If you’ve suffered injuries sustained from a road traffic accident, then it is likely that your solicitor will ask you to attend a medical appointment.
While this may sound daunting at first, it is perfectly normal and there is nothing to worry about.
How will I know if I need to attend a medical appointment as part of my compensation claim?
The solicitor handling your claim will let you know if you need to attend a medical appointment and pass on any relevant details in good time. Our legal team will arrange the appointment at a convenient time and a location as close as possible to your home so you won’t need to travel too far.
Why do I need a medical appointment if I am claiming compensation?
Attending a medical appointment allows us, as your solicitors, to obtain an in-depth and independent assessment of the injuries you have sustained as a result of your accident.
We would always advise that you attend a medical appointment so that we can recover the correct level of compensation
Here at Bott and Co we would always advise that you attend a medical appointment so that we can recover the correct level of compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries. The more information we have about your injuries, the more chance we have of securing the best possible level of compensation for you.
What happens at a medical appointment for a compensation claim?
Before the medical appointment itself you will receive a pre-examination questionnaire: You will need to complete and return this before going for your appointment. The answers you give to the questionnaire will help the medical professional who examines you on the day by providing some background information to the accident, your injuries and general state of health.
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 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 a true representation of your injuries and 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.
What is a medical agreement form?
After the doctor has written your medical report, you will be sent a copy of it along with a medical agreement form. The medical agreement form is an official document that you must sign to confirm the information given on your medical report is correct and accurate. Once you have signed this, solicitors from both parties involved in your claim can use your medical report as the basis for calculating how much compensation you are entitled to claim.
Do you look into my entire medical history?
In the majority of personal injury claims, whether it be whiplash from a road traffic accident, a slip in a supermarket, or trip in the workplace, or more serious and long-term injuries, we will not need to see your entire medical history. In most cases any medical report requested by your solicitor will just look at the injuries you sustained directly as a result of the incident that your claim relates to.
In some cases, however, where your claim is particularly serious or complex, it may be necessary for your full medical history to form part of the assessment of your injuries. If this is required for your claim you can rest assured that any information provided will be handled with complete confidentiality. Any medical information given during the course of your case will not be used for any purpose other than to help us assess the correct amount of compensation payable to you for the injuries you have sustained.
What happens if I want part of my medical history to remain private?
It is possible for you to request that part of your medical history remains private. A judge could be persuaded to agree to the prevention of a full disclosure of your medical history providing you can show good reason for your request and that the parts of your medical history you wish to keep private do not have anything to do with the injuries caused by your accident.
I already had a pre-existing condition but the accident has made it worse, can I still claim?
Yes – a pre-existing medical condition does not stop you from making a personal injury compensation claim. You can claim for the new injuries and financial losses caused by the accident in question in the usual way. In addition, you could also be able to claim for any additional pain and suffering caused by the worsening of a pre-existing condition following the accident.
Do I need to attend a medical if I’m no longer injured?
In most cases you have up to three years from the date of your accident to make a claim for compensation. Therefore, it is possible that any injuries or symptoms caused by the accident have fully healed by the time you take your case to a solicitor. Even if you are no longer injured from the accident, we still need to obtain an official medical report from a doctor. This will assist us in establishing the extent of the injury you suffered and how long it took you to recover. While you might not be in pain anymore, the expert opinion of a medical professional is a useful tool in helping us to secure you the correct amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
Can I choose the doctor that does the medical assessment for my compensation claim?
You cannot choose the specific doctor that you want to carry out your medical assessment. There is a pool of medical professionals specifically nominated to do these types of assessment and you will be examined by a fully-qualified, impartial doctor who is situated as close to where you live as possible.
Can I choose a doctor close to where I live to do my medical assessment for my compensation claim?
Although you can’t choose the doctor who will carry out your medical assessment, here at Bott and Co we always ensure that you are seen by a medical professional who is as close to where you live as possible. On some occasions, this may mean that you have to drive or take public transport to and from your appointment. If this is the case then any transport costs you incur as a result of attending your examination can be added to the final amount of compensation that you receive.
Do I have to pay for the physio that you are recommending?
The doctor who conducts your medical examination may suggest that you receive physiotherapy and/or other medical treatment to help with your injuries. Some people worry that they will have to pay for this treatment but that is not the case: You will not have to pay for the physio that the doctor recommends for your injuries. Instead the costs of physiotherapy and any other medical treatment related to your accident will be passed over to the other side’s insurance company for payment.
The good news is that at no point will you ever receive a bill for physiotherapy, medication or any treatments related to injuries sustained from the accident you are claiming for. At Bott and Co we can arrange for physio and rehab services on your behalf using our national network of highly skilled physiotherapists and rehabilitation professionals.
This guide only relates to accidents abroad but not to holiday sickness claims as these have a slightly different medical appointment process. Please speak with our holiday claims team for more information.