Your Medical Care After a Car or Truck Accident: Don’t Put an Accident Claim Ahead of Your Health

 One of the mistakes claimants sometimes make is trying to arrange their medical care in such a way as to maximize the potential settlement value of their case.  For instance, some accident victims will try to schedule more frequent doctor visits, figuring that more medical visits will lead to higher medical bills which, in turn, will lead to a higher potential settlement.  That’s a big mistake.

If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, your first priority and focus should always be getting the appropriate medical treatment to help you get better and not on trying to increase a potential settlement.

Here are some key do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when speaking with your health care providers after an accident:

DO be 100 percent honest with your health care provider.  It is imperative that you give your doctor a completely accurate history of previous injuries or accidents you may have had.  You can be sure that the insurance company will uncover any prior accidents and injuries, and in doing so, will cast doubt on your doctor’s current diagnosis. 

DON’T exaggerate the details of your accident.  If you tell your doctor that your car was totaled when it actually only had minor damage, you’re asking for trouble.  Your doctor may be called to testify at trial about your injuries and will end up getting embarrassed by the insurance lawyer if you’ve misled him or her.

DON’T exaggerate your symptoms.  You should tell your doctor exactly what symptoms you are experiencing.  Exaggerating your symptoms won’t make your case stronger, and in fact, can sink your case if evidence (such as video surveillance) comes to light that contradicts what you told your doctor you can or can’t do on a daily basis.

DO follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends.  This means following through on physical therapy, making it to all of your appointments, and taking prescribed medications.  If you fail to do so and your recovery takes longer than expected, the insurance company lawyer will blame you and make the argument at trial that you must not have been hurting that badly.

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