What happens during a medical examination for an injury claim?
If you are making a compensation claim for a personal injury you may need to attend a medical appointment to help with the assessment of your claim.
There are two elements to personal injury compensation:
Special damages – essentially payment to cover out of pocket expenses such as costs of treatment, travel, medication etc. plus any financial losses if you are unable to work because of your injuries.
General damages – payment for the pain, suffering and loss of amenities (being unable to participate in things you previously enjoyed for instance) sustained due to your accident.
Why is a medical examination necessary?
General damages will depend on all or some of the following factors:
- The severity of the injury
- The presence and degree of any pain
- How it has affected day-to-day living
- Degree of dependence on others
- How long the symptoms will last
- Any other side effects being experienced, such as depression
- Ability to continue working
- Age and life expectancy
Having a medical examination allows an expert to assess the extent of your injuries, establish the amount of pain and suffering you have sustained and the length of time it may take for you to fully recover.
The medical report will support your claim and form the basis of the evaluation for any compensation payment.Back to top
What happens during the examination?
The appointed doctor will start by discussing the circumstances of your accident and the impact it has had on you.
Questions will include:
- How extensive are your injuries?
- Whether you had any pre-existing conditions that have worsened due to the accident
- If you have had similar injuries from previous accidents
- What treatment you have had for the injuries
- Have you had to take time off work?
- Can you carry out day to day tasks or do you now need help to do these?
The doctor will then conduct a physical examination to assess your injuries, the treatment they will require and the length of time they may take to heal.
Using his expertise and knowledge of similar cases, the doctor will prepare a report for the court. Because the assessment provides evidence of the injuries you have sustained and the impact they may have on your life – both now and in the future – it is a key component in helping the judge calculate the amount of compensation due.Back to top
Will I only need one medical examination?
Sometimes the doctor may consider you need further examination with an expert working in a different medical discipline. He may, for example, recommend assessment by a psychiatrist if you were affected by psychological symptoms as a result of your accident.
Also, if your injuries are complex you may need to have further assessments over time to determine your long-term recovery. This may affect the amount you are awarded in compensation.