The first visit to a doctor after a car accident can be dizzying. You might feel like you were barely hurt, and think that there’s not much you to ask. Or, you may be in extreme pain—or even talking to the doctor on behalf of a loved one who is incapacitated—be distracted from the information you’re being given. Either way, take your time: this appointment is your chance to get the information you’re going to need for yourself, for the insurers, and for your employer. And there are certain questions you should ask your doctor after you’ve been in a car accident.
Below is our complete guide—everything you need to ask, how to get it documented (if needed), and why you need it. Remember: you do not have to face this process alone, and our attorneys are here to help if you need it.
First, Get YOUR Concerns Addressed
The “standard” questions can wait a minute. Is there something you’re worried about? Do you want to know how likely it is you’ll make a 100% recovery? Is something else hurting that the doctor hasn’t looked at yet? Take a minute to ask.
YOU are the one living with your injuries, and it’s your future health that the doctor is dealing with. We believe you should always be your own advocate in the medical system. Get the answers you need and make sure you understand them. Then you can move on to…
The “5 Magic Questions” to Ask Your Doctor After an Accident
Here are the questions we advise every car accident victim or their family to ask:
1. How are these injuries going to affect me?
Ask for details about your injuries, including the normal expected recovery time, what kind of treatments will be needed, and anything else the doctor can tell you. The more you understand about your injuries, the less surprises you will face. And you’ll be better equipped for your own self-care and recovery recovery process.
2. What additional health concerns should I expect in the future?
Not every injury stays the same over time. For example, is there a chance the treatment will fail, and you’ll need some other treatment down the line? Or, will the injury recovery fully for now, but result in painful arthritis later in life? The more you know about future expectations, the better.
3. What was the exact cause of the injuries?
Car accident injuries can happen many different ways. Was this from hitting the steering wheel, or the dashboard? Or was it a whiplash injury from being thrown forward? As your doctor’s opinion on the specific causes of each of your injuries.
4. Am I able to return to work or not?
If your doctor thinks you should take time off of from work, ask for a written letter to that effect. This will make it easier to get the time off from your employer, and to apply for paid time off benefits if needed later. It also creates proof that your accident required the missed work time, which is helpful when dealing with insurance.
5. How do I get copies of my medical records before leaving today?
Some doctors will have staff make copies of the records on the spot. Others will have forms for you to fill out or some kind of request process. Generally, complete the process and get the documents the same day if possible.
So… why ask these questions? They’re important for a couple big reasons:
- They help you leave with a clear idea of what to expect long-term
- They help document your specific needs, which goes a long way toward getting the insurance money you deserve
Getting the information you need—for yourself and for your insurance claim—is the first step in being a strong advocate for your own rights. We recommend writing down detailed notes on your meeting with the doctor, and the doctor’s answers to your questions, immediately after the meeting. Date the notes and tell your lawyer you have them.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Still feel overwhelmed? That’s normal. Let our car accident attorneys help you. We will give you a FREE consultation—and put 20+ years of experience to work fighting for your rights. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.