One of the most important steps to take immediately after an accident is to seek medical treatment. You need to have your injuries properly diagnosed by a doctor so he or she can develop a treatment plan to help you reach maximum medical improvement.
Sticking to the treatment plan is just as important as getting treatment right away. Failing to keep up with your medical treatment can affect your claim for compensation in a few ways. Our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers discuss this issue below.
An initial consultation to discuss your claim is free, and there are no fees while we work on your claim. Talking to us about your accident comes with no risk.
Damaging Your Credibility
Treatment plans set a timetable for when you should reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point where you are unlikely to improve, even with further treatment. This may be the point when you are fully healed. It is often the point when your injuries have healed as much as they are likely to heal.
For example, a person who suffers a spinal cord injury may only regain a certain percentage of movement after extensive physical therapy. Typically, spinal cord injury victims know how much function they may regain within a year or two of the injury.
When injury victims cancel or postpone doctor’s appointments, it will be noted in their medical records. If the insurance company finds out, they may argue that you are elongating your recovery period to drive up the costs of medical treatment. In other words, they may argue you are just looking to get more money. The insurance company may also argue that you are not serious about your recovery and therefore, are not actually injured.
Once they begin to attack your credibility, it may be difficult to get a jury, or any third party attempting to resolve the dispute, to believe you when you talk about your damages.
What if You Have a Valid Reason for Missing an Appointment?
Sticking to a treatment plan is important, but so is not missing work or important family matters. There may be conflicts between your schedule and your appointments. For example, your work schedule and the doctor’s office hours may not align.
If you find yourself in this situation, you can reschedule the appointment, but make sure to go to the rescheduled appointment. Make sure to inform your attorney about missed or rescheduled appointments.
What if My Treatment Plan Is Taking Too Long?
Some injuries heal quicker than others and a few weeks of treatment may have you back to feeling the way you did before the accident. Usually, your attorney will wait until you are feeling better to begin negotiating with the insurance company. That way your lawyer will have a better idea of the full extent of your damages, including future treatment needs.
However, there are some injuries that are more severe and require extensive treatment that could significantly delay the resolution of your case. In these situations, you may never completely return to normal. Instead, your lawyer will wait until the injury has stabilized and is unlikely to improve.
You may be concerned about running out of time to file a lawsuit. For example, the insurance company may make a series of lowball offers as the deadline approaches.
You may be concerned about how your attorney can determine what your claim may be worth if your injuries have not fully stabilized. That is why you need an experienced lawyer to manage your case. He or she can discuss the situation with your doctor and bring in medical experts to evaluate the cost of your damages.
Call an Experienced Attorney Today
We understand that life may get in the way of your treatment. Sometimes balancing work, life and your injuries may be difficult.
Remember that insurance companies are constantly looking for any reason to deny a claim. If you fail to keep up with your medical treatment after an accident, it could give them ammunition to argue that you are not actually hurt or are exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
This is an issue you can discuss with our attorneys in a free consultation. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping injury victims. We do not charge you anything up front or while we work on your case. There is no risk to call us and there is no obligation to take legal action.
Call today to schedule a free consultation: (817) 920-9000.