How Refusing Medical Treatment Might Affect Your Injury Claim
There are many decisions injury victims make that they do not realize could hurt their claims for compensation. One such decision is refusing medical care, either at the scene or later during the treatment process.
Refusing treatment hurts you on many levels. It will hurt your chances of actually recovering from the crash because usually simply waiting does not fix injuries. Ignoring treatment parameters also will hinder you from recovering full compensation for your damages. The insurance company will claim if you do not need to treat then your injuries are not that bad. They could also say you are not taking appropriate steps to mitigate your damages.
Below, we detail the problems with refusing medical treatment when seeking compensation after a car crash. It is important to note there are legitimate reasons to refuse medical treatment, and you may still be able to seek compensation if you did not get treatment at the scene.
TSR Injury Law is ready to assist you with the legal process. Call (612) TSR-TIME.
Why Crash Victims May Refuse Treatment at the Scene
Sometimes crash victims refuse medical treatment at the scene. They may think they have not suffered significant injuries. They may also think whatever harm they suffered will heal on its own without treatment or they are worried about how to pay for an ambulance or emergency room visit.
Crash victims may think there is no way they could have suffered serious injuries in the crash. They may think the crash was not that big of a deal because they were able to get out of the car and their vehicle did not sustain catastrophic damage.
However, it is important to understand a crash can release adrenaline, and this could mask your symptoms or at least make it feel like they are not that bad. Your symptoms may worsen in the hours and days after the crash.
Waiting to seek treatment is dangerous for your health because your injuries could get much worse. It may also contribute to you having long-term medical problems or at least a much longer recovery period.
Although you are seeking compensation, your top priority should be your health, particularly your ongoing health.
The Problem With Refusing Treatment at the Scene
If you refuse treatment at the scene, the insurance company is surely going to try and use it against you. They will claim you did not get hurt in the crash – if you did get hurt, why would you refuse treatment?
It is important to understand that you can still file a claim if you refused treatment at the scene. The insurance company will argue about causation of later treatment to the crash. The sooner you seek care after the crash the less likely this argument will work. If you are in pain you can still go to Urgent Care, the Emergency Room or your family doctor. The main goal is to get better and not allow the injuries to get worse, but the secondary effect is to also better document the injury to the crash.
Refusing Specific Types of Medical Care Later in the Process
While getting medical care after a crash is important, so is following through with your medical care. If you miss appointments or refuse treatment it could hurt the value of your claim.
The insurance company will argue you have fully recovered, otherwise why would you be stopping treatment or refusing something recommended by your doctor. The insurance company could even claim you are just trying to make your injuries worse to drive up the cost of your claim.
You have the right to make your own decisions about medical care. For example, some believe in chiropractic care even if insurance companies do not. Some believe in pain management care of medication or injections, where insurance companies believe a massage and stretching are enough.
You may also question if a doctor is recommending the appropriate treatment. You could get a second opinion and undergo alternative treatment. If the alternative treatment is something recognized by the medical community as appropriate for your injury, it will be harder for the insurance company to exclude the cost of this treatment from your claim.
If you and your family have doubts about a doctor’s recommendations, it is important to discuss the situation with them. You should not make decisions about getting surgery to try to inflate the value of your claim or because you think refusing treatment could hurt your claim.
As far as your claim is concerned, your Bloomington-based auto accident attorney can discuss how aspects of your treatment might impact the value of your claim. Unlike the insurance company, we are working to protect the full value of a claim for compensation.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Claim
If you refused treatment at the scene, you should still get to the hospital right away. Talk to an experienced attorney about the fact you refused treatment at the scene.
If you miss an appointment, you can reschedule it to help prevent a missed appointment from hurting your claim.
If do not want to get a certain type of treatment, discuss it with your attorney to learn how your claim may be affected. Decisions about medical treatment are up to you and your family, but it is also important to know how your claim may be impacted.
Set Up a Free Consultation at TSR Injury Law
If you suffered an injury in a car crash, you could greatly benefit from the assistance of a licensed attorney. Insurance companies routinely make lowball settlement offers and find reasons to deny or underpay claims.
Our firm is ready to help you pursue the compensation you need with no upfront costs. We have been helping motor vehicle crash victims for decades and we have obtained hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients.
TSR Injury Law. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call (612) TSR-TIME.