There It Is Again: Well-Meaning Doctors Hurt Patients

There it is again: “12 year-old female seen in clinic today. …On freeway going 45-50 mph when struck from behind….No airbags deployed and no windows broken.   Pt (patient) felt her head thrown forward and backward bouncing off the headrest.”  The Emergency Department chart goes on to say patient felt headache, nausea, pain in neck, shoulders and back, BUT “NAD” (no apparent distress)[emphasis added].

Why do these doctors put statements in the medical chart that have nothing to do with medical conditions?  Are they automobile insurance company claims adjusters finding a new career?  Why do doctors put statements in the patient’s medical chart about the car the victim was riding in or the other car that hit the victim’s car?  Does any  doctor really diagnose from airbag deployment?  Doctor to patient: “Sorry, I can’t release you from the Emergency Department until you tell me the condition of your airbags.”

What if the windows were broken?  What does that tell the doctor?  Lecturer in medical school classroom: “Make sure you ask the patient if their car windows were broken.”  Or doctor to patient: “I’m sorry, you only had $2,898 worth of property damage to your car, therefore I can’t order these medical tests.”

More importantly, for medical reasons, how does the property damage relate anything to a subsequent medical provider who is trying to find out why this young girl is still in pain months after the crash?  How can a patient who has a headache, who has nausea, who is suffering from pain in the neck, pain in the shoulders, and pain in the back be in “NAD?” C’mon, doc, pay attention and quit hurting your patients.

Doctors who write medical charts like this are feeding red meat to the automobile insurance companies.  The insurance companies train their adjusters to argue with claimants that the lack of property damage from the crash indicates the victim could not possibly have been hurt.  However, there are numerous studies, and the great weight of biomechanical authority and research is that property damage has no correlation to occupant injury.  Nobody can say, “The airbags deployed, therefore the medical damages should be $4,499.”  Or, “The car windows were broken, therefore the injured victim can suffer only $3,250 in medical damages.”

Yet doctors keep writing such nonsense in medical charts and the insurance companies keep disregarding truth and honesty.  There it is again, and again, and again: doctors mean well but hurt their patients.  With doctors and insurance companies like these, you need a lawyer.

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