Following doctor’s orders and treatment plans in a personal injury case serves two purposes – prioritizing your recovery and providing essential documentation for any legal proceedings you have, enhancing the credibility and strength of your claim.
The highest priority after experiencing a personal injury is your recovery. A doctor, as a healthcare professional, plays a crucial role in guiding you through the healing process. Following doctor’s orders and treatment plans is instrumental in achieving the primary goal of full recovery. Adhering to medical advice enhances the chances of regaining physical health and well-being.
In the context of a personal injury case, your medical records also serve as foundational evidence to establish the extent of your injuries, damages, and the impact of the accident on your health. Consistent medical documentation, including details of treatments, medications, and the progression of recovery, provides a comprehensive and verifiable record. This documentation is vital for building a strong case and supporting claims for compensation.
Following the medical treatment prescribed by your doctor demonstrates you are indeed injured and committed to recovering, adding credibility to your claims and reinforcing the validity of the reported injuries. In legal proceedings, credibility is a crucial factor. Judges, juries, or insurance adjusters may view a claim more favorably when the injured party diligently follows medical advice, as it reflects a responsible and genuine approach to recovery.
Personal injury claims heavily rely on medical records and documentation. The completeness and accuracy of medical records significantly influence the strength of your case. These records can be used to build a compelling narrative, demonstrating the cause-and-effect relationship between the accident and illustrating the depth of the injuries sustained and the subsequent impact on your life.
Missing appointments or not following your doctor’s orders can have significant repercussions in your personal injury case, especially to your credibility and overall case strategy. As such, adhering to prescribed medical advice is essential for both recovery and the strength of your claim.
The defendant’s legal team may interpret your having missed appointments or not following your doctor’s orders as a signal you are not actually experiencing significant pain or discomfort. If a recommended treatment or therapy is neglected, it could be perceived that your pain is not severe enough to justify consistent medical attention, which in turn may weaken, if not completely undermine, your ability to get compensation for pain and suffering. Your credibility will be greatly tarnished with it.
Failure to follow prescribed treatment plans may also pose challenges in establishing a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the accident and the reported injuries. As a result, the defendant’s legal team may argue that your inability or unwillingness to adhere to your doctor’s orders introduces uncertainties about whether the injuries are directly attributable to the accident. This can greatly impact the strength of the causation argument in the personal injury case.
Additionally, not complying with medical instructions can affect the value of the damages sought in a personal injury case, especially for medical expenses and pain and suffering. The injured party in a personal injury case typically relies on medical expenses as a key part of determining the cost of recovery. If treatments or appointments are missed, the overall cost of medical care will be lower and diminish the overall value of the claim.
The opposing party or their insurance company will likely leverage the fact that you did not comply with your doctor’s instruction to challenge the severity and valuation of your injuries.
The opposing party or their insurance company may think you aren’t as injured as you claim if you don’t follow what your doctor instructs you to do. Generally, if a prescribed treatment or therapy is crucial for your recovery, failure to adhere to it implies you didn’t suffer the injury that required the treatment to begin with.
Non-compliance can also be used as a basis for devaluing your injuries. The opposing side may contend that if you did not fully follow your treatment plan, the overall value of the injuries, and consequently the damages claim, should be reduced. This aims to influence settlement negotiations or court proceedings.
With all this in mind, keeping a daily journal is a great way to document your activities, medications, and pain levels related to the accident. It serves as a contemporaneous record of your experiences and provides a detailed account of your condition.
We’ve developed a free application available on iPhone and Android with a journal to assist you in doing just that, whether injured or not. It offers a practical solution for you to maintain a thorough record of your experiences, especially those pertinent to your personal injury case.
Requesting specific medical records can strengthen your personal injury claim. These records provide a comprehensive and detailed account of your health status, contributing to a robust presentation of the impact of the accident on your well-being.
Request medical records from any doctor who treated you and discussed the accident, especially records from the day of the incident if at all possible. This is especially true of paramedics’ records. These records are invaluable in establishing a direct link between the accident and the injuries sustained, as well as your condition immediately after the accident. They serve as contemporaneous documentation of your condition at the time of the incident and following it.
Request records from the first hospital visit following the accident, if applicable. Hospital visit records contribute to a full understanding of the initial medical evaluation, treatments administered, and any immediate recommendations or observations by healthcare professionals. Include records that document preexisting conditions, allergies, or limitations that may affect the recommended care plan. Highlighting preexisting conditions helps address any challenges or limitations in following certain medical recommendations, supporting a nuanced understanding of your health circumstances.
Documenting the personal impact through client diaries, considerations of job-related impacts, and open communication with healthcare providers enriches the narrative of how the injuries have affected your life. This approach strengthens your case by combining medical insights with a personalized account of the broader consequences.
While doctors may not explicitly write about the impact of your injuries on your life, they can provide valuable information related to treatment plans, surgical recommendations, and estimated future costs. Additionally, you can contribute to building a comprehensive case by documenting how your life has been affected.
Doctors often communicate surgical recommendations or future treatment plans. Getting a written estimate for the cost of recommended procedures and the anticipated duration of future treatments is of great benefit. This information adds a financial perspective to your case, outlining potential medical expenses associated with ongoing treatment and procedures.
Keep your own diary that details a typical day of your life. Ideally, you’d have entries from before and after the incident that show how starkly different your life is as a result of the accident and injuries you suffered. Focus on activities, routines, and aspects that have been altered due to the injuries. Personal narratives provide a nuanced yet clear understanding of the impact on daily life, especially with regards to your family life, recreation, and overall lifestyle changes.
If injuries affect your ability to work, document the impact on employment, including any lost wages or changes in job responsibilities. Demonstrating the financial repercussions of your injuries strengthens your case by showcasing tangible losses, further supporting your claim for compensation.
Discrepancies between your doctor’s recommendations and the insurance company’s assessment are perfectly normal – and expected. A doctor’s job is to treat you for injuries and illness, whereas the job of an insurance company is ultimately to make money. Focus on prioritizing your health by following your doctor’s plan, and let your legal team deal with the insurance company.
Insurance companies often seek alternative medical opinions to dispute your doctor’s recommendations. The goal behind this is to downplay the severity of injuries and reduce compensation. Your attorney will anticipate these challenges and most likely have strategies in place to counter these tactics. If necessary, they will be prepared to escalate matters to litigation, presenting a robust case in court to secure the rightful compensation for you.