Should You Get Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?

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Should You Get Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 1/20/2020

The short answer is easy. If you were injured, you should always seek medical treatment after a car accident! The long answer is that seeking medical treatment is likely the best path to success both from an injury and insurance claims perspective.

BLOGPOST_MedicalTreatment01202020.JPGIf you’ve ever been an auto collision – even a minor fender bender – you might know what is lurking around the corner. Neck and back pain at a minimum throughout the soft tissues surrounding your spine can be a huge set back for those trying to work and live their lives. Many involved in car accidents try to tough it out, and both doctors and attorneys will tell you that this strategy may lead to higher levels of pain, longer term pain, and a more difficult insurance claim process.

Starting treatment early is an effective strategy to help speed up your medical outcomes, and it also helps boost your chances of a successful personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters are evaluators and employees of the insurance company. Their job is to review your claim and assess the likelihood of damages based upon statistical models they have built over decades. Forgoing treatment is one of the quickest ways you can force an insurance adjuster to ignore your case, but just because you’re getting treatment doesn’t mean that you are in the clear.

There are at least four guidelines to help create successful scenarios for your car accident injury claim. While not following these guidelines may still lead to a successful result, the insurance fight may be much easier if you take the proper steps with your medical care.

  • Start treatment early – Waiting long periods of time to receive your first medical appointment might seem likely the manly thing to do, but it may backfire on your case. If you wait 3-weeks before going into the doctor, the insurance company is left to argue what took you so long. Were you not in pain? Was there an alternate cause of your symptoms? Getting treatment early will help avoid some of these questions.
  • Follow your doctor’s recommendation – Your doctor went to years of medical school for a reason. Ignoring their recommendations (or delaying their recommendations) is likely not in your body’s best interest. It is not in your claim’s best interest as the insurance company will likely argue that you failed to mitigate your damages properly by ignoring medical advice.
  • Be consistent with treatment – Being in a car accident is not easy work. There are many appointments throughout the week that are necessary to help you feel better. It can be overwhelming a times. Being consistent with your care – i.e. not skipping or stopping your care protocols – is important to ensure the treatment works. Similarly, if you take weeks off at a time, the insurance company will be chomping at the bit!
  • Be honest with your providers – Doctors (and insurance companies!) can smell through exaggeration, and juries will find it equally as unlikely that your back strain has been at 10 out of 10 pain levels for 9 months. Oppositely, minimizing your symptoms will hurt your claim, as well. If after a few months of care you had the bravery to try your hand at golfing, it’s okay to tell your doctor. Just make sure you don’t leave out the part where you were barely able to move the next day due to the pain!

Medical appointments are just one part of a complicated insurance claim process. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side will help make the process move along more smoothly. If you have questions about your recent car accident, contact the qualified litigators at Magnuson Lowell, PS for a free case evaluation.

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