If you are involved in a car accident in California that wasn’t your fault, you need to be careful about what you say to your doctor. You will need your doctor’s help to secure compensation for your injuries, and anything you say to your doctor could eventually get back to an insurance company. If you don’t watch what you say, you could see your compensation reduced or have your claim denied outright.
The California car accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers want to help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries after a crash. Since 2007, our San Diego car accident lawyers have recovered more than $100 million in total compensation for our clients, including many cases where our clients recovered much more than what the insurance company initially offered. We can help you figure out what to say (and what not to say) to your doctor after the accident, and we will be there to help for the duration of your case.
Talking to Your Doctor After a California Car Accident
What you say to your doctor — and in some cases, what you do not say — after a car accident can have a significant impact on your case. To give yourself the best possible chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Talk to your doctor as soon as possible — Do not wait to see your doctor after an accident. First, you may have internal injuries that have not fully manifested, even if you feel fine, and you do not want to risk serious harm by putting off medical treatment. Second, your compensation could be reduced if you wait too long to see a doctor, as the insurance company will argue that your delay in seeking treatment made your injuries worse.
- Do not mention that you may be considering a personal injury lawsuit — Most doctors are wary of being dragged into litigation. Furthermore, conversations with your doctor are not necessarily confidential once you have initiated a personal injury lawsuit, so you do not want a careless statement to your doctor to make its way to the insurance company.
- Do not lie about your prior medical history — Many car accident victims are wary about discussing prior injuries with their doctor because they are concerned about how past injuries could impact their compensation from a lawsuit. But not talking with your doctor about a past injury is more likely to cost you in a lawsuit because once the insurance company finds out about it, and they will, they’ll take your silence about the injury to mean that you’re “hiding something.” That will make them suspect everything you say.
- Do not exaggerate your symptoms or injuries — While you want to be thorough when describing your injuries after a car accident, do not exaggerate the pain you are in or make up an injury. The doctor will likely figure out that you are lying, and if the insurance company finds out you were being deceitful, you will most likely lose your case.
- Do not forget to talk about your emotional or mental state — Being involved in a serious car accident is a traumatic experience, and the mental effects of the crash may last long after your physical wounds have healed. You can receive compensation for emotional distress related to a car accident, but you need proper documentation to prove it, so be sure to mention any mental health issues you are experiencing due to the accident.
- Do not neglect to mention how your injuries impact your ability to work — If your injuries prevent you from working, be sure to let your doctor know. Going to work when you are badly injured can aggravate your existing injuries, and your medical records can help you recover compensation for any lost income while you are healing from the accident.
- Ask about your long-term prognosis — If your injuries are so severe that they will impact your ability to earn a living, you need that information in your medical history. Without the necessary documentation, you will have a hard time recovering compensation for the toll your injuries will take on your earning potential.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Attorney Today
Your doctor and your lawyer both play critical roles when it comes to recovering compensation for your injuries after an accident. A San Diego car accident lawyer from Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can advise you on what to say to your doctor to give your case the best possible chance of succeeding. We can also assist you with gathering evidence, represent you in settlement negotiations with the insurance company, and take your case to trial if necessary.