When you suffer an injury, the first step should be to get well as soon as you can. Hence, you should seek medical treatment as early as possible after your accident, and follow the complete treatment plan till you recover.
Asking the right questions of your doctor is important not only for your recovery from your injuries, but also for the necessary documentation for proving your personal or work injury claim.
Here are some of the most important questions you should ask your doctor.
- What is the cause of my injuries?
The cause of your injuries must be documented in your medical records. The history of injury and your medical records should show in detail what happened in your accident and how you were injured.
- What is my diagnosis and prognosis?
In short, your diagnosis refers to what is wrong with you – injuries and medical conditions caused by your accident, and your prognosis is your doctor’s estimate of the probable final outcome of your injuries and recovery.
- Will I need future medical treatment, and what will it cost?
Once your medical treatment is complete, you need to ask your doctor if you need future medical treatment and how much it is likely to cost. Your doctor needs to provide an opinion about the likelihood of future treatment including surgeries, physical therapy, medication, office visits, etc., and the likely costs.
- Can I return to work? If not, when and would I be able to return to full duty?
If you suffered a work injury and if you are unable to return to work for a period of time or unable to return to the previous duties, because of your injury, you may be eligible for lost wages. Your doctor must explain –
- how long you need to be off work to recover from your injuries?
- what are your work restrictions, if you are unable to return to your regular job duties?
- are these work restrictions temporary or permanent?
- Will I have a permanent injury or do you expect I will make a full recovery?
If you and your doctor believe you have a permanent injury, that has to be stated in the medical records and the doctor’ report. Does your doctor recommend temporary or permanent physical limitations on your activities? Is there a measurable functional impairment? Answers to these questions will make a significant impact to your claim and benefits.