Discussing Your Injuries With Your Doctor After a Crash

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on June 29, 2021 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

doctor examining male adult patientAfter a car crash, accident victims may initially suffer shock and be unaware they are injured, especially if there are no visible wounds. Unfortunately, this may keep some people from getting a medical examination after a collision, and this can be a huge mistake. Others may seek medical attention, but because they do not provide enough of the right information to their doctor, they may not receive the level of care they need.

PKSD discusses why you should always get examined by a doctor after a car crash, but more importantly, once you are there, how to discuss what happened.

Injured in a car crash caused by another’s negligence? Our experienced car accident lawyers in Milwaukee are ready to help. Take advantage of the free consultation we offer to find out if you have a case.

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Telling Your Doctor About the Accident

Seeking medical care immediately after a car accident is important to your health, but what does the doctor need to know?

Telling the examining doctor who you think is to blame for the crash is not important. However, other details about the crash are relevant and may even help you get the treatment you need faster, including:

  • The type of car crash you were in (t-boned or hit head-on, etc.)
  • The way your body landed – and if you were wearing your seatbelt
  • If the car was moving or stopped (impacts how hard you were hit)
  • Whether your neck was thrown forward and back (such as from a rear-end crash)
  • Any part of your body that made impact with a hard object

For example, your head may have hit the dashboard, steering wheel or window during the car crash, potentially causing a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Describing how and what part of your head was hit, can help your doctor better understand your potential injuries.

Describing Your Injuries to the Doctor

People often understate or completely leave out details about their injuries or pain. Perhaps they think an injury will heal on its own or they do not want to be considered overly dramatic. Others may decide some aches, pains or minor symptoms are not related to the accident and leave them out. However, leaving out even minor symptoms makes it harder for your doctor to determine if or where you are hurt. It can also seriously impact your health, especially when injuries are internal.

For certain injuries, such as if you have internal bleeding or suffered a head trauma, any delay in receiving medical attention could impact your doctor’s ability to treat you. In other cases, an injury could cause permanent damage or become life-threatening if care is delayed.

These are some of the details you should be sure to tell your doctor about after a car crash:

  • Headache symptoms – including how bad and where the pain is (blinding, throbbing, front of the head, squeezing)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • The location of any pain and how it feels (stabbing, burning, aching, pinching)
  • Any area you feel numbness or tingling
  • Movement that causes you pain
  • Problems with dizziness or vertigo
  • Injuries to your eyes, ears or even your face

Maybe your headache is just tension after a crash, but this is something your doctor should examine further to ensure it is not more serious. Injuries are sometimes indicated by a combination of symptoms. So, in short, do not handicap your doctor’s ability to help you by leaving out important details.

Do Not Leave Out Your Health History or Preexisting Injuries

Your treating physician needs to know about your full health history – including any chronic conditions, prescription medications or preexisting injuries:

  • Preexisting injuriesEven if considered fully healed, your doctor should know they exist. Describe whether they feel worse after the accident and how (more pain, less range of motion, etc.). Your doctor can examine you to make sure they were not made worse by the crash.
  • Chronic medical conditions: Arthritis and other chronic medical conditions may also be made worse by a crash or impact your ability to recover. For instance, those with diabetes may take longer to heal or be more prone to infection. Your doctor needs to have this information to provide you with the best care.
  • Prescription medications: Tell your doctor about any prescriptions you are taking – even if it is just aspirin. You do not want to have any complications if you are prescribed drugs for your injuries.

Having a prior injury will not disqualify you from seeking compensation, but trying to hide this information can significantly damage your claim. That said, you should never discuss preexisting injuries or medical conditions with an insurance company without the help of an attorney.

What to Do After Your Initial Examination

After your initial examination, additional steps are necessary to help ensure an optimum recovery and to protect any legal claim you may pursue. These steps include:

  • Starting a journal to track the progress of your injuries
  • Create a file to save medical bills, prescriptions and other documents related to your accident
  • Following your doctor’s plan of care
  • Keeping your follow-up appointments – missed appointments and gaps in your care can hurt your claim
  • Telling your doctor if new symptoms arise
  • Letting your doctor know if your injuries are impacting your ability to work

Failure to follow through on these steps, especially any medical care recommended by your treating physician, will significantly hurt your claim and in some cases, may result in a denial.

Injured in a Car Crash? PKSD is Ready to Help

Recovering from a car crash can be a long and overwhelming process. Trying to manage a legal claim on your own only adds to the stress. At PKSD, we are prepared to fight to help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries. We have the resources and staff to fully investigate what happened and the experience to help you hold the at-fault party accountable.

Our law offices can take your call 24/7. Call today to schedule your free consultation and find out if you have a case. We take personal injury cases on contingency, so you pay us nothing up front or unless we recover compensation for you.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. Ready to Help. Call: 414-333-3333

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