Treating for your lawsuit or personal injury claim with your primary care doctor can give you a sense of comfort and support. Many people share details of their personal lives with their doctor as a way to make small talk or conversation. In most cases, this is not detrimental to your care or other health issues in your life. Once you file a lawsuit or make a personal injury claim against an insurance company, sharing personal details of your case can GREATLY affect your claim, and ultimately, what money you would recover for your injuries.
In this business, a large percent of an attorney’s time is spent reviewing medical records for treatment of the personal injury you sustained. Most personal injury cases begin with treatment in the emergency room or urgent care. It is certainly important to obtain treatment for your personal injury as soon as possible. A gap in treatment or delayed personal injury treatment can cause the insurance adjuster to question the severity of your injury. They may allege you were not actually injured in the accident you were involved in simply because you did not get treatment right away. Our office understands you may not be experiencing pain or symptoms of a personal injury immediately. A lot of accidents end in the person not getting care immediately because they are still in shock or their adrenaline is still surging and not allowing the symptoms to be known immediately after the accident.
Treatment gaps can be remedied in most cases by treating with your primary care physician. We believe it is best not to discuss your legal matters with your doctor or the medical staff, including physical therapists. Please understand it is critical to inform your doctor of all the injures you have suffered as a result of the accident. However, discussing more than that can be detrimental. We occasionally see notes in medical records where the doctor or a staff member includes comments made by the patient regarding their personal injury claim or lawsuit. Some of these comments appearing in the records are not helpful and can have an adverse effect on your case.
It is best to only discuss your personal injury claim with your attorney or the attorney’s staff.
Doctors are there to treat your injury, that’s it. Knowing you have filed a personal injury claim or lawsuit will not change the severity of your injury. The treatment will be the same whether your doctor knows you have a personal injury claim pending or not. However, if an insurance adjuster sees documentation in your medical records stating “patient has hired a personal injury lawyer” or “patient was referred to our office by their attorney,” they may have questions as to your credibility. Some companies will deny or offer less money on your claim when they see notations in your medical records similar to the previous examples. They will allege that you are not actually suffering from a personal injury, but that your lawyer is “trumping up” the value of your claim by sending you in for unneeded treatment.
If you have questions about personal injury treatment and how to best protect your claim, call our office today at 314-862-7222.
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