Mistake #5 Withholding Information
As discussed earlier, the most important thing you can do for your case is gather evidence. You also shouldn’t do anything that harms the evidence you gather or do anything that gives the insurance company evidence to use against you.
These same principles hold true when it comes to withholding information from your lawyer or medical providers. If your medical reports are based on inaccurate information because you didn’t mention everything when you spoke with the doctor, your case can be ruined.
If you lie to your lawyer about the facts and the lawyer relies on those statements to create a strong case, that will also ruin your claim.
Medical and legal professionals provide the most help to you and your accident claim, so always be completely truthful with them. You should also never withhold information from them.
Withholding information can be just as destructive to your claim as lying. Let’s walk through a couple of hypothetical scenarios to illustrate how withholding information could hurt you.
Withholding Information from Your Doctor
Imagine you are in a great deal of pain and you decide to visit your doctor or medical provider. Using the customary 1-to-10 pain scale rating, suppose that your back is a “10” on a pain level (the worst), but you also have knee pain that rates at a “2” on the pain level (discomfort) on your first visit.
When your doctor asks you to list everything that hurts, you say that your back is in a lot of pain. The doctor asks follow-up questions, making notes on exactly where the pain is and what body part is injured based on what you say. You don’t mention the knee pain since it’s relatively minor.
A few weeks pass, and the pain in your back has gotten better. Unfortunately, the pain in your knee has increased quite dramatically (say, from a “2” to a “7”). You schedule another visit to the doctor and tell him about the knee pain this time, weeks after the accident. The doctor will ask follow-up questions and take notes regarding your knee pain.
This may seem like no big deal, but the insurance company will argue that something happened AFTER the accident because you didn’t mention it when you were seen even though you had mild pain when you were there initially. It’s easy to believe that the knee injury happened in the weeks between doctor visits.
Remember that the burden is on you to prove that an accident caused your injuries. Withholding information like this that can be used to provide the evidence your case will need is unwise.
The best way to prevent this from being an issue is to discuss every ailment you are suffering openly and honestly. Even if the pain is minor, mention it to the doctor while stating honestly that the pain is minor. The doctor will take note of that, which will show documented evidence that the pain existed immediately after the accident should the ailment worsen over time, which is not uncommon in auto and motorcycle accidents.
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