Do I Need to See a Doctor for My Injuries Before I Call a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been involved in an accident, it is crucial to prioritize your well-being by seeking immediate medical attention. Not only is your health of utmost importance, but obtaining verification from a qualified medical professional about the extent of your injuries is critical for a valid personal injury claim. Filing a claim without a doctor’s confirmation of an injury may result in denial. If you are wondering whether it is necessary to see a doctor before calling a personal injury lawyer, read on to find out the significance of first seeking medical attention and its implications in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Importance of Seeing a Doctor Immediately After an Accident
When it comes to injuries sustained in an accident, it is crucial to see a qualified medical doctor for the following reasons:
- Hidden Injuries
There are instances where injuries may be hidden or not immediately noticeable. Injuries such as internal trauma or soft tissue damage may not exhibit immediate symptoms. These injuries can be severe and life-threatening if left untreated. By visiting a doctor promptly, you can receive a thorough investigation to identify any injuries that may not be apparent.
- Insurance Claims
Insurance companies often require documented proof of injuries sustained in an accident. Without timely medical attention and documentation, the insurance company may dispute your injuries’ severity or cause, leading to delays or outright denial of receiving much-needed compensation. If you call your attorney after an accident, he may advise you to seek medical treatment first. This is because physical injuries are necessary to file a claim, and medical treatment serves as proof of your injuries.
- Establishing Linkage
Seeing a doctor before calling a personal injury lawyer also ensures a direct linkage between the accident and your injuries. Insurance companies and the opposing party may try to argue that your injuries were pre-existing or unrelated to the accident if there is a significant gap between the accident and the medical treatment date. Seeking medical attention immediately, regardless of the severity of your injuries, strengthens this linkage making it easier to build a solid case for compensation.
- Medical Documentation
Medical documentation plays a crucial role in personal injury claims. When you see a doctor, they will document the extent of your injuries and the recommended treatment plan. Your lawyer can use this documentation to support your claim and establish the link between the accident and your injuries. Some of the medical records may include:
- Hospital logs
- Diagnostic images
- Medical bills
- Treatment plans
What if I Seek Treatment Later?
Waiting to seek treatment can complicate trying to prove the cause of your injuries. Moreover, the insurance company and the opposing party may argue that your injuries were not severe enough to warrant immediate attention. By promptly seeking medical attention, you establish a clear timeline and a doctor’s opinion on the cause of your injuries, strengthening your case.
Following Your Treatment Plan
Following your treatment plan is crucial once you have sought medical attention. Insurance companies are always on the lookout to minimize the value of your claim. They may devalue or deny your claim if they find out you did not follow the recommended treatment. Ensure you adhere to your treatment place, attend all appointments to show your commitment to recovery, and have a strong case when negotiating with insurance companies or in court.
Primary Care Follow-up
While informing your primary care physician about the accident is essential, following up with a specialist doctor is highly advisable. Specialist doctors have specific expertise in accurately diagnosing, treating, and documenting injuries. Depending on the nature of your injury, consulting with a specialist is crucial to document your case correctly.
What if I Cannot Afford a Doctor?
Sometimes, you may worry about the financial burden of seeking medical treatment. However, there are several ways of dealing with this. For instance, Florida law requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which can cover medical expenses up to $10,000. Moreover, you can explore the insurance security agreement option if you do not have insurance. Under this agreement, medical providers may defer payment until you receive a settlement or verdict in your personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you have received the necessary medical treatment and have documentation of your injuries, consult with a personal injury lawyer. They can protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue necessary legal action.
Legal Help is Available
If you have been injured in an accident in Vero Beach, Florida, legal assistance is available. Contact our experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff at (772) 492-8967 today for a free consultation. We can help protect your rights, navigate the legal process and pursue the maximum compensation possible.