What goes in your medical record can determine what types of medical care you receive and the duration of your treatment. Therefore, you should act appropriately when you visit your doctor. This is especially true if you are seeing a doctor who has been selected by the insurance company. In any case, your doctor will observe your behavior, note how you speak about your injury, and even examine the way you walk in and out of the doctor’s office. If what the doctor sees conflicts in some way with the symptoms you claim to be experiencing, it could harm your claim.
Getting good information into your medical record
Along with your injury report, your medical record forms the foundation of your claim. It’s imperative then, to get accurate information into your record if you are to receive all of the medical care you need to recover to the fullest extent possible.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visits to your doctor.
Don’t exaggerate your symptoms – Doctors are trained professionals who have examined and treated many patients. They can usually tell when a patient is not being completely honest. If you are overly dramatic or exaggerate the symptoms you are experiencing, the doctor will likely note that in your record, to the detriment of your claim.
Don’t minimize your symptoms either – You may be anxious to get to work. Or you may be the kind of person who is naturally optimistic. Whatever the case, don’t paint a rosy picture of your medical condition. If feel pain or your injury limits your physical abilities in any way, make sure you tell your doctor.
Describe all of your symptoms and pain – Be thorough when describing your symptoms, even if you think they don’t stem from your work accident. For example, if you have difficulty falling asleep at night or you feel pain in a part of your body that was not directly injured, tell your doctor. What you are experiencing could indeed be related to your work injury.
Be careful how you walk out of the doctor’s office – You may be relieved or encouraged by what the doctor tells you during your appointment, but don’t allow this to affect your behavior as you leave. The doctor may watch you from the office as you walk to your car, to see if your bearing and gait and correspond with the symptoms you have described.
Follow your doctor’s instructions – Failing to follow your doctor’s instructions is a red flag for an insurance adjuster. If you miss appointments for no good reason or stop taking medications before your doctor says you can, the insurance company could use this to prematurely terminate your benefits.
If you have questions about getting workers’ compensation benefits, talk with an experienced lawyer. Likewise, if the insurance company intends to end your benefits and you still need medical care, get legal advice.