Understanding your injury
Learn what it means to have a serious injury, and what to ask your doctor.
What is a serious injury?
Serious injury, as opposed to a chronic illness, is generally defined as physical trauma to the body by an external force that needs immediate hospital or medical treatment. This can be caused by:
- a fall or burn
- an act of violence
- the result of a road accident
- a natural disaster
- a faulty product
- a sporting activity
- an incident at home, at work or in a public place.
The injury can, but does not have to, result in:
- long-term impairment or loss of a body function
- permanent disfigurement
- long-term mental or behavioural disturbance or disorder.
However, being seriously injured is not only about dealing with any physical impact. There can be emotional, professional and financial challenges as well.
Questions to ask your medical physician
Sometimes knowing as much about your injury as possible in the early stages can:
- give you a greater sense of control
- help you deal with any anxiety
- aid your recovery.
To find out more, talk to your doctors and health professionals. Some of the questions you could ask include:
- What type of injury do I have and what are the treatment options?
- Why have you recommended this course of action?
- How long will the treatment take and when will I be able to return to work?
- Will I need rehabilitation and if so, what am I likely to experience?
- Is there a chance my injury could be permanent?
- Are there any signs that my recovery is not going to plan?