The outcome of making a claim for personal injury compensation often depends on whether or not you can help your solicitor present a strong claim. To give you the best possible chance of succeeding, your claim needs to be supported by the right kind of evidence that will enable you and your solicitor to prove liability and therefore obtain a settlement.
To provide this proof, any person who is injured in an accident that was not their fault will usually go to hospital or see their GP so that medical evidence can support a claim, but what if you haven’t yet been to your GP or seen a doctor to report your injury and get treatment?
First, could you still go to your GP?
If your injury symptoms are ongoing, it is not too late to attend your GP to discuss your injuries and get things recorded on your medical records. It is important that you advise your GP about the cause of the injuries so that this is also recorded.
If you have recovered from your injuries, there may be little point in attending your GP surgery as there will be nothing for your GP to see or examine that will enable them to confirm your injury. However, you never know – underlying signs may still be present to the trained eye so it’s always best to get a professional opinion and pay a visit to the doctor.
The role of medical records
Medical records are used to support a claim as they prove the extent of an injury. They will describe the injuries that a person has presented to their GP or hospital after an accident. They will also confirm what medical treatment the injured party has required, whether they have recovered or if treatment is ongoing.
The contents of medical records enable a solicitor to form an evaluation of how much a claimant’s settlement for their injuries ought to be. They will also be used during the claims process for an assessment of the claimant’s injuries. To enable this, someone making a claim for personal injury compensation will provide their solicitor legal authority to access their medical records and provide the same to a specialist medical expert to use during any medical assessments made in the process of pursuing their claim.
Claiming if you haven’t had any medical treatment
If you have not had any medical treatment for the injuries you have sustained, you can still make a claim for injury compensation. For obvious reasons, not having medical evidence to support your claim will make the prospects of succeeding a little harder, but not having had medical treatment doesn’t in itself mean that you cannot claim injury compensation. There may well be other ways of proving that you were in the accident, and that the injuries you claim to have suffered from could reasonably be linked to it.
If the details of your accident have been reported to the right people, entered in to an accident book or – in the case of a road traffic accident compensation claim – to a car insurance provider, there will at least be some evidence for your solicitor to work with. If you haven’t done this already, don’t worry, we can help you claim even if there is no existing record.
In addition, you may have had to take time off work as a result of the injury, in which case your employer may be able to provide some kind of evidence in support of this. You could also collect witness testimonies from people present at the time of your accident. If you were injured at work and are concerned about your relationship with your employer, have a read of your legal rights in this kind of situation.
Self medicating your injuries
Rightly or wrongly, many people who have suffered an injury that could form a claim for personal injury compensation choose to self-medicate. This is where people opt to use pain relief purchased from a pharmacy, or get a partner or friend to apply ointments or massage, for example. In the case of injuries such as whiplash, most people realise that the best medicine is time and rest and often don’t go to their GP as they think that there isn’t much that their doctor can do. Whilst this isn’t completely true, as doctors can refer people to physiotherapy or other treatment providers, there is little a GP or doctor can do to alleviate many soft tissue injuries.
One of the real benefits of claiming injury compensation is that it can help you get access to the right kind of rehabilitation treatments and therefore may help you to recover more quickly. Even if you have not seen your GP or been to a hospital to get treatment for an injury, we would advise that you still pursue your claim for injury compensation.
Seek professional advice to see if you can claim successfully
Seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital at the earliest opportunity is always the best bet, regardless of making a claim for injury compensation. However, don’t let the fact that you haven’t had any medical treatment stop you from contacting us to discuss your accident, injuries and the merits or otherwise of making a claim for injury compensation.
At Direct2Compensation, your enquiry will be met with a sympathetic ear and we can advise you how best to proceed. In most cases we’ll arrange for a specialist injury compensation solicitor to speak with you and give you advice about the strength or weakness of any claim you may wish to bring. We are experts in handling claims and may well be able to get compensation for you, even if you have self-medicated or not seen a medical professional.