You should tell your doctor everything about your accident in Florida. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people under-report injuries and pain because of fear of being labeled a “complainer.” If you do not make ALL your complaints known to your doctor, they will not be documented in your medical records. If it’s not in your medical records, it didn’t happen. This mistake could hurt your case and cost you money. Be 100% candid and tell you doctor everything after an accident in Florida.
Speak In Broad Terms
When speaking to your doctor be sure to give a broad overview of how you feel. After a few weeks you should start to get better. This doesn’t mean you’ll be pain free. You may have a good day, followed by a bad day. If this is the case, let your doctor know that you feel good today, but yesterday was a killer. By giving a broad overview of how you feel your doctor will be in a better position to document your true condition. Remember, your medical records is how accident attorneys prove injuries. You’ll want ALL of your injuries to be included in your medical records.
In Florida, in order to collect money damages from a car accident claim you’ll need to prove you’ve suffered a “permanent injury.” If you are 100% better, you don’t have a permanent injury. By under-reporting your injuries and not making your complaints known you run the risk of your doctor finding you haven’t suffered a permanent injury. This mistake could cost you money when it comes time to negotiate a settlement. Now, this isn’t to say that you should “make up” injuries, or say something hurts worse than it does. You don’t want to come across as a “malinger.”
Report Accident Injuries To All Doctors
If you treat with other doctors for things other than your accident injuries be sure to let them know you were involved in an accident. For example, if you hurt your back and neck in a car accident and you’re treating with an orthopedist, let your primary care physician know you were hurt in an accident, even if your primary care physician is treating you for something else. This is important because the defense will request medical records from ALL your doctors, not just the ones treating you for the accident. If you don’t inform ALL your doctors of the accident, they will not document it in your history. When the defense reviews those records, if there is no mention of your accident, they will argue your accident couldn’t have been that bad because you didn’t mention it to your primary care physician. Again, be 100% candid with all your doctors and tell them everything after an accident.
Credibility Is Everything
You can bet the defense will spend hours accumulating your past medical history searching for evidence to use against you. It could be a pre-existing condition, drug usage, or any personal information to undermine your credibility. In ALL accident cases, your credibility is the MOST important part of the case. If your medical records are inconsistent because you didn’t make your complaints known to ALL doctors you will be viewed as not being truthful. If you are not viewed as truthful, it doesn’t matter what the evidence shows, a jury will not find for you! A jury has to believe that they are helping a worthy plaintiff.
Bad facts against a plaintiff who is not credible gives the jury an excuse to find against the plaintiff. Bad facts against a credible plaintiff can expose the defendant’s bad conduct and drive the jury’s decision when rendering a verdict. Again, not to beat a dead horse (but it’s important), be 100% candid and tell your doctors everything after an accident in Florida.
For More Information
The Longo Firm, P.A.
Micah J. Longo
12555 Orange Drive, Ste. 233
Davie, FL 33330
Tel: (954) 862-3608