When to See a Family Doctor / General Practitioner

Unfortunately, ICBC defense tactics in a personal injury claim require that you make regular visits to and from your family doctor, regardless of whether there is really much benefit from an injury recovery perspective. Also, it’s important that you see your family doctor right away after an accident to record your injuries.

The reason being, the family doctor is required to make notes in your clinical chart of each visit and the complaints at each visit. Then, at some point, the family doctor will be required to provide a medical legal report setting out the various visits you had with the doctor as well as the complaints you made. Next, the doctor will provide an opinion, which includes a diagnosis of your injuries, together with the determination of any long-term effect the injuries may have on you.

In most personal injury claims, the clinical records of your family doctor are provided to ICBC. The adjuster and/or defense lawyer will carefully review the records for inconsistencies, lack of reporting of injuries, intervening events, pre-accident health issues, etc. Hence, your family doctor really becomes a “sounding board” for all your complaints before and after the accident. This fact necessarily requires you to provide a complete summary of your complaints to your family doctor whenever you go to see your doctor.

If you do not see your family doctor for several months at a time, ICBC will take advantage of this fact. ICBC will use this lack of treatment to suggest that you have not been seeing your family doctor because you have recovered, or, alternatively, your injuries are so minor that it was not necessary for you to go see a doctor. Therefore, if you still have problems from your car accident, it’s necessary to continue to see your family doctor, even if you are just updating the doctor on your condition. While this approach might not be cost effective for the Medical Service Plan, the reality of the situation is that ICBC has forced claimants to document their injuries in this matter through the family doctor.

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