General Advice – February 2021

General Advice – February 2021

How Can I Best Boost My Medicolegal Claim?

I was approached recently and asked for advice about how a patient could best prepare for a medicolegal claim. The patient had been involved in a road traffic accident. She was the driver of a stationary car which was struck forcibly from the rear by a second car. She sustained a so-called flexion, extension, acceleration injury of the cervical spine (you may like to call it a whiplash injury).


There is a broad spectrum of possible injuries. Some patients feel nothing. Others are left almost moribund. There are many grades of difficulty between those two spectra ends.

In general however, those patients who are seriously injured usually seek medical or physiotherapy advice more regularly than those who are not. This is not the single arbiter of legitimacy, but somebody who spends the next six or nine months attending a general practitioner or a physiotherapist on scores of occasions is unlikely to do so unless they had truly been suffering.

Documentation is the key. Ensure that it is thorough, accurate and complete.