How Failing to Follow Medical Advice Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case
Failing to either seek medical treatment or to follow the advice of a doctor is one of the biggest mistakes someone who suffers an injury in an accident can make. Not only is it bad for their health, but it’s also bad for their personal injury case. An insurance company will do whatever it can to deny compensation. When someone chooses not to obtain medical help, that’s playing right into the insurer’s hands.
If you’ve suffered harm due to another party’s negligence, please don’t make the mistake of not doing what your doctor tells you to do. You not only want to recover physically as soon as you can, you also want to have the best chance of obtaining compensation, right? The best way to accomplish both goals will be to follow your doctor’s orders.
The attorneys with Jones Law Group can help you get the money you deserve for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Give us a call at (727) 571-1333, or use our online form to schedule a free consultation. In the meantime, here’s some information on just how essential it will be for you to heed the advice of the medical professionals who are working to help you get back to normal.
Why Victims Might Not Follow Through on Medical Advice
Suppose you slipped on a wet grocery store floor or were hit from behind by someone who was texting while driving. You might feel a little back or neck pain, but you don’t think it’s bad enough to go to the doctor. All you need is a little rest, and things will be fine.
Failing to get medical help is never a good idea, and one big reason is that seemingly minor issues can eventually become significant health problems. If you refuse medical treatment, you could wind up suffering intense pain for years to come. You’ll also make it easy for the insurance company to either make a ridiculously low settlement offer or to deny your claim outright.
How Does “Gap in Care” Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
There are two primary examples of a gap in care. One is the gap between the accident and receiving medical care. In some instances, this gap can be six months or even longer. The other is when an accident victim sees a doctor right away but waits a few months before scheduling a follow-up appointment.
Either kind of gap can do a lot of damage to a personal injury case. The insurance company adjuster will use that gap to argue the victim wasn’t badly hurt – or wasn’t hurt at all. The accident victim may not obtain any compensation as a result and could be on the hook for all medical bills.
What Do I Need to Tell My Doctor After an Accident? Can it Be Used Against Me?
To have the best chance of having a successful personal injury claim, you and your attorney will have to be able to counter the tricks that insurance companies will play. Adjusters will go to great lengths to discredit injury victims, and they’re not at all above talking to doctors to find out what those victims said about their accident.
To answer the question, yes, what you say to a doctor could conceivably be used against you. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should ever lie about either your current condition or your medical history.
It does mean that you should never guess when it comes to the details of your accident. There’s at least a chance your doctor will ask you what happened to get a better idea of how badly you’ve been hurt and how to treat you best.
For instance, they may want to know how fast the other car was moving. If you say it was going 50 miles an hour when it was only going 20, that could hurt your case. The doctor may write down that 50 mph answer and put it in your file. If that file is later entered into evidence, that could be used to undermine your credibility. Just stick to what you know for sure and don’t speculate.
How Important is a Medical Witness?
A medical expert witness could be a huge help to your case. An expert can provide their opinion on the severity of your injury, what caused that injury, and what kind of treatment you’ll need – both now and in the future. This testimony could make your case much stronger.
What to Do If You Have “Gap in Care” or Failed to Follow Medical Advice After Your Accident
The most important thing you can do if you’ve been hurt in an accident is to get medical help as quickly as possible. As you already know, it will help your physical health and your personal injury case.
But there are sometimes circumstances that could keep you from getting that help. You may have developed an illness that kept you from seeing a doctor, or there could be some other legitimate reason for a gap in care. If this applies to you, tell your doctor and your attorney as soon as you can.
Please don’t put off seeking medical help. If you have a gap in care, it won’t necessarily end your case, but it will make it more difficult for you to win.
Contact Jones Law Group Today to Learn More
The personal injury attorneys with Jones Law Group want you to get back to full health as quickly as possible. We also want you to take the steps needed to have the best possible chance of getting every penny you deserve. That means not only talking to a doctor as fast as you can, but also following that doctor’s advice. If you do this, that will help us provide you with the most effective legal representation possible.