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Do I Need To See A Doctor For Personal Injury Claims?

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 18th April 2023. 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 a personal injury?

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. Alternatively, you can use our online form or our 24/7 live chat service to reach us.

Select A Section

  1. What Are Medical Assessments And Reports?
  2. Do You Need To See A Doctor?
  3. What Doctor Will I See?
  4. What Happens During A Personal Injury Medical Assessment?
  5. Do I Have To Release My Medical Records?
  6. What Happens After The Assessment?
  7. Examples Of How Much Your Injury May Be Worth
  8. No Win No Fee Injury Claims

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.

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. When your solicitor sees your personal injury medical report, they will check for any potential inaccuracies and consider any additional info that needs adding.

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

Following a successful personal injury claim, your compensation settlement should include general damages. Under general damages, you will be compensated for the pain and suffering you have endured due to your injury.

A compensation calculator could help give you a clearer idea of how much you may be awarded in general damages. Alternatively, you could refer to the table we have created below using the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Many legal professionals will use the JCG to help them value claims. This is because the JCG lists compensation brackets for different injuries.

You might also be invited to a medical examination for a personal injury claim to help determine the severity of your injuries and what impact they are expected to have on your life. This examination could help your solicitor with valuing your injuries more accurately.

Please only use the following table as a guide.

Injury Guideline Compensation Amount Notes
Moderate hip/pelvis injuries (i) £26,590 to £39,170 Injuries 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 £19,200 to £39,170 Where injuries would have caused significant disabilities, substantial recovery would be expected or have taken place.
Elbow injuries (b) £15,650 to £32,010 Less severe injuries to the elbow that cause functioning impairments but don’t involve major surgery or a significant disability.
Less serious leg injuries (c) (i) £17,960 to £27,760 This bracket includes serious soft tissue injuries and an incomplete recovery from fractures.
Moderate back injuries (ii) £12,510 to £27,760 Ligament 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.
Moderate neck injuries (ii) £13,740 to £24,990 Wrenching 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 foot injuries (f) £13,740 to £24,990 This bracket includes permanent deformity and continuing symptoms from displaced metatarsal fractures.
Nose or nasal complex fracture £10,640 to £23,130 In this bracket, the claimant has suffered serious or multiple fractures that require numerous operations. They cause permanent airway damage, breathing difficulties, damage to the nerves and tear ducts or facial deformity.
Serious shoulder injuries £12,770 to £19,200 Including lower brachial plexus damage and dislocation of the shoulder, causing a fracture to the humerus, sensory symptoms or restricted shoulder movement.
Clavicle fracture £5,150 to £12,240 Dependent on the residual symptoms, severity of initial fracture, and level of disability.

Special Damages

Additionally, special damages may also be included in your compensation settlement. Special damages compensate you for any expenses or financial losses you experienced due to your injury.

Examples of what special damages could compensate you for include:

  • Travel expenses. For example, if you need to see a doctor for your injury, you could claim back the costs of getting there.
  • Loss of earnings if you have required time off work due to your injury.
  • Medical expenses. This may include prescription costs.
  • Home adaptions. For example, ramp installation if you need one to help cope with your injuries.

Call our advisors to discuss your potential claim and receive free advice.

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.

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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.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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