There are a number of reasons why someone who suffers an injury may refuse to seek medical attention. Some people hate to admit that they’re injured, even though there’s no shame in doing so. Others may not think that their injuries are serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, so they try to treat them on their own.
Many people fail to seek medical treatment after suffering an injury because their symptoms are delayed. The adrenaline that is released in your system during stressful events such as car accidents, slip and falls, and dog attacks can mask pain. Because of this, people who are involved in stressful and unexpected accidents may not even realize they are injured until the adrenaline has left their systems hours or days later.
People who do not visit a doctor’s office or hospital after sustaining an injury may wonder whether or not they still have the option of recovering compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Here’s what you need to know:
The Insurance Company Will Need to See Medical Records
The at-fault party’s insurance company will not write you a check for your injuries without seeing proof of their existence. For this reason, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will immediately ask for your medical records so they can verify your injuries. If you have not been to a doctor or hospital since sustaining the injuries, you will have no documentation to prove that your injuries are real. Without proof, it’s very likely that the insurance company will simply reject your claim.
Gaps in Treatment Could Raise Red Flags
People who waited too long to seek medical treatment after an accident could also have trouble recovering the compensation they deserve. Why? Every personal injury attorney will tell you that it’s incredibly important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. Following this advice will ensure your medical records do not raise any red flags with the at-fault party’s insurance company. But, if there is a gap of time between the date the injury was sustained and the date of your first doctor’s visit, this can complicate your claim.
The insurance company views a gap in treatment as an opportunity to lower the value of your claim or reject it altogether. The insurance adjuster may argue that since you waited so long to seek treatment, there’s no way your injuries are as serious as you are claiming. Using this argument, the insurance adjuster will say you are not entitled to nearly as much compensation as you think.
The insurance adjuster can also question how the injuries were sustained. For example, let’s say you were injured in a car accident with the insurance company’s policyholder, but you did not seek medical treatment for five days following the crash. The insurance adjuster may say that there’s no way for them to know whether or not the injuries were actually sustained in the crash since you waited so long to see a doctor.
The Plaintiff Must Prove Damages
There are two things that a plaintiff in a personal injury case must prove in order to recover compensation. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligence directly led to their injuries. But, proving liability is not enough to recover compensation. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s negligence caused damages, meaning that the injuries caused the plaintiff to incur expenses, suffer losses, or experience emotional anguish.
If you do not have medical records, there’s no way for you to prove that the injuries exist, let alone that they were serious enough to led to expenses, losses, or emotional anguish. If you are unable to prove damages, the insurance company will not write you a check for them. Because of this, it is nearly impossible for you to recover compensation for your injuries if you were never treated by a healthcare provider.
The Right Way to Treat Your Injuries After An Accident
As you can see, there are many reasons why it’s best to seek medical treatment immediately following an accident. Seeing a doctor right away will ensure your injuries are treated before they worsen, and it will also make it easier for you to win compensation in a personal injury claim.
Be sure to keep a copy of all of your medical records in a safe place. You will also need to follow the doctor’s orders closely when it comes to taking prescription medications, scheduling follow-up appointments, undergoing treatment, and seeing specialists. If you fail to follow the doctor’s orders, the insurance company could use this against you later on.
It’s also smart to keep an injury journal during your recovery. Make an entry in your journal everyday so you can document your symptoms and discuss how your injuries have affected your life. Talk about how the injuries have prevented you from working or engaging in your favorite activities. You should also mention how the injuries have impacted your personal relationships with friends and family. The entries in this journal can be used to prove how you have physically and mentally suffered because of your injuries.
All of your energy should be focused on your recovery, so it’s best to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who can handle your personal injury claim. Be sure to provide your attorney with a copy of your medical records and injury journal so they have all of the information they need to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Have you been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our team of personal injury attorneys will aggressively fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We are committed to securing full compensation for our clients.