By now, most Americans are aware that we’re in an opioid crisis: these highly addictive pain medications are easily misused and can even lead to heroin addiction. Opioids trigger the brain’s “reward center,” which makes it easy to become dependent.
Knowing this, many patients want to decline opioid medications. Since personal injury damages may use medication types to quantify how badly a person has suffered, clients ask whether it will hurt their case to decline opioids.
Declining Opioids Can Affect Your Case
There are many reasons a client may not want to use opioid medications: previous addiction issues, witnessing loved ones suffer from addiction and needing to stay alert to take care of family members are all valid issues. Unfortunately, defense attorneys or insurance companies may paint this as an indication that their pain isn’t as bad as they claim it is. That puts the patient in a tough spot—no one should take potentially addictive medication against their preferences and better judgment.
Do not let your doctors (or the threat of defense attorneys) push you into taking opioids if you don’t want to. Together with your attorney, you can use other methods to prove your pain is serious.
How to Document Your Pain
There are several different ways you can show the true extent of your injuries, pain and suffering.
- Injury journal. Your attorney will likely instruct you to keep an injury journal to document your medical treatment, prescriptions, pain and activity level and other important factors. This can show how your injury improves or worsens over time, as well as the measures you’ve taken to mitigate the pain.
- Prescriptions for non-opioid painkillers. If you were prescribed other types of painkillers, this can help prove you were in serious pain.
- Alternative treatment records. Documentation of appointments with chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists and other alternative treatment professionals will show that you sought pain relief in other ways.
- Testimony from healthcare practitioners. Your healthcare providers may testify as to your pain levels and how it affects you.
- Testimony from the plaintiff. Finally, your attorney may ask you to testify as well. You may talk about the reasons you declined opioid medications, and the other methods you used to mitigate your pain and suffering.
Your attorney will help decide which methods will work best for your case. The important thing is that you should never take prescription painkillers that make you feel uncomfortable.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney
Have you been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness? Call me at 877.944.4373. I’ll help you explore your legal options. If I take on your case, I’ll Make Them Pay!®