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Medical Records

Motorcycle Accident Claim in California

California Motorcycle Law

During your physical recovery, your communication with your treating doctors is most likely made through their nurse, physician's assistant or directly with the doctor. Everything that you tell the doctor will be transcribed or written into your medical records. These medical records or medical chart become an official record and part of your case or claim. What is written in your medical chart is important and will be read to a decider of fact or jury in the future. As such, it is important that you tell the doctor all of your injury symptoms and any other problems that you are having.

Just think, six months from now, what you say to the doctor may be blown up to a 4?x4? chart saying what symptoms you do or do not have. In addition, in the future the defense attorney may make reference to things in your chart that you may not want to hear such as references to drug use, subsequent accidents or other things that may be embarrassing. As such, when you see your primary care physician after a motorcycle accident, tell your doctor of your symptoms related to the accident and things that are related to your injuries.

What you tell your doctor will go into you official medical record and will become evidence in the future regarding your claim for pain and suffering. If you submit a claim for injuries that are not related to your accident, on your visits to your treating doctor, they will also be criticized by the defense attorney or insurance company. For example if you have an acute back or neck injury and you go to the doctor on numerous occasions for a skin rash, that is unrelated to the accident, naturally, these bills will not be part of your case and the insurance company will move quickly to dismiss those claims or bills for treatment.

Every time you speak to your doctor, you should give a full and candid explanation of your injuries and how those injuries have affected your life. Without proof of injury, pain and suffering evidenced by official medical records, you will be left without any evidence to support your claim for pain and suffering. In short, "Talk, Talk, Talk" to your doctor.

Sometimes, your treating doctor will not be experienced in a specialty to which you need additional medical attention. For example, if you are seeing a chiropractor for your neck and back complaints but you continue to have knee complaints, you may need a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Even though your treating doctor is seeing you for only your neck and back, you need to ask your treating doctor for a referral to a specialist.

If you are sent to a neurologist for a neurology evaluation, is it necessary to advise the new doctor of your medical history and all of your complaints? ABSOLUTELY. You cannot communicate too much with your doctors. Your doctors do not know your medical history and you may be required to "recreate the wheel" and tell them of the facts of the accident, mechanics of your injury, and all of your medical symptoms. Sometimes, they do not have your entire medical chart during your appointment, which can be added later. However, the best evidence in any case is your medical records.

The information obtained in your medical records and reports is the most critical component of your medical documentation package that will support your motorcycle injury settlement claim. All of your medical records are important.

Keep in mind that doctors have hundreds of clients and they do not know your medical history or complaints. As such, it is even more important to tell the doctor of your complaints each and every time that you go to your doctor. If you are required to fill out medical forms, fill them out and complete each and every box regarding your medical complaints. This is very important if you are to successfully manage your motorcycle injury claim and obtain the best medical treatment. Your physical recovery is the most important aspect of your motorcycle injury settlement claim.

The worst case scenario is that you have been released from your doctor and, months later, you have pain radiating down your legs causing permanent paralysis and numbness to your feet.

After seeing a neurologist, the doctor advises you of a spinal injury. However, you have already signed the settlement release with the insurance company forever discharging them from any further or future obligations to pay for your medical care incurred as a result of your motorcycle accident.

Because you settled the case too early, before obtaining a complete medical analysis and determination of your physical health and recovery, you will not be entitled to any future or further financial recovery. This can be disastrous. As such, we recommend that you seek all medically prescribed treatment and care for your injuries and see specialists if even recommended.

One should never compromise on their physical recovery by the temptations of an early settlement or by the hard-headed approach that they will get better on their own. You must trust your doctors and your health care professionals to provide you with the best possible medical care to allow you to make educated determination and choices as to your physical condition and alternatives you have as to care, surgery, or settling your case. Your quality of life is the most important to your future and if you make the incorrect decisions, your future may be damaged beyond recovery by early, insufficient, and unfair motorcycle accident settlement.


Tom Reinecke

California Motorcycle Lawyer