There are a thousand and one things going through your mind immediately following a car accident.
"Am I okay?"
"Is everyone else okay?"
"What do I do now?"
It can be very overwhelming, and understandably so.
Unfortunately, the odds aren't in your favor.
There are about 16,000 car accidents every day.
Every year, 3 million people are injured, and 2 million of those people have injuries that are permanent.
Car accidents are one of those things that "won't ever happen to me."
Unfortunately, it most likely will.
And you'll probably be injured.
That's why you need to be prepared. It's best if you're ready for the inevitable.
When you're hurt, you need to go to the doctor.
But it isn't your typical check-up. You were just in an accident, so there are specific questions you'll need to ask.
Below are eight questions you must ask your personal injury doctor.
1. What are my injuries?
Let's start with the obvious.
When you go to the doctor, you will obviously have a good idea of what your injuries are.
However, sometimes you might have more injuries than you realized.
Your doctor might not explain in detail what they are unless you ask.
If you don't ask, you don't know.
Asking your doctor what your injuries are is the only sure fire way to get him to list them off in detail.
Maybe he's already told you what your injuries are, but asking this question gets him to go into further detail about them.
That's why it never hurts to ask. Especially after a car accident, you're going to want to know every last thing about each of your injuries.
2. How long will I be in pain?
When you get hurt in a car accident or any personal injury accident, your pain is real.
Not only do you need to know how long the pain could last so it can aid in your recovery, but you need to be compensated for it as well.
Physical injuries hurt, and they could hurt for a long time.
When your lawyer and the jury put their heads together to put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, they need to know how much pain you've been in, and how long it'll last.
Your doctor will be able to give you a good idea of what to expect if you ask him.
3. Will the injuries cause any future problems?
This is an important question to ask as you prepare your path to recovery.
Certain injuries like concussions and brain injuries can cause problems years down the road.
Broken bones may never heal correctly.
You need to know what you have in store.
By the time you get to trial, you may not be done paying for your medical bills.
You can get compensated for future bills, but you need to know what they're going to cost.
A guess isn't good enough. You'll need the expert opinion of your doctor.
4. How did I sustain the injuries?
This is a valid question on multiple levels.
Sometimes when our accident involves a traumatic brain injury, we might not remember what happened.
There are countless cases of people waking up in the hospital or the ambulance with no idea of what's going on.
Your doctor will be able to tell you what happened.
You also need to ask for legal purposes.
If you're involved in an accident, the other party might try to say your injuries already existed.
You'll need an expert to verify that you did indeed receive your injuries during the accident.
5. When can I return to work?
The answer to this question will have a significant impact on your day to day life.
Most of us can't afford to miss an extended period of work.
It's estimated that only 39% of Americans can survive a $1,000 emergency.
That means we're not prepared to miss time due to an injury.
Fortunately, we can recoup our lost wages after an accident.
The defense could try to argue that the accident didn't cause your inability to work.
The opinion of a medical professional will go a long way in helping prove your case.
6. What's the treatment plan?
In order to recover, you need to know how to recover.
You need to ask your doctor what his plan for treatment is so you can implement it right away.
The jury will also want to know that you're doing your part in your recovery.
They're less likely to award you with payments for future medical bills if you aren't taking your current recovery seriously.
Make sure you're doing exactly what you need to do.
Get your doctor to spell it out for you step by step.
7. Will I need physical therapy?
Depending on your injury, you may need physical therapy.
Physical therapy is an ongoing service that can last well after you've sustained your injuries.
It might not be apparent immediately after your injuries either.
Ask your doctor right away if your injury is one that could need physical therapy.
You can be compensated for your physical therapy, but only if you know, you're going to need it.
8. What else should I do?
Your care is rarely over after the initial visit.
You need to ask if there will be any follow up appointments for additional treatment.
You also need to ask if your doctor can make a complete diagnosis.
You may need to be referred to a specialist for further tests or observations.
Additionally, a specialist along with your doctor will help solidify your case with the jury.
Always see a doctor
You will always need to see a doctor following a car accident.
Even if your injuries aren't apparent at the time of the accident, you never know how you'll feel the next day, or if there are any internal injuries.
You need to get the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical bills, and that starts by going to the doctor.
Your lawyer and the jury will need to see concrete evidence of what your injuries are, how they were sustained, and how they will be treated.
Building up enough solid evidence can also keep the claim from going to trial.
The other side may decide they're better off paying out of court.
If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about personal injury cases, check out these articles.
- How long can you wait to see a doctor after an accident?
- Personal injuries a chiropractor can treat.
- Will your personal injury claim cover chiropractic care?