving the compensation they deserve.
Waiting to Seek Medical Treatment
If you wait to see your doctor or have any medical treatment, an insurance company will argue that your injury could not have been that serious. Toughing out soreness or pain will only work in favor of an at-fault driver or their insurance company. In the event that your injuries are severe, a defense attorney will argue that there was an intervening event between the accident and the time you saw the doctor that caused your injury. The best thing to do after an accident is to get medical treatment immediately or within a day or two.
Missing Appointments or Medical Treatments
If you saw your doctor the day after an accident, you did the right thing. However, if you miss follow-up appointments, physical therapy sessions, or fail to take prescribed medication, you are seriously hurting your chances to recover any compensation. Missing medical treatments means one of two things: the injury is not that severe or you are not committed to improving your condition. Neither will help obtain a settlement or win a personal injury claim. As strongly as our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers advise seeing a doctor, we also recommend following through with any prescribed treatment.
Exaggerating Facts When Asked About the Accident
Your doctor is there to treat your injuries. You want to ensure that your doctor knows you were in a car accident. This helps clarify how the accident caused your injuries. For example, a neck injury could result from a rear-end collision. However, during this process, your doctor might ask you certain questions or you could feel compelled to offer specific facts. If you do not know something is certain, do not mention it. For instance, if your doctor asks how fast the other car was traveling, it is perfectly acceptable to say, “I don’t know.” Insurance companies will look for inconsistencies. If you tell your doctor the other driver was traveling at 60 mph and the reports from the accident indicate a speed of only 20 mph, it will hurt your credibility.
Hiding Pre-Existing Conditions
You need to be completely honest with your primary care physician, especially regarding your medical history. You need to disclose any pre-existing conditions or old injuries that might have been aggravated by the accident. If your doctor is called to testify and was unaware of a pre-existing medical condition, their testimony will be questioned and not carry the weight our Bucks County personal injury lawyers anticipated.
Downplay Your Pain or Symptoms
For some people, admitting that they are in pain is a sign of weakness. Not telling your doctor about the pain and discomfort you are experiencing does not help your health or case. In this situation, you want to tell your doctor everything. If you have the slightest soreness or pain, let your doctor know. This is not the time to tell your doctor you “feel fine” when you are still in some discomfort. If the pain level is not improving, you want to tell your doctor, physical therapist, or another healthcare provider.
Failing to Cooperate With Your Doctor
This is rarely an issue if someone sees a trusted family doctor that they have known for years. However, while there is nothing wrong with seeing your normal doctor, if you suffered a traumatic injury, you could be referred to a medical specialist. Not cooperating with a specialist could hurt your case. If you have issues with your treating physician, contact our West Chester car accident lawyers before stopping treatment.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers Providing Professional Legal Counsel
Proving the severity and origin of your injuries after a car accident is not always easy. You can help yourself by seeking immediate medical treatment. Even it is from your primary care physician. Once you see your doctor, you should contact our Delaware County (Delco) personal injury lawyers. We will help you avoid some common mistakes accident victims make when dealing with their doctors. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.