Whether you slipped on a worn mat in the break room or a fender-bender left you with a stomach bruise, the world is full of opportunities for injury – many of which may appear minor and not require medical attention.
However, that bump on your head could very well be a concussion. That bruise on your stomach could be a sign of organ damage. If you do not see a doctor immediately after an injury for medical treatment, you may regret it down the line, especially if you end up needing a lawsuit.
Seeking immediate medical treatment after a personal injury could be crucial for your health. It is also critical in the event of filing a personal injury claim.
Why is prompt treatment necessary in the eyes of the law? Read on to find out.
Injury Claims, Insurance Adjusters, and You
Insurance claims adjusters work for the insurance companies, not you. Insurance companies train their adjusters to find any excuse to deny your claim. Delaying medical treatment gives them the pretext to ensure you don’t get the payout you need, even after a lawsuit.
They can claim that failure to seek immediate medical attention means that your injury must not be serious. Therefore, they can give you the minimum payout or deny your injury claim entirely.
Another way insurance companies can throw out your claim is by casting doubt on the actual cause of your injury. Seeking immediate medical treatment means that your doctor can be more confident that your injury came from the accident you’re claiming. Delaying treatment will result in less certainty from your healthcare provider, giving the insurance company all the reasons to reduce your payout or deny your claim.
Perhaps the sneakiest way insurers can deny your injury claim if you delay seeking medical treatment is to cast doubt on the source of your personal injury. If you delay your trip to the doctor, the insurance company can claim that it represents a gap in treatment.
Therefore, the insurance company will say that the claimed injury must be a separate incident and no payout is due. Promptly seeing a doctor will close the gap, ensuring you get the injury claim payout you deserve.
Prompt Medical Treatment Wins Court Battles
When your personal injury claim goes to court, the defendant will fight almost as hard as your insurance company to minimize the amount they have to pay. A common tactic used by defendants in personal injury lawsuits is to accuse the plaintiff of faking or exaggerating their injuries.
Seeking medical treatment the day you get the injury blunts accusations of malingering by providing evidence that your affliction is authentic. It is also evidence that you want to recover as quickly as possible.
The Importance of Medical Records
Perhaps the primary benefit of seeking immediate medical treatment in a personal injury claim lawsuit is the medical records provided by the doctor. These records are essential for many reasons. The most obvious one is their utility as pieces of evidence. It becomes much harder to deny that someone’s car caused your concussion when you can present treatment records for a concussion starting from the day of the accident.
Documented medical care can also establish a baseline amount for settlement payouts. At a minimum, a personal injury claim settlement should cover the medical expenses you incur due to your injury. The court can only guess how much you should get paid if you cannot provide a record of your medical expenses. Seeking medical treatment immediately after an injury can give the court a good idea of how much you should receive.
Long-Term Medical Treatment and Your Injury Claim
Personal injury settlements should also cover the cost of long-term medical treatment if required. Prompt medical attention from a skilled doctor will be able to determine if you need long-term care. If you delay seeking treatment, even if you get a settlement, it may not be enough to cover all your long-term treatment needs.
As a last-ditch effort to reduce their payout on your injury claim as much as possible, plaintiffs may claim that the type of medical treatment required doesn’t incur many expenses. If you went to court before seeing a doctor, you might walk out with less money than you need.
A consultation with a doctor can accurately reveal what kind of medical treatment you need. These discussions, if documented, can serve as vital ammunition for your case.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you owe it to yourself to see a healthcare professional immediately. Doing this will minimize the risk of serious lingering health effects and help get you the most favorable injury claim settlement in court.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
After your medical treatment, you will need the best legal team on your side to get optimal results from your injury claim or accompanying lawsuit. That’s where we come in. CJB Law is the most trusted name in Minnesota and North Dakota. Our committed and accomplished lawyers have a well-established record of success and are known for giving kind counsel while securing high payouts. Once you’re out of the doctor’s office, contact us today for a free case evaluation.