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Would I Need To See A Doctor When Claiming For A Personal Injury?

Do You Need To See A Doctor When Making A Personal Injury Claim?

Whether you’ve been in a car accident, been injured at work, or tripped on broken pavement, if someone else was to blame, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. One of the common questions that personal injury claimants ask us is ‘Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury?’ and this guide has been created to answer this and other questions about obtaining a personal injury medical report.

Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for personal injury guide

Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for personal injury guide

In the sections below, we will answer all sorts of questions about getting a personal injury medical examination, including what the process is, what happens if you’re not happy with the medical report, what personal injury medical report fees might be payable, and who could be liable for covering those costs. We’ll also answer questions relating to claiming whiplash without seeing a doctor, and why this might not be a good idea.

If you have any questions about the information contained in this guide, we’d be happy to answer them. And, if you’re ready to begin a claim, we’re here to help too. Simply call our expert advisors for a free case assessment and to benefit from our advice and support. You can reach us on 0800 073 8804 at any time.

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A Guide On Whether You Need To See A Doctor When Claiming For An Injury

No matter what type of accident or injury you’ve suffered, if someone else was at fault for it and could be held liable for your injuries, you might be considering making a personal injury claim. Here at Legal Expert, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping people who wish to make such claims, and one of the most common questions we answer is ‘Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury?’ This is a complex question and one we’re happy to give you more information on.

You may be wondering if you could make a personal injury claim with no medical report because you’ve seen your own GP and there’s a record of you having done so. Or, you might wonder what difference would a personal injury medical assessment have when it comes to your compensation payout. Perhaps you want to know can you get over the pain and suffering of an injury without going to the doctor. Whatever your query, the information below could help you understand more about the importance of a personal injury medical examination and the effects it could have on your claim.

What Are Medical Assessments And Reports?

Successful personal injury claims largely rely on evidence. This includes evidence that someone has breached their duty of care towards you, as well as proof that the breach of someone’s duty of care has caused you to suffer harm.

This is why a personal injury medical assessment, and the subsequent report produced by the independent doctor you see, could have a significant bearing on your case. But what does a personal injury medical assessment involve, and what information is contained in a medical report for a personal injury claim.

What’s Involved in a Personal Injury Medical Assessment?

A personal injury medical assessment would require you to visit an independent medical expert. The doctor would usually need access to your medical records prior to your visit. They would review your notes, examine you if necessary, and write a report that could be used to evidence your claim.

What Is A Personal Injury Medical Report?

The report created by the independent medical expert would give information about your condition or injury. Crucially, it will serve as evidence linking your injuries to the accident. It could also include the expert’s opinion on your prognosis and the effect that your injuries may have on you in the short and long-term.

Both the examination and report are covered separately in more detail further on in this guide.

Do You Need To See A Doctor?

“Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury by law?”. You might be surprised to hear this, but the answer is actually no. There is no legal requirement for a claimant to see a doctor (or another qualified medical professional) and obtain a personal injury claim medical report.

However, without a personal injury medical report, it could be more difficult to argue your claim. Therefore, it could be very helpful to undergo a personal injury medical examination so that such a report could be submitted with your case. Not only could it prove the injuries you’ve sustained were caused by the accident in question, but it could also give insight into your prognosis, which is a key indicator as to the level of compensation you may receive. This could help you maximise the amount of compensation you are eligible for.

We should mention at this point that seeing a doctor after you’ve sustained an injury to obtain treatment and advice is different from seeing an independent medical expert for a personal injury medical report. We would always advise someone who has been injured to seek medical attention from a qualified professional to get the appropriate advice and support.

If you decide afterwards to start a personal injury claim, you could then be asked by your solicitor to visit an independent medical expert. They will assess your injuries and existing medical information so they could be included within the medical report submitted within your claim.

“Would I Need To See A Doctor When Claiming For A Personal Injury If The Other Party Had Offered Me A Settlement?”

This is another question that could be considered quite common. Sometimes, if a liable party admits fault right away, they or their insurance company may offer you what could be referred to as a pre-medical settlement. However, if you accept such an offer, and your injury worsens or you require further treatment, your settlement may not cover these costs. This is why we usually advise claimants to seriously consider seeing personal injury claim doctors before they accept any offer of compensation.

For example, a whiplash injury may not feel so severe at the time you experience it, but some people go on to develop long term problems stemming from whiplash. If you were to accept a pre-medical offer for a whiplash claim and then suffer further problems later on, you may not be able to recover your treatment costs or be properly compensated for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.

Why Is It Necessary To See A Doctor?

