Why Providing Your Treating Doctors with a Thorough Medical History is So Important
The single most important key to a successful outcome in your personal injury case is to provide all of your treating doctors, specialists and therapists with a thorough history of all of your injuries, limitations, restrictions and inability to enjoy activities.
In this post, we’ll explore why this is true.
Ohio Law & Your Injury
In any personal injury case, including auto accidents, slip and fall incidents, dog bite cases and work related incidents, it is essential that you provide the treating doctors, therapists and specialists with a thorough medical history. Under Ohio law, you are entitled to be paid fully for all of your medical care and treatment, prescription bills, and lost earnings. In addition, you are entitled to be paid for your general damages that include your pain and suffering (which is the anxiety and stress that you went through after your incident.) Ohio law also allows you to recover money for your restrictions and limitations plus your inability to enjoy activities. Finally, it entitles you to be paid for future medical care and treatment in the event any of your injuries are chronic or permanent in nature.
Being Specific is Important
In order to thoroughly evaluate each one of these damage claims, the insurance company will thoroughly evaluate and consider all of the records and bills from your doctors, specialists and therapists.
Going from top to bottom, list for your doctor all of your injuries and describe for your doctor what it feels like inside your body. Use descriptive words to describe what the injuries feel like. For example, it is not enough to say that “I have neck pain.” Be more thorough, for example, by telling your doctor that you have neck pain that is “aching and radiating with a warm sensation” as opposed to just neck pain. Tell your doctor about the intensity of the pain. How long does the pain last? How intense is the pain? Does the pain come and go or is it constant? Describe the frequency and extent of the pain for each of your injuries.
Working with Insurance Adjusters
Giving a thorough history is essential because the insurance adjuster is not going to just take your word. The adjuster will consider all of your records from your treating doctor, specialist or therapist. It is up to you to give them a thorough history relating to your injuries and the extent and duration of the pain. From the outside, you may look great, and the adjuster is left wondering if you are really injured. By providing your doctors, specialists and therapists with a thorough medical history, they will help describe for the adjuster the extent of your pain and the nature and extent of your injuries.
Don’t Hide Information from Your Doctors
In addition to describing the full extent of all of your injuries, the extent of your pain, and the duration and frequency of your pain, you must also provide your doctor, therapist and specialist with a complete summary of all of your restrictions and limitations. Tell the doctor all of the activities that you cannot do or have difficulty doing. For example, tell the doctor you are unable to golf because you cannot swing your arm or you cannot attend to your garden because you cannot bend or squat for long periods of time. List all of the activities that you enjoyed doing that are restricted or you have had difficulty doing since the incident.
Keep a Detailed Journal
To help our clients remember all of their injuries, restrictions and limitations, we always advise our clients to keep a diary. This diary allows our clients to remember all of the injuries and limitations so they can provide their doctors, specialists and therapists with all of this information. The more details the better. The more examples of activities that you have difficulty doing or cannot do at all the better. The proper documentation of these details is a critical component to help ensure that a client has success and a fair outcome when negotiating the settlement of a claim.
Quality of Life is an Important Factor, Too
One final word of advice. All of the activities that you enjoyed doing that were impacted by the incident are personal to you. Many of my clients feel that the activities may not be important to the insurance adjuster, so they don’t tell their doctor, specialist or therapist. Your injuries, restrictions, limitations and activities that you have difficulty doing after the incident are your personal experiences and are very important to you. This incident is about you and not about anyone else. These stories need to be told because the incident impacted you on the activities that you enjoyed. Always tell your doctor, specialist or therapist about all of the things you enjoyed doing that were impacted by the incident. These personal stories are important and need to be highlighted when you discuss these issues with your medical providers.
Need Help in Ohio?
If you’re injured in the state of Ohio, feel free to contact our office for additional information.