Many personal injury cases end up with little to no value, simply because of how medical treatment (or the lack of) is handled following a car accident. Here are some common mistakes to avoid after being involved in a vehicle crash:
Not seeking treatment: In many personal injury cases, the victims are either unaware of the seriousness of the injury or don’t take it seriously because the symptoms sometimes don’t appear right away. For example, with whiplash injury following a motor vehicle accident, the pain sometimes does not present for a few days, which may delay treatment. This can be used against the plaintiff because the defendant’s lawyer will most likely say that the plaintiff did not suffer any major injuries. If the symptoms appear later, the opposing lawyer can always claim that this may be caused by something else and not the accident itself. It is important that regardless how trivial the injury, medical treatment should be sought after an accident.
Not revealing Your entire medical history: Often, victims of accidents or injuries do not reveal their entire medical history to the doctor. Providing incomplete history can hurt your case, and the insurance company may reject your claim. For example, you have low back pain already and get injured in a car accident. If you decide not to reveal this to your doctor, and later, if it is discovered that you had low back pain before the accident, your claim can be denied because the insurance company will claim that your pain or injury had nothing to do with the accident.
Not keeping medical appointments: Most insurance companies and the defense attorney will check to see if you have been following up on your medical appointments for your injury. If you miss clinic appointments, they may claim that your injuries were trivial since you do not need regular visits to the doctor. This can, again, harm your chances of getting compensation. Finally, at every clinic visit, you should make sure you tell the doctor what hurts and make it a point to ask them to thoroughly examine you so that future problems can be avoided.
Not getting symptoms documented: When you are injured and develop symptoms like pain, malaise, fatigue, headache, etc… make sure you tell your doctor. In general, if it is not recorded in the medical chart, it means you do not have any problems and this could affect your case. Therefore, if you have pain, make sure that the doctor not only records it but also grades it within the range of mild to moderate or severe. Many insurance companies follow the healing of an injury by looking at symptoms like pain.
Not getting the relevant tests: After an injury, the doctor may recommend getting x-rays or blood tests. Even if you have mild symptoms, follow the doctor’s advice and get these completed. It is difficult for your personal injury lawyer to prepare an argument on your behalf if you don’t complete the diagnostic tests recommended by the doctor.
Not revealing issues with working ability: Sometimes, people are embarrassed to tell the doctor that they cannot work. But the fact is that if you cannot work, it should be documented in the chart by the doctor. Insurance companies will only believe what the doctor has written. If you can’t work, can’t walk or use your hands, can’t see or sleep, tell that to the doctor. This can determine your compensation.
Lack of medication compliance: After an injury, if you are prescribed medications, make sure you take them. The other party can easily get a report from the pharmacy to determine if you filled your prescription. If you don’t take the prescribed medications, the insurance company will simply say that your injuries were not serious. In simple words, if you suffer a personal injury and if you want compensation for those injuries, you need to make sure that you seek medical attention right away and everything related to that injury is properly recorded in your medical chart. This can play a major role in your claim.
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