Being involved in a car accident is always a nightmare, especially when dealing with serious injuries that may cause you to miss work and the legal complications that come with pursuing a case. The purpose of this article is to address the common pitfalls people fall into when it comes to their medical treatment following an accident and how it can affect the potential compensation of their personal injury claim.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are injured, it is critical you immediately go seek immediate medical attention, whether it be a 24 hour emergency clinic, your primary care provider, or a hospital emergency room if the injury is serious. This initial assessment is crucial for setting the foundation for your legal claim to build off, in addition to preventing your injury being aggravated from a lack of treatment. The reason this immediate medical care is so important is because it effectively establishes the accident did in fact cause your injuries and effectively documents them. This prevents an insurance adjuster from arguing that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident, but were perhaps instead caused by other activities between the time of the accident and several days later when you actually got medical treatment. This creates a smoother negotiation process with the insurance adjuster and prevents them from potentially whittling away at the damages in your claim and its total value.
If your doctor recommends you receive regular future medical treatments from a chiropractor or physical therapist several times a week, it is extremely important that you avoid missing these appointments as much as possible. While these extra appointments can be annoying when you’re already busy with other things, they are essential for helping move your case forward and establishing that your injuries are significant and not exaggerated. Keep in mind insurance companies will have access to information regarding how often you sought treatments as well as how many you missed. If you miss several medical treatments, an insurance adjuster will likely point to it as evidence that your injury is not causing you much discomfort or problems, or else you would feel the need to get treated to feel better. This can drastically cut down on your case’s value, especially regarding pain and suffering and other general damages.
If your car accident is significant enough, your injuries are most likely causing significant pain and affecting your ability to go work, if not preventing you from working at all. If this is the case, it’s incredibly important that you are open and honest with your doctor by accurately describing the pain you’re feeling and how it interferes with your work. While it may seem like common sense in your mind that these problems exist, your doctor won’t be able to put these things in your medical record without you talking about it. Discussing these issues with your doctor and having them document your difficulty working with your injuries and pain will prevent any questioning by insurance companies about potential lost wages.
As with failing to follow the advice of a chiropractor or physical therapist with missing scheduled appointments, it is crucial you follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations to the letter, whether it’s following up for an MRI, going to see a medical specialist, or taking a prescription medication. Failing to follow your doctor’s advice could be used by insurance companies to argue that your injuries weren’t completely caused by the car accident, but were instead aggravated by your lack of treatment or used to show that your injuries are not as significant as you claim.
The first 24 hours after your accident are the most important as they determine the course of your future, both physically and financially. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed after being involved in a car accident, on top of dealing with injuries and a legal claim, that’s why there is no time to waste in hiring a trusted personal injury attorney who will navigate these complications for you. We’re here to help when you need us most. At the Law Offices of Dan Davis, we are committed to helping you move on from an unexpected injury with ease.