Sitting in the doctor’s examination room for the first time following a car accident, your attention will be focused, understandably so, on the injuries from the car accident. However, make sure when the doctor asks you about your prior medical history that you tell the doctor about any prior problem to the same or similar body part that is now injured from the car accident. For example, if you are complaining of left knee pain following the car accident and five years earlier you suffered from a left knee problem, make sure you disclose that information to the doctor. By disclosing the information, the doctor will include the information in his treatment records and more importantly the doctor will be able to determine what injuries were caused by the car accident, what pre-existing conditions may have been aggravated by the car accident, and what conditions may be unrelated to the car accident. If you do not disclose the information, you will face two large problems in your personal injury claim. Problem one – the defense attorney for the insurance company will paint you as a liar. The insurance lawyer’s argument will be that you intentionally failed to disclose the information to your doctor because you wanted the doctor to connect all your health problems to the car accident so you could get more money. Problem two – your doctor may have to change his opinions about what injuries were caused by the car accident after he already committed to certain opinions in his medical records. So avoid all of this by fully disclosing any prior injury or condition. If you do forget to tell your doctor about the prior condition or injury, as soon as you remember the prior history, contact the doctor and disclose the information. When it comes time to settle or go to trial on your car accident you will be happy that you made the full disclosure.Read More
If you have been injured in an accident and are receiving medical treatment from a doctor, make sure when the doctor asks for your prior relevant medical history to disclose any previous injuries or conditions similar to the injuries suffered in the accident. Do not withhold this information thinking that it will help your personal injury case. In fact, it will seriously harm your case. The insurance companies maintain a database containing a history of each and every injury claim a person has filed in the past. So the insurance company knows of your prior injury claims.
The insurance company is waiting to see if you disclose your past medical history to your doctor. If you do not, count on the insurance company to use that non-disclosure against you. So if you have suffered a back injury 5 years earlier and now suffered a new back injury or aggravated the old one as a result of a car accident, tell your treating physician about it.
For more information about personal injury law and how to properly handle a personal injury case, please contact our attorneys today.Read More