After being injured in a car accident, your first priority should always be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In addition to protecting your health, establishing medical records and demonstrating how an injury has affected you can play a major role in maximizing your potential settlement. Regardless of whether you are transported by ambulance or are able to get to a medical facility on your own, once you are treated, there are a variety of questions you should ask your attending physician that will help you throughout the entire process of recovering from the accident and completing your auto insurance claim and/or lawsuit.
Be sure to ask your doctor the following:
- What are my injuries, and what do they mean? – Ask your doctor about the severity of your injuries. The more you understand your injury, the more likely you will be to focus on your recovery and avoid things which can harm your recovery. Along the same lines, find out how long you can expect to be in pain and what additional care will be necessary.
- What future health concerns do I face? – Above all concerns, be sure to raise any questions you may have about your long-term health or any side-effects you may be experiencing. Your doctor may advise you to see a chiropractor or other specialist to set up a care plan to minimize your risk of irreversible damage.
- How were my injuries caused? – While you are obviously seeing a doctor because of a car accident, which you should clearly state, it is important you obtain your doctor’s opinion on exactly how your injuries were caused. Were you concussed because your head hit the steering wheel? Did the other vehicle’s speed contribute to your back injury? Your doctor’s opinion on these issues – especially if they are in writing – can help to prevent insurance companies from implying that your injuries were caused by something unrelated to your collision.
- Can I return to work? – It is common for car accident victims to require time away from work or to restrict their duties to recover. Since car accident symptoms do not always present themselves right away, it is highly likely that you will feel worse a few days after your accident and be unable to work. Getting a doctor recommendation and establishing needs for time off early will often help you in the claims process when seeking damages for missed work or reduced earning potential.
- May I have copies of my medical records? – Your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit will involve thorough documentation. As such, you will want to make sure you receive the necessary paperwork and records from your doctor. While many doctors will freely provide you with everything you will need, you may need to make a formal request for these records. Important documents include proof of your injuries such as hospital stay and doctor visit records, long-term care plans, proof of follow-up visits, prescriptions, doctor’s notes and recommendations, and referrals to other doctors or specialists.
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In many cases, your chances of securing a fair settlement for your injuries after a car accident are directly dependent on the quality and creativity of your legal representation. At Browne Law Group, our top-rated Gilbert car accident attorney can provide the aggressive and steadfast support you need to ensure your rights are guarded and maximize your potential compensation. Having been selected to Mountain States Super Lawyers® several times and earned numerous five-star testimonials from past clients, we have what it takes to pursue the results you deserve.
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