Being injured in a car crash, slip and fall or other serious accident adds a lot of sudden and stressful concerns. In addition to dealing with your injuries, the mounting medical bills can quickly cause financial difficulties. Some people may even resort to not keeping medical appointments to save money. In any type of personal injury claim, however, neglecting your medical care can seriously risk your health and the success of your claim.
Goldberg Finnegan discusses why neglecting your medical care after an accident is a bad idea if you intend to seek compensation for your injuries.
Were you injured because of someone else’s negligent actions or their inaction? Nothing is more important than your health. Our Silver Spring personal injury lawyers are ready to fully handle your claim so you can focus on your recovery. Schedule a completely free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys to learn more.
Filing a Claim Begins a Legal Process
Filing a claim for compensation after being injured by someone else’s negligence is your right. However, it also begins a legal process. Therefore, everything you do after your accident can potentially affect your ability to be fairly compensated.
To start with, the compensation for your damages will likely come from the other party’s insurer. Once a claim is filed against their policyholder, the insurance company is legally bound to:
- Investigate the validity of the claim and any reported injuries
- Defend their policyholder against a pending lawsuit
- Pay for proven damages on behalf of their policyholder
It is important to understand that insurance companies are first and foremost for-profit businesses. Insurance adjusters are paid and trained to look for ways to minimize payments for claims. In short, if the insurance company can get away with paying you far less than what your claim is worth, they will do it.
Why Skipping Medical Care is Bad for an Injury Claim
There are two times when not getting medical care can hurt your claim, right after your injury and during your treatment and recovery. Here are some reasons why the way you handle your medical care matters.
Delaying or Skipping Medical Care Weakens Your Claim
Failing to seek medical care after an accident means that there is no documented record of your injury. Without that medical record, there is also no strong link to the accident. This one misstep enables the insurance company to cast doubt on where and how you were injured. They can say you could easily have been hurt elsewhere and that their policyholder is not responsible. The outcome? You may be forced to accept significantly less compensation, or the insurer could deny your claim outright.
Follow-Up Medical Care Adds More Evidence About Your Injuries
Every follow-up visit with your doctor, physical therapist or to receive any other treatment, generates a new medical record. This documentation supports your claim and gives more evidence of how badly you were hurt and the treatment you required as a result.
Skipping Medical Appointments Affects Your Credibility
To understand why this is true, look at your situation from the perspective of the insurance company. Disobeying doctor’s orders, skipping appointments – which also leaves gaps in your medical records – makes it seem like your injuries are not as bad as you say. People who are injured will keep their medical appointments because they want to get better.
Skipping Medical Care Risks Your Health
Seeking medical attention right after an accident is a critical step in protecting your health. Accident victims, who may initially be in shock, cannot always immediately see or feel evidence of an injury, especially if the damage is internal. Getting emergency medical care significantly helps to improve your recovery odds.
Not keeping medical appointments after an accident can also seriously harm your health for many reasons, because:
- Not following up with your doctor makes it difficult to see how you are responding to treatment
- Ignoring your doctor’s prescribed medical care may cause your injuries to worsen
- If your body is not responding to earlier treatment, you may need more diagnostic tests
- Your condition may become chronic, or you might never fully recover
Contact Our Firm for Legal Help You Can Trust
To give yourself a fair chance of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries, we recommend seeking medical care right after your accident, following up as your doctor recommends, and contacting a qualified attorney for legal help.
At Goldberg Finnegan, we are prepared to guide you throughout the legal process and help you avoid making mistakes that can damage your claim’s value.
Get started today by finding out if you have a case. This initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation to move forward. If we represent you, there are also no fees to pay up front or while we manage your case.