What Happens If I Have Delayed Symptoms Of Injury After An Accident?
If you have delayed symptoms after an accident, you still have a case, it’s just not as strong. There is no rule that says you cannot recover for your injuries just because there was a gap in treatment. The gap in treatment is an insurance defense tactic to weaken your case. The argument is that if you were hurt at the time of the collision, you would have sought treatment. If you didn’t seek treatment right away, they’d just try to use that against you to say you weren’t injured. There is no deadline for medical treatment under the law.
There are human explanations for gaps in treatment. Maybe you don’t have health insurance. Maybe you didn’t feel pain for a couple of days. Perhaps your grandma died and you had to go to the funeral, and you got hit by a car on the way. All of that can be explained. It doesn’t kill the case, it just opens the door for the insurance company to put up another defense and poke another hole in your case. They only have to create a little bit of doubt for a jury or judge to not believe you.
Why Is It Important To Follow The Doctor’s Recommended Treatments In a Personal Injury Case?
It’s really important, when you have a personal injury case, to seek medical care as soon as possible and to consistently follow your doctor’s course of recommended treatment. Medical care is how you can document your injury and not only document it, but have a third party document it. When we talk about evidence, there are notes and bills that the medical provider will generate as part of your visit. We can use that to show evidence of your injury. Every single time you go to a doctor, that medical provider will document your complaints of pain, their diagnoses, their order, and even the physical examination.
They are going to see if you have the normal range of motion. Even something as simple as taking your blood pressure can provide evidence. If you are in a lot of pain and it shows because you have high blood pressure, you can use that to say your pain was a 10/10. It helps us piece together a story to present. It’s important to go to those doctor’s appointments and then, if you still have pain, to continue to do it. It will be much more effective for you to have that paper trail to show that the wreck happened, you went to the ER, you complained about this, you went to your primary care physician, and your primary care physician sent you to physical therapy. You did a six-week course of physical therapy and you still had an issue. You went back to your primary care physician and she told you to go to orthopedic. Then, the orthopedic doctor sent you for an MRI. The MRI shows that you have a herniation in your neck.
At that point, 100 pages of medical records prove your injury versus a scenario where all you do is go to the ER and complain about neck pain and then, six months later, your neck pain is so bad that you end up going to your primary care physician. There are no notes in between from any other provider to corroborate that. That’s just a less effective way to present the case because you have a six month period of time where there is nothing to prove your injury. You have no story to paint.
The importance of following recommended treatment is that if you are complaining about pain and a professional medical provider tells you how you can possibly treat it, and then you don’t do it, you are not doing everything you can to eliminate the pain. The insurance company would argue that you can’t get compensated for pain you are not trying to fix. Legally, it’s called a failure to mitigate your damages.
For more information on Delayed Symptoms Of An Accident Related Injury, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (404) 382-9926 today.
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