Victims of accidents with personal injuries are sometimes hesitant about having the ‘right’ answers to the questions that their doctors and solicitors will ask. The is no real reason for apprehension – the simple fact is that you just need to tell the truth. This article should help you prepare and reflect on the topics your doctor and solicitor are likely to want to discuss with you.
You will always need to be able to describe your injuries to your doctor and solicitor and you also need to describe the impact of the injuries on your work and daily life. The primary purpose of understanding and documenting your injuries is to help your doctor manage your ongoing treatment and recovery.
In every single case, your solicitor will also need medical records. For example, if you have ongoing pain, your solicitor would probably like to see your records of visiting your doctor for pain treatment and whether have been taking regular pain medication and have prescriptions as proof.
Your solicitor may also ask you to attend a specialist doctor to prepare a special report assessing your personal injuries in the context of a compensation claim.
Do you have Visible Injuries?
You should take photographs of any scarring or bruising before it heals. You solicitor might even arrange professional photographs. Visible injuries might be considered very important in personal injury claims in some circumstances, such as scaring on the face of a woman.
Do you have Invisible Injuries?
Medical records are essential for internal injuries that are not visible. In many cases, it may be possible to have physical evidence of internal injuries (like x-rays to prove broken bones).
At the Scene of Your Accident, what Physical Pain did you Immediately Experience?
It is important to be able to describe the immediate physical pain of an accident. Unfortunately, many people suffer shock in serious accidents and are unable to remember the exact circumstances and the physical pain.
What Physical Pain did you Experience During the Healing Process?
Many types of injuries are painful while they heal.
There are specific medical terms used to describe different types of pain so you need to speak to your doctor if you have any difficulties describing your pain. The vocabulary to describe different types of pain including burning, stabbing, aching, cramping, shooting, throbbing, etc. The level of pain ranges from mild, discomforting, distressing, or even excruciating.
It is also helpful if you can describe frequency of pain, what it is like when it is at its best and worst.
As with most details, your solicitor will want to see documentation so your medical records are essential.
What Emotions Do You Feel When You Think About Your Accident?
Many people experience a range of emotions depending on the circumstances of the accident. You need to be able to describe these emotions to you solicitor. You need to reflect on emotions like anger, anxiety, defeat, fear, frustration, humiliation, or even sadness.
Are there any Physical Activities that you are Prevented from Doing?
Physical activities associated with your work are obviously the most important factor in any personal injury claim.
Can you continue to drive a car or ride a motorbike or bicycle?
Are there any sporting activities that you have reduced or stopped, such as football, swimming,
Are there any skillful activities that you can no longer pursue, such as playing a musical instrument or woodworking or sewing?
Are there are pursue physical hobbies such as golf, fishing, or sailing?
Can you continue to play with your children/grandchildren?
Do Common Household Activities Now Cause You Pain?
Think about the regular housing activities that may now cause you difficulty such as cooking, cleaning and dusting, vacuuming, or gardening.
Are there any Intellectual Activities or Hobbies that you have Reduced or even Stopped Because of Your Injuries?
Some examples of intellectual activities or hobbies that might be reduced as the result of accident injuries are chess, reading, music concerts, museums, etc. You might even be spending less time with your friends.
Have you had to Change Long Term Plans Because of Your Personal Injuries?
Changed career plans are very important in personal injury claims because future potential earning can be calculated based on those plans. However, there are factors in your personal life that might also be very important such as a woman not being able to have children.
In summary, understanding the long term impact of your physical injuries very important for both your going medical treatment and also for your solicitor when make a personal injury claim.
- Your doctor’s questions help compile the strongest possible compensation claim.
- It is important to adequately and honestly describe the pain you experienced in your accident when answering your doctor’s questions.
- Medical questions may also be asked by a specialist doctor introduced by your solicitor when making a claim for personal injury compensation.
- Your doctor’s questions are also likely to include how the impact of your injuries has subsequently affected your physical and psychological wellbeing.
- We offer examples of the questions a doctor should be asking you and explain the importance of doctor’s questions.
- If you are in any doubt about what should be included in your medical report, speak with one of our helpful solicitors on our free advice service.
Copyright © 2009-2015 Eoin Campbell
About the Author
Eoin P. Campbell is an honours law graduate (LL.B) and qualified solicitor whose primary professional experience is the area of litigation and in particular personal injury claims. Eoin P. Campbell is currently lecturing in law at two universities in Lyon, France.