What You Should Never Say to a Doctor After an Accident
Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 3:36 pm
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, your doctor will play a key role in determining how you are compensated for your injuries. With that in mind, it is essential to watch what you say to your doctor, as saying the wrong thing could jeopardize your case and prevent you from recovering any compensation. But if you have not dealt with a doctor in the context of a personal injury lawsuit, you may not know what to say (or not to say).
Why Your Doctor’s Testimony Matters in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Doctors play two critical roles in Georgia’s personal injury lawsuits. The first is to document the extent and severity of your injuries. The insurance company will be looking closely at your medical records, and you want those records to be as accurate as possible. The more severe your doctor says your injuries are and the longer they are expected to last, the more compensation you can ask for. But if you give your doctor cause to doubt your injuries or their severity, the insurance company will seize on that as an opportunity to deny your claim.
The other role your doctor plays in a personal injury lawsuit is determining the cause of your injuries. Under Georgia law, you must prove your injuries were caused by another negligent party if you want to receive compensation after an accident. Your medical records can help establish how your injuries occurred and why the negligent party should be held liable for the accident.
One complicating factor when it comes to doctors and personal injury lawsuits is that most doctors want to avoid litigation if at all possible. This can make it a challenge to get the information you need from your doctor without affecting your case and your course of treatment. To avoid saying anything that might harm your case, talk to a lawyer before speaking to your doctor about your personal injury lawsuit.
What Not to Say When Talking to Your Doctor After an Accident
It is important to be prepared whenever you talk to your doctor after an accident, so here are a few tips on what not to say:
- Do not lie about your injuries — Doctors are highly trained professionals, and if you make up a fake injury, they will likely figure it out quickly. You want your doctor to trust you, and lying about your injuries is no way to earn their trust. And if your medical records contain information saying that you lied about your injuries, the insurance company will have an easy time denying your claim.
- Do not exaggerate your injuries — Along similar lines, you do not want to exaggerate the pain from your injuries. Your doctor will likely be able to tell that you are exaggerating, and you do not want that information in your medical records. Do not give an insurance company any potential ammunition to use against you.
- Do not mention that you are involved in a lawsuit — Most doctors are fearful of being involved in litigation, even if they are not one of the plaintiffs or defendants because they want to protect their careers and avoid a time-consuming trial.
- Do not hide the pain you are in — If you are in serious pain that prevents you from working, tell your doctor. Being stoic and trying to carry on while you are in pain could make your injuries worse, and it could also reduce the value of your claim because the insurance company will argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
- Do not hide pre-existing injuries or conditions — Many people are fearful that mentioning a prior injury could reduce the value of your claim. In fact, the opposite is often true. You are allowed to seek compensation if an accident aggravates a prior injury or condition, but hiding that injury or condition gives the insurance company ammunition to use against you.
The Georgia personal injury lawyers of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. have years of experience guiding accident victims and helping them recover maximum compensation for their injuries. We can coach you on what to say and what to avoid saying to your doctor to give you the best possible chance of recovering the money you need. Our team has more than 70 years of combined experience and has recovered millions in compensation for accident victims just like you.
If you have questions about talking to a doctor after an accident, we would be happy to answer those questions for you. Visit our contact page or call (770) 205-8827 today for a free initial consultation.