"No Medicine - No Money"
That is the quotation that is generally tossed around the insurance
adjusting trade. What it means is that the amount of money paid for a
general damages award in injury cases depends upon the quality
and quantity of medical care necessary. If you want to be a stoic hero, you
will not receive the same award that will be given to those who obtain
reasonable and necessary medical care.
Of course, you don't want to seek medical care just to get an award. On the
other hand, if you choose to be stoic about your pain, to suffer without
medical care, you need to know that your award will be less than if you had
obtained treatment for your injuries.
Keep your doctor informed as to how you are feeling. Do not whine or
complain. On the other hand, do not fall into the trap of telling your
doctor that you are having very little pain or that you are feeling much
better if, in fact, you are not. We all have a natural tendency to do that
because we want to let the care provider know that her treatment is making a
Physical therapists often use this as an opening question for each day of
follow-up treatment. They want to know how you are feeling today and how you
are getting along. In general terms, most of us will just state that we are
"doing fine" and mention few aches and pains. The problem in falling into
this trap, particularly with care providers to whom you have been referred
by your main treating doctor, is that the care provider will include your
comments in her report.
It is simply common sense to realize that, when you are referred by your
primary doctor to a care provider for some type of limited care such as
physical therapy, the secondary care provider is almost always going to have
to report that she has improved your condition. Think about it for a moment.
If she doesn't report to the referring doctors that she has helped their
patients, she cannot expect very many more referrals. She almost always has
to report that she has worked a minor miracle in improving the condition of
their patients. Just be aware of that when you mention your condition to
your medical care provider, especially if it is someone to whom you have
been referred. That care provider will always be trying to report a positive
spin on your condition to the one who sent you to her.
Your treatment plan is your responsibility. For more details on your
choices, continue to:
- Your Choices in Medical Care
- Following Doctor's Instructions.