A recent Court judgment has changed the amount of financial compensation for minor car accident victims. You can now claim compensation for whiplash injuries (neck, back, shoulder) and non-whiplash injuries (rest of the body).
Most of these are low-speed accidents with minor or almost no visible damage to the vehicle.
This ruling has a profound effect on the amount of compensation for the people who are suffering from these injuries. It also affects the amount of car insurance premiums that we all pay.
This means my role as an independent medicolegal expert opinion has now become ever more indispensable.
So, what is my role as a medico-legal expert?
I do not act as your lawyer or provide a legal opinion.
I do not assess or talk about how much compensation you will receive. That is for the Court, which has the absolute power to award damages.
If you had a road traffic accident, I examine you and provide my independent medical opinion.
My medicolegal opinion is wholly independent, and my duty is to the Court and NOT to your lawyers or insurance company who are paying my professional fees.
So, I have to balance my duty as a doctor towards you and to the Court, which relies on my expertise.
And the only way I can do this is by being robust and forensic in my analysis of the accident, your injuries, and recovery process and making recommendations for a speedy recovery.
If you have injured your neck or back in a rear-end shunt but also sustained injuries to the knees, elbows, shoulders, chest or any other body parts, then it is up to you as a claimant to provide all the facts.
- You can take photos of the injured part that show the bruising or swelling to these body parts and bring them to the medical appointment.
- You can also maintain a symptom diary or journal to help me understand your recovery or the lack of recovery.
- If you have visited a GP, hospital or physiotherapist, ask for a copy of your visit record. Your medical information is your property, and you own it.
The long and short of this, If you are claiming pain and suffering due to the car accident, then the onus is on you to present all medical facts to me.The most common question I get is: Is there a lot of fraud? This one is difficult for me to answer as this is a criminal matter beyond my expertise.
I am a doctor and not a detective.
The Good Medical Practice guidelines dictate that I treat each patient respectfully and without any bias or discrimination.
I want to empower you as a patient and your legal team through my expertise and reliable medico-legal opinion.