A car accident is traumatic, stressful, and can also be dangerous when it comes to your safety, health, and well-being.
After the accident is over and reports are taken, it’s imperative that you seek the help of a doctor to assess any injuries.
Here are ten essential questions to ask your doctor after you’ve been in a car accident so you can get the information you need to asses your recovery and future.
1. How Bad Are My Injuries?
Even if you feel like the car accident was minor, you should always seek the help of an experienced physician. You might not feel anything at the moment, but your injuries could come back to haunt you later.
Visit an accident doctor who specializes in car accident-related trauma and other injuries. They will be able to perform a series of in-depth tests to look for any underlying physical damage.
You might be fine, but you could also be prone to internal injuries that you cannot see and may come back to haunt you later. Ask the doctor how serious the injuries are and to what extent they will require ongoing treatment.
Have the doctor write down a thorough explanation as to the seriousness of your injuries and what they mean. Get a copy of this information in case you need it later for court cases or other purposes.
2. How Long Will it Take me to Recover?
Depending on the severity of your injuries, it could take you quite a while to recover. While you’re in recovery, you may not be able to return to work or undergo many of your day-to-day activities.
The doctor might not be able to pinpoint exactly how long it will take to fully recover, but they can give you an estimated timeframe. This information is extremely important, especially if it costs you time away from work and daily life.
The doctor will use clinical averages to determine the needed timeframe for a full recovery. Things like a broken bone or whiplash can take anywhere from a few months to even a few years to heal.
3. Can I Return to Work After a Car Accident?
The answer is not always cut and dry when you’re trying to go back to work after the accident. Much of this will depend on the type of work you do.
If you have a laborious job that requires a lot of lifting, standing, or climbing, you’ll likely be advised to stay home for quite a while. If your job is sedentary, the time for you to wait to return to work may be a bit shorter.
Have your doctor write a note for your employer that explains in detail the recommended amount of time you need to wait. This can help you if you need to file a claim or if you need to be exempt from any work-related penalties.
Talk to your boss, and let them know about the accident as soon as possible. Advise them of your doctor’s recommendations immediately so they can prepare to find a temporary replacement for you. They may also allow you to return to work but keep you on light duty until you’re healed.
4. What Kind of Medication Do I Need?
Depending on your level of pain and the severity of your injuries, your doctor will likely give you some prescription medication. Most medicine given after an injury is to treat pain.
You need to find out exactly what you’ll be taking and if there are any possible side effects. Tell the doctor about anything you currently take so they can be aware of potential interactions with other medication.
Most importantly, pain medication can cause serious issues like addiction, nausea, and a myriad of other harmful side effects. Find out how long you will need to take the medicine so you have an idea of when you can stop taking it.
5. Do I Need Physical Therapy?
If you’re seriously injured, you may need to enter a physical rehabilitation program. This therapy will help you walk and undergo other improvements after severe injuries.
This type of therapy can be costly, so you need to find out as soon as possible whether or not you’ll need it. The cost of your physical therapy can be included in a lawsuit in some cases.
Physical therapy can be extremely time consuming and it takes a lot of work. Ask your doctor if this will be needed so you can prepare.
6. Is a Specialist Needed?
In some cases, a car accident can cause injuries that will last a lifetime. For example, if you have a brain injury, you may need to see a neurologist.
A specialist can help you navigate through the healing process after a serious injury, but they can also be extremely expensive. Determine if your doctor will need to refer you to a specialist so you can determine how to proceed.
Specialists focus on very specific injuries that require more detailed attention. Not all specialists will require long-term care, but it’s good to know about your health game plan as soon as possible so you can better prepare for what’s ahead.
7. What Caused the Injuries?
There are many reasons why you’re injured from a car accident, and you should understand exactly how they occurred. Ask your doctor how the injuries happened whether it’s back, neck, or head injuries.
Get the answers in writing and make sure they contain enough detail in the event that you need to present this information to a judge or your insurance company. If your head hit the dashboard, the doctor can explain the level of trauma you incurred because of it.
With detailed documentation, you have a better chance of winning a personal injury case. The doctor is an expert who can provide the information needed to show that your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
8. How Long Will the Pain Last?
Some people bounce back quickly after a car accident, while others may suffer for months or even years. This physical pain can cause all kinds of suffering for the victim.
Ask your doctor how long they expect the pain to last so you can gauge what to expect in the future. While the doctor certainly can’t give you an exact day that your pain will stop, less severe injuries should heal quickly.
Remember that your pain will probably not disappear overnight. By getting a good idea of how long it should last, your doctor can help you come up with a dollar figure associated with it.
9. Will I Have Any Long-Term Ailments?
Injuries from a serious car accident can range from minor cuts and bruises all the way to complete paralyzation. It’s important to find out exactly what you can expect in the long-term.
For some, a few pain pills and rest will do the trick. For others, accident-related injuries can last a lifetime and can often cause a great deal of emotional, physical, and financial strain.
Ask your doctor if they believe you should make a full recovery or if they think you’ll need long-term care. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than you planned in order to fully heal.
From constant medications to rehab and physical therapy, extremely serious injuries can be detrimental. You should find out as soon as possible whether or not your recovery period is expected to be short or more long-term.
10. Can I Have Access to My Medical Records?
Find out if you will be given a copy or access to all of your medical records pertaining to the accident. This information is crucial for anyone who is undergoing a trial or major insurance claim.
Without all of the important paperwork, you could be missing out on an important piece of the puzzle. Your doctor should be able to give you a full copy of their reports including all medications, diagnoses, and recommendations for further care.
This access is vital for people who need to pursue the issue in a court of law. Show this information to your attorney since they’ll need it in order to help you win your case.
You Will Recover
Now that you know what to ask your doctor after a car accident, you’ll be better prepared for what to expect. Gain as much information as possible so you can heal quickly and take the next steps toward returning to a normal life.
Visit our website for the latest blogs on lifestyle, tech, money, health and much more.