In almost all cases, when you claim for a personal injury you will be asked to attend a medical appointment to assess your injuries. This might be online or in-person depending on the circumstances. It may require prior investigation such as X-ray or MRI. We will let you know about this at the time if it applies to you.
On the day of the medical appointment itself, you can expect the examination to last around half an hour although in some particularly complex cases it can take slightly longer.
What is involved in the medical examination itself will largely depend on your particular injuries. Generally speaking, you can expect the doctor to ask you questions about your health before the accident as well as how your health has been affected since the accident.
The doctor will also ask you about the circumstances of your accident. It is important that you answer these questions as accurately as possible as any inconsistency between what is recorded in the medical report and what you have said before, can be detrimental to your case. It is very important to ensure that the doctor has understood properly the history you give of the accident and to what extent you have suffered afterwards.
The doctor may also undertake an examination of your injuries and ask you to perform some gentle movements to establish the extent of any damage.
Following your appointment, the medical professional that examined you will write up a detailed report. The report will give an expert opinion on how you have been affected by your accident. This will firstly be sent to you for your approval.
You and your solicitor will be able to check that you are happy that the report provides an accurate representation of the history of your accident and the extent of your injuries. You will then sign a medical agreement form to confirm the report is correct.
Once you have signed and returned the medical agreement form, a copy of the report will then be sent to the other side’s solicitors and both they and your solicitor will use your medical report as the basis for calculating how much compensation you are entitled to claim.
It is very important that you do not exaggerate your injuries when you see the doctor. The doctor would be obliged to report any suspected exaggeration and in any event claims of physical incapacity that can be proved to be incorrect would fatally damage your claim.
It is a sad fact that some claimants exaggerate their symptoms in the hope of receiving a bigger compensatory award. Not only is this illegal it is also a tactic that is likely to be discovered and leads to the entire claim being struck out by the court.
It is therefore extremely important that you behave with integrity during the examination and provide accurate answers to any questions asked of you. If you feel that there has been any misunderstanding between yourself and the medical examiner you should let your solicitor know as soon as possible.