Family Doctors and the Role They Have in a Personal Injury Claim

In this fast-paced day and age, where many traditional business and service models are changing, it is not uncommon for people to be without a family doctor or regular doctor who they see on a consistent basis.

As personal injury lawyers, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of a family doctor, or seeing the same physician on a consistent basis, to a personal injury claim. This blog post outlines the important role that a family doctor has in a personal injury claim.

Please note: The information provided on this website does not constitute medical or legal advice and should not be construed as such. The lawyers and staff and Moustarah & Company are not trained medical professionals and do not hold themselves out to be such. If you are suffering from an injury, please contact your doctor or medical care provider. 

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The role of the family doctor

A doctor plays an important role in a personal injury claim by doing such things as:

  • charting and making note of a person’s injuries after an accident;
  • investigating and diagnosing injuries and conditions after an accident;
  • prescribing medications and treatments, as appropriate, to treat injuries arising from the accident;
  • ordering tests and other diagnostic procedures, as appropriate, to assist in the discovery, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries arising from an accident;
  • providing appropriate treatment recommendations to aid in a person’s recovery from their injuries;
  • providing appropriate referrals to specialist or other medical service providers to aid in a person’s recovery from their injuries;
  • assisting a person in navigating the health care system more broadly;
  • keeping a record of the person’s pre-accident and post-accident health and overall physical and mental condition and medical history;
  • testifying in court about a person’s medical condition and injuries, if the matter goes to trial;
  • and potentially more.

At the same time, the doctor’s notes will act as an important source of evidence when a lawyer goes to prove their client’s injuries during the settlement or trial process.

Why it is important to speak with a family doctor on a regular basis

As we have detailed before, when someone has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, their injuries and their recovery will direct how their claim proceeds. Because a doctor plays such an important role in:

  • recording injuries,
  • charting injuries,
  • diagnosing injuries,
  • providing and prescribing treatment and medication, and
  • recommending other avenues to assist in a person’s recovery,

it is very important to regularly speak with the same doctor or clinic about a personal injury on a regular basis so that they can provide an accurate picture of a person’s medical history, pre-accident health, post-accident health, the nature and duration of accident injuries, and the effect that the accident has had.

When speaking with a family doctor about a personal injury, it is important to be open and honest. A doctor cannot properly treat an injury that they do not know about. Injured people should feel empowered to:

  • tell their doctor about all of the symptoms, differences, or injuries that they are noticing or experiencing, even if they seem minor;
  • tell their doctor about the effect that the symptoms, differences, or injuries that they are noticing or experiencing are having on their life, even if they seem minor;
  • seek and follow their doctor’s advise on how to treat and recover from their injuries;
  • ask questions and seek their doctor’s advise about their symptoms and injuries;
  • ask questions and seek their doctor’s advise about their treatment plan;
  • ask questions and seek their doctor’s advise about referrals; and
  • follow up with their doctor regularly throughout the recovery process.

What if someone does not have a family doctor

There are many resources out there to help a person find a family doctor. Some resources include:

  • The Alberta Primary Care Network website
    • their “find a doctor” option can help to locate doctors within a given primary care network who are accepting new patients
    • the search can be refined to find doctors who speak particular languages, are of certain genders, have certain areas of specialty, or are located in a given geographic location
  • The Alberta Health Link website and phone line
    • Albertans can dial 811 to call Alberta Health Link 24 hours/day

To learn more about what to look for in a family doctor, check out this post from MyHealth.Alberta.ca

 

The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Moustarah & Company does not guarantee that this information is accurate or up to date. As a result, should you require legal advice, please contact a lawyer.