In this article, we explain the medical nature of what typically happens after an accident, and discuss why it is important to seek and follow up on your treatment after an injury.
When it comes to a bodily injury, whether it be from an automobile collision, slip-and-fall, dog bite, or any other type of accident, it is very important that you seek immediate medical treatment and follow up on all of your doctor appointments. There are two major reasons for this. First, it is important to your physical health that you get the appropriate medical treatment so your injury heals or at least improves. Second, it is important to your personal injury claim that you seek and maintain treatment in order to legitimize your case against the defendant and/or their insurance company.
It is important to your physical health and recovery
As stated above, the priority after an accident is your physical recovery. This means doing everything you can in order to heal from your injury. In order to do this, it is important you establish and stick to a medical treatment plan with your treating physicians. Over the course of 30 plus years of practicing personal injury law, I have seen many clients neglect their medical treatment by not making their appointments. There is only so much your lawyer can do when it comes to getting you to make your appointments and follow all medical advice from your doctor or physical therapist. It is up to you as the injured client to stick to your treatment plan.
Often, clients will say that they don’t think they need to continue medical treatment because they “feel better.” Although this may be true at the time, this often leads to much more complicated physical problems. This is especially true in the case of automobile accidents and slip-and-fall cases. These types of accidents often cause what are known as “soft-tissue injuries”, such as sprains or strains of the muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons in the body. The tricky part about these injuries is that they can come and go, with injury victims Feeling short term relief. Often, clients will resume the same level of physical activity because they “feel better” and re-injure or exacerbate an injury that never really went away, causing them to be in even worse shape.
For this reason, it is simply just best to listen to the trained and experienced medical professionals that have your best interests in mind.
It is important to legitimize your claim with documentation of consistent medical treatment
When you are injured as the result of an accident that was not your fault, you and your attorney are bringing a personal injury claim against those responsible and their insurance companies. In order to convince these insurance companies that you truly were injured to the extent you are claiming, it is crucial that you have consistent and documented medical records to back it up and legitimize your injury. These medical records and the costs associated with your medical treatment will be the basis for the extent of your compensation for the injuries you have endured. When there are gaps in your physical therapy due to work, vacations or simple neglect, the insurance adjuster will often take the position you were not really hurt badly or you would have had consistent treatment. Do not worry about paying for the medical treatment as you go through it, many medical providers will work with you on what is called a “lien” basis, where they get paid if and when you reach a settlement with the insurance company or receive an award or judgment in court. (To learn more about medical insurance payments and negotiating medical bills, read my article entitled “Payment Of Your Medical Bills By Your Insurance is Not Free”
Make sure you get to all your medical appointments and listen to your experienced attorney and doctors in order to develop a documented history of your injury and treatment. The insurance companies will not simply take your word for it, and will do everything they can to disprove your injuries and your claim.
For over 30 years The Law Offices of Vann H. Slatter have helped those injured in auto collisions, slip-and-falls, dog bites and all types of personal injury situations. We will work with you and your doctors to develop a medical treatment plan that works for you in order to get you the care and compensation that you deserve. Call today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.