If you have been injured in an accident, it’s important to go to a doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries, such as whiplash, are not immediately evident. In addition, documentation and medical records are needed to file a personal injury claim.
Even if you have gone to the emergency room, an urgent care facility or your own primary care doctor, it’s a good idea to also seek the medical advice of a physician with specialized training in the type of injury you have sustained, such as an orthopedist or a neurologist, since they are likely to have more experience dealing with personal injury claims and insurance companies.
Here are a few questions you should make sure to ask:
- What are my injuries and should I be concerned about any “side effects?”
- Should I take time off to recover?
- Can I get copies of medical documentation about my injury?
It may seem obvious, but you should get specific information about exactly what your injury is. For instance, if you’ve suffered a neck injury, ask if it involves soft tissue or if there may be disc compression as well. The physician may have ordered x-rays or a CT scan to check for fractures, dislocations or other bone damage or an MRI to see if there has been any spinal cord, disk or ligament damage. Even less severe injuries can lead to “side effects” such as headaches or decreased range of motion. If you have any concerns about your injury, by all means, discuss them with your doctor.
Regardless of the cause of the accident-caused injury, you may need to take time to heal before returning to work or to specific types of activities. It may be tempting to want to return to the job quickly but you should listen to your doctor’s advice. In many personal injury cases, you can seek lost wages as a part of your injury claim. Your physician should supply you with a note to give to your employer that will outline the time you need to recover and when you are able to return to work.
Not only can you get copies, it is important that you do so! When filing for a personal injury settlement, medical documentation is the most important piece of evidence you will have to support your claim. In Texas, as in other states, your medical information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Although the insurance adjuster will request your medical documents, he or she only needs those records that are directly related to the accident injury. For that reason, you should never sign anything that gives the adjuster permission to access your medical records directly. Before sending anything, make sure that the information included relates only to the injury for which you are filing a claim.
Contact our attorneys to find out how to protect your interests in a personal injury claim
If you have been injured in an accident, make sure that you get the medical attention you need. Then, make sure you get the legal representation you need from Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers. To schedule a free consultation, please call us at (281) 645-5000 to speak with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.