Many personal injuries could result in bleeding or broken bones, which could need urgent medical attention, meaning a hospital visit is inevitable. However, even for minor injuries, it would be wise for you to see a doctor or other qualified professional in order to get a record that you’ve sought medical advice and treatment. This could evidence that you’ve suffered an injury on the day of the accident.

However, the record of the primary care you’ve received may not give the full extent of your injury, which is why it could be wise for you to seek a full personal injury medical assessment. This way, you could benefit from knowing exactly how severe your injury has been and what risks there are for future problems developing over time. This could have an impact on how much compensation you could receive for your claim.

For example, if you have broken a bone, you may have been treated and it may appear to have healed well, but it could leave you with a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis down the line. Or it could even lead to complex regional pain syndrome, which could have a detrimental effect on your life. Having evidence of how likely this risk is could mean you’d be eligible to receive more compensation than you would otherwise.

What Doctor Will I See?

If you ask your solicitor “Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury I’ve suffered?”,  your solicitor will advise you on this. They will also let you know what kind of personal injury claim doctors you’d be required to see. This could be:

  • A GP
  • A dentist
  • An orthopaedic specialist
  • A neurologist
  • Another type of specialist

The medical professional you’d see would usually be the type of professional that provided your care for your injuries initially. They would not, however, be anyone attached to your case already. The medical expert you see must be independent of those you’ve received care from.

What Happens During A Personal Injury Medical Assessment?

Before your personal injury medical assessment takes place, the independent expert will seek to make a personal injury medical records request so that they can review your notes before they see you.

You may be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to your appointment which gives consent for the expert to view your records and provides the expert with information about you, your injuries, and how they have affected you.

The doctor will subsequently examine you and ask you questions about your injury. For example, whiplash medical examination questions may include those surrounding whether you’ve had headaches and tingling in your fingers. The expert could also ask for you to have tests to determine the extent of your injuries. They could also do this so they could come to a decision on your prognosis. They would also check that their assessment of your injuries matches your symptoms.

Finally, they would produce a personal injury medical report that your lawyer could use as part of your claim.

Do I Have To Release My Medical Records?

You will be asked to give permission for your medical records to be released. You could refuse this, but it could lead to issues with collecting the relevant medical evidence that could prove your claim. A lot of information would be taken into account when making an assessment of your personal injury and medical records could be very useful in getting a full picture of your injuries and how they could have affected you.

Is My Medical History Relevant To My Claim?

Your medical history may not always be relevant to your claim, but it could be in some cases. A medical record that proves you’ve attended a primary care setting to ask for advice and treatment for an injury could be relevant when it comes to assessing when your injury occurred, for example.

Can I Keep My Medical History Private?

You could opt not to release your medical records to the expert, but this could hinder your case significantly. It could lead the liable party to argue against the cause and circumstances of your injuries. It could also make the medical expert’s job more difficult when it comes to determining an accurate picture of your injuries and prognosis.

How Could Pre-Existing Conditions Affect A Claim?

In some cases, you may be able to claim compensation if an injury has exacerbated a pre-existing condition. In these cases, assessing your past medical records could be useful in determining your condition before the accident. In addition, for clinical negligence claims, your medical records could play a big part in determining whether a misdiagnosis or negligent treatment had occurred.

What Happens After The Assessment?

After a personal injury medical assessment has taken place, the expert would generate a personal injury medical report that would be sent to your lawyer. This could be used by your solicitor to verify your injuries and to compare your case with similar cases to see what other claims have attracted in terms of payouts. They could use this information to determine what could be an appropriate amount to ask for on your behalf.

The Medical Reports

When your solicitor sees the personal injury medical report, they will need to ask themselves certain questions about it to ensure they weed out any inaccuracies and build the strongest case possible for you. They may look at:

  • Whether the description of your accident mirrors what you have told them about it
  • What injuries you’ve sustained
  • How long the effects of your injuries will last
  • What impact your accident has had on you
  • Whether the expert needs to see other medical records
  • Whether there are any recommendations for rehabilitation by the expert
  • Whether the expert recommends that you see another specialist
  • What financial losses (current and potential future losses) has the expert determined
  • What assistance and care you have needed and received
  • Whether there is any psychological element of your injury that has needed or requires treatment

The Medical Agreement Form

Once the medical expert has completed your personal injury medical report, you’ll receive a copy with a medical agreement form to sign. You should check this over carefully and sign it to confirm that the information that the expert has produced is accurate and correct to the best of your knowledge.

Once the medical agreement form has been signed, your solicitor and the liable party’s solicitor could use the report to calculate the amount of compensation appropriate for your claim.

