Why attending medical appointments is crucial to your personal injury case
February 9, 2020 by GKwriter
Going through a personal injury experience is traumatic, and we understand that. You just want to get back to your normal life and move on. However, following your doctor’s treatment plan is crucial to your personal injury lawsuit. A Virginia personal injury attorney will help you use your medical records as evidence in your personal injury case.
But to use your medical records in your personal injury lawsuit, you have to have medical records, which means attending your appointments. Regular doctor appointments allow your medical professional to document your health changes, improvements and declines.
While it might be difficult to continue to attend medical appointments that you’re unsure how you’ll pay, you need to trust your attorney. For your attorney to be able to do their job to the fullest, they need your cooperation and buy in.
Medical evidence in personal injury lawsuits
A personal injury lawsuit seeks financial restitution for injuries. For there to be injuries in a case, there must be a medical diagnosis. The diagnosis your doctor makes becomes key evidence in your case. Plus, your doctor then becomes an expert witness who can speak fully to the injuries you sustained.
In a sense, your medical records tell a story. With each medical visit, you add another chapter to that story. Your doctor will document your health and input information about treatments from specialists. If your doctor has a note in your file that they referred you to a specialist, but you never attend that appointment, it gives the other side of the lawsuit an upper hand.
Failure to follow the medical recommendations can allow the other side of the lawsuit to prove that you were not vigilant in your medical care or that you did not make your medical care a priority.
The effect medical records have on your case
Complete medical records are much easier to use in your case than incomplete ones when negotiating with an insurance company. Gaps in your records open up areas for the insurance company to question the effectiveness or thoroughness of your care.
And, the less evidence your case has, the more likely it is that it will go to trial. Lawsuits that go to trial take much more time to resolve and fees increase as you’ll have to pay court costs.
Lawsuits that your personal injury attorney can resolve through negotiation without going to court will serve you better and help you get back to your normal life more quickly.
What to do if you can’t attend a medical appointment
If you’re unable to attend a medical appointment, don’t fret. Your lawsuit is not lost over one schedule conflict. However, it’s crucial that you call the doctor’s office and have them document the reason for your absence. During the call, be sure to reschedule the appointment for as soon as possible.
By calling and documenting the reason for your absence, you make it clear that your medical care is important to you. And by rescheduling the appointment as soon as possible, you ensure that your care stays on track.
Following doctor’s orders
In larger lawsuits, the insurance company might put you under surveillance to see if you’re following your doctor’s orders. It’s very important that you follow these orders completely to avoid sowing seeds of doubt for your insurance adjuster.
You should be careful to follow all rules your doctor outlines about:
- Physical activity: if your doctor has prohibited you from certain physical activities, such as running, biking, hiking, etc., follow those rules.
- Lifting weight above a certain threshold: your doctor might instruct you to not lift anything that’s more than 10 pounds. If you’re caught lifting more than that, the insurance company can prove that you elongated your healing process.
- Wearing braces or other healing devices: your doctor might prescribe a brace, cast, boot or other healing device. Be sure to wear that device as instructed, even when it’s inconvenient.
The goal of this article is not to overwhelm you, but to keep you informed. If you’re feeling like there is too much to worry about when it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, relax. That’s what your Virginia personal injury attorney is for.
At Gore & Kuperman, we take the time to help you understand the personal injury lawsuit process and make things as easy as possible for you. To put your personal injury lawsuit in good hands, contact us. We offer a free consultation to put your mind at ease and get your case started off on the right foot.