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.
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
- For Edmonton area doctors, specifically, visit this page
- 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.