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What to Tell Your Doctor About Your Car Crash Injuries

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jun 03, 2022 in Car Accidents

patient telling doctor about crash injuriesAfter a car accident, what you tell the doctor about your crash injuries is critical. Leaving out even minor symptoms could prevent you from quickly getting the medical care you need.

Doctors undergo significant training to recognize visible symptoms that point to a certain type of injury. However, with some injuries, especially if they are internal, it can be tricky to diagnose a patient quickly without other insight or details.

At Goldberg Finnegan, our qualified lawyers are ready to help. We know the importance of getting medical care immediately after a crash. We also know why connecting the injuries to the crash that caused them matters if you later file a claim. Contact our firm to learn more, including whether you may have a valid case.

Your case review is completely FREE. (888) 213-8140

What Should You Tell Your Doctor About Your Crash Injuries?

Emergency room staff and doctors are used to dealing with severe injuries from crashes and other serious accidents. Even so, ERs are often hectic places, which means vital details about your injuries might not be relayed to the doctor. You can help yourself by being proactive about your care. That said, do you know what you should tell your doctor about your crash injuries?

Describe Details About the Crash

Giving the treating doctor some general details about the crash could provide insight about where and how badly you may be injured.

Details about the crash could include:

  • The size, type and age of the vehicle – an older or smaller car may not have crumple zones, so your injuries may be more severe.
  • The type of crash may provide insight about where you may be hurt. For example, rear-end collisions often cause neck injuries, such as whiplash.
  • Did you hit your head during the crash? If so, did you lose consciousness?
  • Were you hit by any objects during the accident?
  • Was the vehicle stopped or moving when it was hit?
  • Did you have your seat belt on at the time of impact?
  • How badly was the vehicle damaged?

One point worth mentioning is that you should only stick to the basics when discussing the crash. Do not discuss who you think was at fault. The purpose here is to describe the damage done to the car and to you, not how the accident happened.

Discuss the Onset of Symptoms Since the Crash

Crash victims may often leave out symptoms they believe are minor or unrelated to an accident. When talking about crash injuries, even minor symptoms matter. The collective details may help your doctor diagnose your injuries faster. Remember that time is essential after any accident. Injuries, like head trauma or internal bleeding, could quickly worsen or become life-threatening without treatment.

Be specific about what you are feeling, where you are feeling it and when the symptoms started.

Some examples include:

  • Nausea, including if you have thrown up and how many times
  • Pain and where you feel it, such as a throbbing headache, pain shooting down your leg, etc.
  • Do you have any numbness or tingling? If so, where do you feel it?
  • Is your vision blurry?
  • Do you feel light-headed or are you experiencing any dizziness or vertigo?
  • Are you able to move all your limbs? With pain? Without pain?
  • Is your range of motion in your arms or legs limited in any way?
  • Can you turn your head without pain?
  • Do you feel confused about what happened?

You may think that having a headache is normal after a car crash. It could be you have nothing more than a stress headache. However, if you have a headache with other symptoms, such as blurry vision, nausea and dizziness, you may have a severe head injury. Let the doctor determine what is wrong. It is never a good idea to try to self-diagnose yourself after a car crash.

Should You Mention Preexisting Injuries or Conditions?

One mistake crash victims may make is trying to cover-up a preexisting injury or medical condition. The concern is typically that the victim believes a preexisting condition will keep him or her from recovering compensation. However, trying to hide relevant medical history is more likely to backfire as it gives the other side leverage to discredit you. This misstep can cause significant damage to your claim.

The best course of action is to tell your doctor about a preexisting injury and how the accident has affected it. You should also tell your attorney. He or she can then develop a strategy to release details about your preexisting condition to the other side in a manner that helps your claim, rather than damaging it.

Following Up With Treatment After Your ER Visit

After your ER visit, you should be diligent to follow-up with the plan of care your doctor recommends. Failing to do this could make it seem as though you are not injured that badly. Other important recommendations after your ER visit include:

  • Making sure you do not miss any follow-up appointments
  • Taking prescription medication your doctor gave you to help with pain management
  • Being sure to do any physical therapy exercises recommended
  • Keeping a journal of your injuries, including how they affect your daily life

At your ongoing appointments, be sure to be specific with your treating physician about how your injuries are doing after the crash. What you tell your doctor gets added to your medical records. These notes provide evidence about the severity of your injuries.

Remember when discussing your injuries at any time throughout your claim to be completely honest. Do not downplay your pain or how an injury has affected you, but do not lie or exaggerate either.

After a Crash, Our Trusted Firm is Ready to Help. Contact Us

You can contact Goldberg Finnegan when you need legal help after a crash. Even if you are unsure if you shared any fault for what happened, we always recommend speaking to a lawyer. Our experienced Silver Spring-based car crash attorneys are prepared to review your situation and determine if you have legal options.

We charge no fees for your initial case review. If we represent you, there is also nothing to pay us up front or while we manage your case. We do not get our fees unless we win your case.

We are available to take your call 24/7. (888) 213-8140

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