How Long After The Medical Will I Get An Offer?

The answer to this question would depend on whether the liable party admitted liability or whether your claim would be fought through the courts. A settlement could be completed relatively swiftly if both parties are quick to negotiate a settlement based on the submitted medical report. However, in some cases, the other party may dispute the medical evidence or dispute liability entirely, which may mean your case takes longer to resolve.

Examples Of How Much Your Injury May Be Worth

When answering the question ‘Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury?’, as we have already mentioned, getting an independent expert’s report could have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you’d receive.

We haven’t put a personal injury claims calculator on this page for that reason. However, we have included a table with a number of injuries you may have suffered along with the Judicial College Guidelines’ compensation brackets for such injuries. This could give you some insight into how much compensation could be appropriate for certain injuries. You may notice that we have included some brackets that include payout amounts for the exacerbation of previous injuries; something that could require your previous medical records to prove. We believe this indicates how important medical records could be when it comes to determining how much your claim could be worth.

InjuryGuideline Compensation AmountNotes
Moderate neck injuries£12,900 to £23,460Wrenching and soft-tissue injuries leading to serious disc lesions, which could lead to stiffness, discomfort, recurring and permanent pain. This bracket includes those injuries that have exacerbated a previous condition by 5 years or more.
Moderate back injuries£11,730 to £26,050Ligament disturbance, muscle disturbance and other injuries to the soft tissues leading to an acceleration or exacerbation of a previous back condition by 5 years or more.
Serious shoulder injuries£11,980 to £18,020Including lower brachial plexus damage and dislocation of the shoulder, causing a fracture to the humerus, sensory symptoms or restricted shoulder movement.
Clavicle fracture£4,830 to £11,490Dependent on the residual symptoms, severity of initial fracture, and level of disability.
Moderate hip/pelvis injuries£24,950 to £36,770Injuries to the pelvis and hips that are deemed significant. However, there would be no major permanent disability. Future risk of harm would not be great.
Less severe arm injury£18,020 to £36,770Where injuries would have caused significant disabilities, substantial recovery would be expected or have taken place.

If you don’t see the injuries you’ve sustained above, we’d be glad to provide you with more information on other injuries over the phone.

The table above covers loss of amenity, pain and suffering, but there are other damages that could be included within your claim. Financial expenses caused by your injuries could be included as special damages. This could include:

  • Personal injury medical expenses
  • Earning losses
  • Travel expenses
  • Care costs

You would need to retain proof that you had sustained these financial expenses to claim for them, so we’d advise you to keep documents such as payslips, bank statements and the like in a safe place. That way, you could provide them to your lawyer as part of your claim.

No Win No Fee Injury Claims

Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question ‘Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for a personal injury?” If you’re ready to go ahead with a claim, you may be feeling a little worried about getting all the paperwork in order before the personal injury claims time limit for your case is up. You might also be a little daunted by the prospect of proving your claim and negotiating compensation. If so, you may benefit from assistance from a personal injury solicitor.

Here at Legal Expert, we could provide you with a solicitor that works under No Win No Fee terms. What this means is that you would not have to pay any legal fees until your case had been successfully settled. You’d simply have to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement, promising to pay a pre-agreed success fee (a small percentage of your compensation) when your compensation payout came through. The fee is legally capped and only payable if your case is a success. If your solicitor did not get you a compensation payout, you would not pay a success fee. You would not have to pay the costs the solicitor had incurred while they were dealing with your claim either.

If you’d like to learn more about No Win No Fee claims, our team of expert advisors would be glad to help. We could assess your case for free before providing you with a lawyer that could fight for the compensation your case deserves.

How To Start A Claim

If you would like to start a personal injury claim, and you’d like us to provide you with a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer to help you get started, you can contact us at any time. Even if you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for compensation or if you’d like to ask us something about the claims process, our advisors would be glad to help you. You can reach us via:

We look forward to helping you.

Quick Links

Claiming For Whiplash With Pre-Existing Conditions – This guide offers insight into making a whiplash claim if you have a pre-existing condition.

Medical Negligence – Reporting A Doctor – This guide looks at how to report a doctor for negligence.

How Do No Win No Fee Claims Work? – This guide offers some information on making a claim under No Win No Fee terms.

Find A GP – If you’re looking for primary care services, this page could help you find a local GP.

The Medical Register – You can find details on doctor’s registrations on this site.

Whiplash Claim Reforms – The government has produced a consultation into whiplash claim reforms. You can read about this here.

Thank you for reading our guide which set out to answer the question: “Would I need to see a doctor when claiming for personal injury?” We hope you’ve found it useful.

 

Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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