Accidents happen, and when they do, they can leave you with more than just physical pain and emotional trauma. They can also have a significant impact on your financial and legal well-being, especially if you're pursuing a personal injury case. One often overlooked but crucial aspect of building a strong personal injury case is disclosing past injuries and medical treatment to your doctor. In this blog post, I will explore why it's so important to be honest with your healthcare provider about your medical history after an injury, and how this transparency can positively affect your case.
- Medical Records Paint a Clear Picture
When you seek medical attention following an injury, your doctor will create a medical record documenting the incident, your current condition, and the treatment provided. These records serve as a critical piece of evidence in a personal injury case. Failing to disclose past injuries or medical treatments can create inconsistencies that may raise suspicion and doubt about the validity of your claim. By providing your doctor with a complete and accurate medical history, you ensure that your medical records tell a consistent story, supporting your case.
- Pre-Existing Conditions and Aggravation
One of the key reasons to disclose past injuries is to address any pre-existing conditions that may have been aggravated by the recent accident. For example, if you had a previous back injury, and the accident exacerbated it (i.e. made it worse), this information is vital to accurately diagnose and treat your current condition. Failing to mention this prior injury could result in incomplete treatment and hinder your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. It's essential to establish a clear link between the accident and the worsening of your pre-existing condition.
- Credibility Matters!
Honesty is a cornerstone of any successful personal injury case. When you are transparent about your medical history, it demonstrates your credibility and willingness to cooperate fully in the legal process. If you're caught withholding information about past injuries or medical treatments, it will likely damage your credibility and jeopardize your chances of winning your case. Insurance companies and opposing counsel will scrutinize your actions, and any inconsistencies can, and will, be used against you.
- Protecting Your Right to Compensation
In a personal injury case, you are seeking compensation for damages caused by someone else's negligence. Disclosing your complete medical history is essential for ensuring you receive the appropriate compensation for your injuries. Failing to do so can result in your injuries being undervalued, as the responsible party may argue that they should only be held accountable for a portion of your medical expenses and suffering.
- Legal Consequences of Omission
Failure to disclose past injuries or medical treatments to your doctor may have legal consequences. If it's discovered that you intentionally withheld information that could have impacted your treatment or the assessment of your injuries, it could lead to complications in your case, including potential dismissal or reduced compensation.
The Bottom Line
In a personal injury case, honesty is not only the best policy, but it is also a legal and ethical obligation. Disclosing past injuries and medical treatments to your doctor is a crucial step in ensuring that you receive the appropriate medical care and that your personal injury case is built on a solid foundation of truth and credibility. By doing so, you protect your right to fair compensation and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Remember, the more transparent and truthful you are throughout the process, the stronger your position will be when seeking justice for your injuries.