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What Should I Ask My Doctor After a Car Accident?

Published on Apr 19, 2016 by Thomas Law Offices.

After being involved in a car accident, it can seem like you never have enough time to stop and catch your breath let alone relax. One thing you need to prioritize, however, is your own health and well-being. Even if your injuries appear or feel minor, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as you’re able to. Common car crash injuries like whiplash may not become noticeable until days or even weeks after the accident. Even simple bruising or stiffness can point to a more serious injury.

While you’re visiting with your doctor, it’s important to ask them a few necessary questions that will help you throughout the entire process of recovering from the car accident and completing your auto insurance claim and/or lawsuit. Here’s a brief summary of the topics you should bring up with your doctor:

Further Health Concerns

Above everything else, make sure to raise any concerns you may have regarding the injuries you have sustained or any symptoms or possible side effects you may be experiencing. Don’t be afraid to mention concerns you may have in the future. Your doctor may advise you to see a chiropractor or orthopedic specialist, for example, or set up an effective care plan to minimize the risks of long term damage.

You might also want to suggest that x-rays are performed for any areas of the body where you’re still experiencing pain and/or limited mobility. Back and neck injuries can be extremely difficult to diagnose without x-rays. Finally, remember to tell your doctor about how your pain and/or symptoms have changed since the accident occurred. Don’t leave any details out.

Paid Time Off

If your injuries are serious enough where you feel like you can’t perform your normal work tasks without experiencing a great deal of pain or difficulty, don’t hesitate to ask for a doctor’s note in order to receive the time off work you need to recover. Car accident injury symptoms don’t always present themselves right away, remember, so it’s extremely likely that you’ll feel worse a few days after the accident—even if your injuries are minor. If you’ve already had to take time off work, ask your doctor to add a retroactive date if possible.

Most workplaces are sympathetic about taking time off after a car accident, and in some cases it may even be possible for you to be placed on temporary disability after an especially serious accident. It’s important to give yourself the time you need to heal and get your life back in order. Don’t leave the doctor’s office without asking for time off. You’ll never know your doctor’s answer if you don’t ask.

Medical Documentation

If you’re in the process of settling complicated insurance claims or thinking about seeking legal aid, you will also want to make sure you receive the necessary paperwork and medical records from your doctor. Many doctors will automatically give you copies of everything you may need, but other times you may have to make a formal request to receive copies of your medical records.

To have the best chances of a successful case or claim, you’ll need the following items:

  • Proof of your injuries in the form of hospital stay/doctor visit records (including records of any x-rays or tests taken)
  • Written records regarding any long term care plans (ask for a written copy if one isn’t initially provided)
  • Proof of how long the injuries lasted in the form of records from follow-up visits
  • Copies of prescriptions and recommendations for over-the-counter medications you purchased
  • Copies of any doctor’s notes and recommendations regarding time spent off work
  • Copies of any referrals for other doctors or specialists as well as proof of you visiting those doctors

After the visit with your doctor is over, remember to take a moment and breath. You survived the accident and you’re doing everything you need to do in order to recuperate and take care of business.

You don’t have to go through this tough time alone, either. If you’re questioning your legal options, don’t hesitate to give Thomas Law Offices a call today. Our staff can help you decide if filing a lawsuit is the best option for receiving much-needed assistance with paying your bills and getting back on your feet again.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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