9 Questions To Ask Your Doctor After A Personal Injury

9 Questions To Ask Your Doctor After A Personal Injury

Experiencing a personal injury can be life changing. Medical treatment will play a large part in your recovery. Medical treatment may consist of visiting a primary care physician, being treated by multiple specialist, or undergoing a surgical procedure. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, but the focus should always be on making a full recovery. Knowing which questions to ask your doctor after a personal injury can help aid in both you physical and monetary recovery.

Doctor visits help patients understand their injuries and treatment plans, contribute to their overall physical recovery, and are essential in documenting injury related losses. Medical records are used by your attorney to calculate and demand adequate compensation for your injuries. Asking the right questions during visits with your medical providers can help you get the information needed to recover, make educated choices around your treatment, and ultimately assist in bringing a successful claim for your injuries.

Here are 9 questions to ask your doctor after a personal injury.

1. What are my injuries? (What is your diagnosis?)

You should have a thorough understanding of any injuries you may have. Ask your doctor about your injuries, and allow the doctor to explain in detail any and all of the injuries sustained. Doctors may not always go into detail about your injuries, so make sure to ask.

2. What is the cause of my injuries?

Proving the other party caused your injuries is essential to any injury claim. The opposing parties may claim your injuries were caused by something other than their negligence, such as a preexisting condition, or previous incident. These claims can be refuted by presenting medical records documenting the cause of your injuries. Therefore, it is important that details about what happened, and the cause of your injuries are documented in your medical records.

3. What is my treatment plan?

You should ask your doctor to explain in detail any recommended treatment plans for your injuries. In order to reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI), it’s important that you do your part by following the doctors orders. In order to be fully compensated for your injuries and medical care, the opposing party or jury will want to see your continued commitment to follow the recommended treatment plan.

4. Can I work? If not, when can I return to work?

Lost wages may be recovered as a part of your injury claim. Depending on the injuries, treatment plan, and overall recovery, you may find that the injuries impact your work and/or earnings. Injured people may work less, may be unable to perform certain work task, or may be unable to return to work for an extended period of time. Your doctors opinion regarding your inability to work, and/or any work restrictions must be documented in your records. These records can serve as significant evidence towards fully recovering damages for lost wages and/or earning capacity. You may also want to ask your doctor: How long they believe you will be out of work, and whether any work restrictions are temporary or permanent?

5. How long can I expect to be in pain?

The type of injuries sustained determine the severity and duration of pain you may experience. A doctor may help manage your expectations surrounding your pain, and address pain management options. Pain and suffering may be recovered as part of your personal injury claim. It is essential to provide detailed pain complaints to your doctors during appointments. Use descriptive examples of things you could do before the injury, and any limitations after the injury. Explain exactly how the pain has affected your life. Be honest and vocal so your doctors are fully aware of what you’re feeling throughout your treatment and recovery.

6. What is your prognosis? What are the possible outcomes?

Your prognosis is your doctors predicted likely final outcome of your injuries and chance of recovery. Oftentimes, doctors cannot answer this question until a patient has reached their Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Additionally, doctors may not be able to provide a clear prognosis, and there may be several possible outcomes in your future. Ask your doctors to clarify whether the prognosis is clear or uncertain. If your doctor isn’t clear about your prognosis, you should ask if you need an opinion or treatment from a specialist.

7. Will I need future medical treatment, and what will it cost?

After reaching your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), you should know whether any future medical treatment is likely. If future medical treatment is likely, you will want to ask what the cost of such treatment will be. Your doctor should provide an opinion about the likelihood of future treatment including, but not limited to, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, office visits, etc., along with the anticipated cost of such treatment. Damages for past and future medical treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages caused by your injuries are recoverable as part of your personal injury claim. When dealing with severe injuries, you may not know the total cost of your medical treatment at the time your claim is resolved. However, compensation for future medical treatment may still be recovered with the opinion of a medical professional that future treatment is likely.

8. Are my injuries permanent or do you expect me to make a full recovery?

We all hope for a full recovery from our injuries, but sometimes injuries are permanent, or even worsen as time goes by. It’s important to understand whether the doctor believes you have a permanent injury or not. You should check back in with your doctor periodically if you don’t feel you’ve fully recovered or if you’re still experiencing pain. The other side will look at gaps in treatment, or failing to return to the doctor as indicators that you were better. The doctor may recommend additional or new treatment methods you may find helpful. Additionally, your continued pain and suffering will be documented by your doctor. You may also want to ask your doctor: Do you recommend any temporary or permanent physical limitations in my daily life? Do I have a measurable functional impairment?

9. Can I have copies of my medical records?

Medical records should include appointments, complaints, diagnosis, prognosis, impairment ratings, referrals, prescriptions, and doctors notes among other details. Many people don’t take the time to review their own medical records. They normally rely on the doctors explanations and recommendations during their appointments. Attorneys on the other hand, thoroughly review medical records looking for the details and proof essential in building your personal injury case. Some patients may find it beneficial to look over their own records. Sometimes doctors can get personal information wrong or fail to document certain complaints that only you would know. Asking for and/or reviewing your medical records is not necessary. Your attorney will always review your medical records so don’t feel obligated to look them over. Medical records request can be completed by the Attorney as well. However, sometimes it is quicker and easier for the patient to request the records directly from the doctor.

The Right Doctor & The Right Questions

Lastly, take special care in choosing your doctors. You should feel comfortable and confident in the advice and care that your doctors provide. Some people will find it easier than others to assert themselves during appointments. Asking the right questions will help you fully understand your injuries, and allow you to actively participate in your treatment. Your doctors should be willing to answer questions about your treatment, and to explain things in a way that you understand. It may be helpful to write down your questions before appointments so that you don’t forget to ask.

Contact a Florida Accident Attorney

Sustaining an accident related injury can effects your physical, financial, and emotional well-being. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important that you speak to an accident attorney to maximize your chances of recovering fair and just compensation.
Find out how we can help by scheduling a free case review. During the free case review, Attorney Alanna Lamar will explain the legal options available, and help you choose the best route.

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