If your injuries are not fully documented then you might have a non-minor injury that’s overlooked, and miss out on payments you’re entitled to. The only way to make sure your injuries are fully documented, and nothing is overlooked, is to get a full head to toe assessment.
Start at the top of your head and work your way down to the tip of your toes, making note of any aches, pains, injuries or scars. We’ve created a head to toe assessment checklist to help you document your injuries.
You’ll need to be assessed by a GP who will provide an opinion on whether your injuries are minor or non-minor. The problem is, the GP is likely to be more focussed on helping you recover, and may not realise the implications of leaving something off your assessment. However, if you understand the process, you can take a more active part in your assessment and make sure nothing’s missed.
Once you’ve answered all these questions, move on to your neck, shoulders, back, arms and so on. Remember to also consider intermittent symptoms, such as arthritic pain, that may have developed since the accident.
The biggest mistake that’s made in medical assessments is simply focussing only on the most obvious injury. Take for example a knee injury from an accident. A knee injury often leads to a limp, which can cause hip and back problems over time as you over-compensate for the sore knee. So if the medical assessment focussed only on the knee, the hip and back problems that have also resulted from the accident injury might be overlooked.
Don’t just look at the obvious injuries – look for what other injuries or conditions have developed as a result of the accident.
The simple answer is – very relevant. Some psychological or psychiatric injuries such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are considered non-minor, so it’s extremely important they’re not overlooked in your assessment.
Here are some questions a medical professional might ask in order to determine if you’re suffering psychological or psychiatric injuries:
If you feel like you’re suffering psychological or psychiatric injuries, it’s important to seek professional advice, and make sure the diagnosis is noted in your medical assessment.
Start by doing your own head-to-toe assessment using our checklist, and writing down all of your injuries before you attend your medical assessment with your GP.
Remember that your GP is likely to be focussed on your accident injury and how to help you feel better, not maximising your personal injury benefits claim. So take an active part in your assessment.
If you’re not sure what to do you can call our assistance line for help – it’s a free service.