The Family Doctor as a Valuable Witness in Personal Injury Claims
Over the course of a complex and potentially drawn out personal injury case, insurance companies work hard to uncover any inconsistencies in a plaintiff’s claim. One particularly sharp area of focus is the relationship between the patient and family doctor, where the latter’s unique insights can dramatically alter the outcome of a claim.
If you suffer a personal injury, for example following a traumatic event like a car crash, visiting your family doctor as soon as possible afterward will help secure valuable early evidence and begin the lengthy injury documentation process. Along the way you will likely be referred to other medical specialists, such as rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons or psychologists, by either your doctor or your personal injury lawyer.
But the family doctor will undoubtedly play an important role as you work through treatment and rehabilitation, regularly monitoring your progress and keeping your legal representative up to date with valuable medical reports. The doctor will document the type and severity of injury-related symptoms, so regular visits will help compile a more detailed and potentially favourable claim.
The insurance company or defence lawyer will likely view the family doctor as a source of information on the plaintiff. That means, for example, checking whether you regularly visited your doctor and followed their recommended treatment plan.
Any indication that you were not interested in recovering properly, prolonging your time away from work or increasing the amount of compensation could negatively impact a claim, if not discredit it entirely. The insurance company may also try to suggest that your troubles were part of a lingering injury, such as an earlier car accident, sports injury or another occurrence in which you were at fault.
Your family doctor may also serve as a reliable witness on any psychological or emotional effects an injury has had, particularly in cases of longer relationships.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Futerman Partners LLP know how to work with clients, family doctors and medical specialists to compile the most comprehensive and persuasive cases possible. Visit www.futermanpartners.com to learn about their areas of expertise or scheduling a free consultation.