New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

The Importance of Asking the Doctor the Condition of the Patient Before and After the Injury

Posted on Apr 17, 2015 in Personal Injury

What is Condition of Patient before and after the Injury?

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The settlement amount in a personal injury case depends on the skill of your attorney.

In a personal injury case, it is vital to ask the treating doctor questions about the patient’s condition before the accident occurred since it can help establish the medical condition of the patient before he suffered the injuries because of the accident. The victim was in good health or had no physical complaints prior to the accident can be established by this typical line of questioning:

  • Doctor would you agree that before this patient suffered these injuries, he was in good health
  • Did the patient have any heart problems before
  • Did the patient have pulmonary emulous or blood clot
  • Did the patient have any shortness of breath
  • Did the patient have any restrictions on his ability to work
  • Did the patient have any restrictions on his ability to play sports
  • Was the patient otherwise healthy in your opinion

This line of questioning will establish a baseline of what the patient’s condition was before the accident took place.

Now, after the patient has suffered an injury, and continues to go back to the same doctor for treatment, the lawyer will not only ask the doctor what he did to treat the particular injury but also now the lawyer has the opportunity to question the doctor about the problems that patient now has. The lawyer will ask the doctor how the injuries have affected the overall health of the patient, whether he is suffering from any disabilities, and what the prognosis is.

This is a salient opportunity for the lawyer to provide an insight into the victim’s condition before and after the injury. The lawyer can clearly show to the jury that his client was in golden health, who then suffered an injury, and now has all these various health problems and/or disabilities.

Range of health problems that the accident victim could suffer from now, could include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • The victim cannot walk properly
  • The victim can walk only a few steps without feeling some pain and becoming tired
  • The victim’s capacity to work has been affected
  • The victim cannot engage in any physical sports or accomplish certain household chores around his home

A Detailed Picture of the Victim

Whatever it is, now the doctor is painting a picture of an accident victim who can no longer do the things that he used to do before he suffered injuries. Therefore, it is paramount to show to the jury, the condition of patient before and after the injury. Additionally, the doctor will also testify to the jury about the likelihood of what is going to happen to this patient in the future. Will this patient need additional treatment? Will he need additional surgery? What medical care or therapy will he require on an ongoing basis in the future?

Knowing the condition of patient before and after the injury gives the jury a true understanding of what the victim’s injuries are, how such injuries affects him on a daily basis, and what the future holds for the victim.

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