The identification and labeling of a disease or condition based on its signs and symptoms. After an injury, a doctor may give you a diagnosis after evaluating and testing your physical or mental state.
Why a Diagnosis Matters After a Personal Injury
When you are injured because of another party’s negligence, it’s known as a personal injury accident. In Georgia, you have the legal right to seek compensation in damages for injuries you did not cause (Georgia Code § 51-12-4). However, to do so, you will need to provide proof of negligence and of your injuries.
Getting a diagnosis helps demonstrate the level at which you were injured. Here’s an example:
- You were involved in a car accident caused by another driver.
- Soon after the accident, you began to experience a terrible headache, dizziness, and confusion.
- You went to your doctor, told them about your symptoms, and allowed them to examine you.
- Based on your symptoms and their own evaluation, the doctor gave you a diagnosis of a concussion.
The above scenario provides you with medical records showing you were diagnosed with a concussion. When you file a personal injury claim to seek damages from the at-fault party’s insurance, there is concrete proof of your concussion and its treatment needs. The insurance company is much more likely to take your claim seriously if you can demonstrate the full extent of your injuries and damages.
A Diagnosis Increases Your Injury Settlement Value
Before you can be properly treated for an injury, your medical provider must diagnose it. Insurance companies will look for any opportunity to reduce what they pay out on injury claims. Since medical bills make up the largest portion of more injury claims, this is the area where they will look for loopholes.
If you see a doctor very soon after your accident and get a diagnosis, it helps you in two big ways:
- You will have medical documentation of your diagnosis by a medical professional.
- A diagnosis will allow you and your doctor to come up with a treatment plan, which you can obtain records of for your injury claim.
You will need to demonstrate that all medical expenses you face directly result from your personal injury accident injuries. Getting a diagnosis is the first step in doing this.
Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Diagnosis
With the above in mind, it’s important to go to the best doctor for your diagnosis and treatment. Ideally, your bills for treatment should be higher than those for your diagnosis.
If a doctor orders a lot of unnecessary and expensive tests and most of your medical bills are for diagnosis rather than treatment, the insurance company may offer you less. Make sure you are going to a medical clinic or hospital with an actual physician versus alternative medicine doctors or providers.
Don’t Delay Seeing a Doctor After an Injury Accident
If you do not see a doctor within a reasonable amount of time, it delays your diagnosis and treatment time. You may end up paying much more for your injuries than if you had seen a doctor as soon as possible after your accident.
If you need help choosing the best doctor or taking other crucial steps after your accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. John Foy & Associates can help you take action after your injury and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a FREE consultation at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.