Workers' Compensation

Is there a surefire way to ruin my claim with the doctor?

Actually, yes there are a couple of great ways to do this. The biggest problem is exaggerating your symptoms. We’ve met very few people who were out and out liars about their situation. Seriously, about three or four out of several thousand. What we do see is that clients are trying to get the attention of doctors who seem to be ignoring them. It’s sort of a “I have to shout loud to get his attention” approach which shouldn’t be necessary but, unfortunately, sometimes is. In this approach sometimes the client is overstating things to underscore how much of a problem he is having.

It’s important to be very specific about what hurts and when. Statements like “it hurts all over” or “my pain is an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10” are counterproductive. Keep in mind that many of the doctors treating workers’ compensation claimants are a bit skeptical of injured workers. It’s really easy for them to just dismiss you as an exaggerator. Don’t fall into that trap. We recommend that injured workers be prepared for their doctors visits by being able to give very specific information about what hurts, when, and what makes it feel better. While in a sense you know your body better than the doctor does, the doctor knows more about bodies than you do. Saying “it hurts all over all the time” does nothing to help him determine what’s wrong. It does suggest that you’re not completely accurate though.