Many injured workers are not aware of the importance of every visit to the doctor. When you visit a doctor for treatment of a work injury, every single medical note the doctors write is possible evidence in a future hearing about your medical treatment.
At your first doctor visit it is crucial to tell the doctor EVERY SINGLE PART of your body that was injured and make sure the record is documented. When a devastating injury is suffered to one part of the body, often other parts of the body that are injured are overlooked. Its important to report the other injuries to the doctor as soon as you are aware of them.
Being specific is another important aspect of your conversations with your doctor. If you can, pinpoint your pain to a particular spot, not an area. If you have back pain that radiates down your legs, specify whether it’s the front of the leg, back of the leg inside or outside and be specific about where the pain or numbness begins and ends. If you are not specific, the doctor can write down that your pain complaints are “diffuse” which is code word for exaggerating.
Be consistent in you reporting of symptoms. Don’t exaggerate but don’t minimize either. If you minimize a problem that gets worse later, the medical records become inconsistent. All of these factors are important to your credibility.
Be sure to clarify your work restrictions with your doctor at each visit. Get a copy of your work restrictions in writing. Your work restrictions are important to insure you are not re-injured and are giving your body a chance to heal. Work restrictions also affect how you are paid if you are not working during your recuperation. Keep track of your work restrictions and follow them carefully.