Watch Your Language (When Reporting an Injury)

Casey Shorts

How many times have you been asked, “how are you?” and you have answered “great” or “fine,” when you know that was not exactly accurate? When you are involved in a personal injury or worker’s compensation situation, and you are dealing with medical doctors or the insurance company’s adjuster ‑‑ watch your language!

Never tell a doctor that you are “good” or “fine” unless you are back to your preinjury state of health. The words good, fine, and okay are relative terms. You may feel better than you did at the time of the injury, but you are still not back to the health that you had before the injury so that relatively speaking you are good or fine compared to how you used to be.

Rather than use the words noted above, use more accurate terms such as “I feel improved but …” or “I feel better but …” and then explain the continuing problems that you are having. Obviously, this is more accurate and will help the doctor assess your current state of health and any further treatment that is needed better than the vague and misleading terms of good, fine and okay.

Using terms like good or fine may lead an insurance adjuster or perhaps a “company doctor” to state that as of the date you uttered that word, you were 100% recovered. If that is not accurate, then you have just put up another hurdle in your case.

Think carefully before seeing the doctor. Be accurate.