Written By: Josh Lowell ~
After a car accident, you may suffer pain throughout your back, neck, and head. Going to the doctor is often the gut response to these types of symptoms. Improving your pain symptoms are the obvious reason for going to a medical provider after a car accident, but it is not the only reason. This question might seem simple on its face. Beyond the common sense lies a complicated discussion of legal theory and claim presentation.
Here are five reasons to go see your doctor:
- To Make You Feel Better! This is the obvious answer. Growing up, most of us have learned as a society that medical professionals are trusted allies. Between physical and mental examinations, in-depth imaging, and surgical intervention, no matter what ails you, western (and eastern) medicine can help improve your condition. Medical science might not be a cure-all, but going to the doctor after a crash is likely to improve your quality of life.
- Avoiding Pit Falls of Witness Testimony. Witness testimony is admissible in Washington courts. In other words, you, your family, and your physicians may testify about your condition after a collision during a lawsuit. While oral testimony is evidence, it is often attacked by insurance companies as being less than credible. Memories fade over time, and some witnesses may have internal biases that create issues for impeachment. Going to the doctor creates a written record of what happened and how you were feeling. Jurors will often ignore what you say, but it is hard for them to disregard medical records.
- Preventing Gaps in Treatment. Part of a personal injury attorney’s job is to minimize litigation pit falls. One of those traps is the gap in medical care. If you are injured in a car accident and go to the doctor right away, it shows that you were likely injured. If you presented to the physical therapist for two months, it shows that your pain lingered. If you decide that – despite being in pain – that you don’t feel like going to treatment for a couple months, you have created a question in the jury’s mind. The insurance company will ask, “If you were really hurt, why weren’t you getting treatment.” The jury will struggle to answer that question without seeing excuses. Getting medical treatment consistently until symptoms resolve is key towards a successful claim.
- Finding an Expert Witness If you are forced to file a lawsuit for your personal injury claim (and sometimes even without a lawsuit), you will need an expert witness to save your case from dismissal. Most of the time, that means hiring a physician to testify under oath that your symptoms were reasonable, necessary, and related to the collision. Without consistent care, your treating providers might not feel comfortable stepping up to render those opinions.
- It Makes the Claim Easier to Argue Your attorney can only do so much to strategize and win the attention of the insurance company and jury. Sporadic medical treatment or treatment that does not follow protocols recommended by the doctors create major hurdles for your personal injury claim. At the law offices of Magnuson Lowell, P.S., our experience team of car accident attorneys implement best practices to win your case. Good evidence improves your odds. Call today for a free case evaluation.