In an auto accident, medical treatment is critical, and gaps in treatment should be avoided. Following a car crash, it is vital that you do three initial things immediately:
- document your injuries;
- get consistent medical treatment;
- seek a free legal consult right way from Mooney & Associates.
I recently was approached by someone to assist with a motor vehicle crash case that occurred about a year prior. We’ll call this potential client “Pat.” Pat reported having symptoms since the time of the crash. Pat also had post-traumatic stress from the crash. Pat would avoid the crash scene and experienced anxiety. Among the worst symptoms Pat had were the ‘shakes’. Pat’s body, arms, and hands would shake and Pat had tremors. The symptoms were observed by friends and family, but after the crash, Pat refused to go to the hospital, and then sought no medical treatment for these problems until about the time Pat came to see me nearly a year after the crash.
As much as I believed Pat and wanted to help Pat, there was nothing I could do at that point to change the fact that Pat had no medical treatment for these problems for nearly a year. Had Pat called me in the first week or so after the crash, I would have told Pat how important it is to seek medical treatment to create a trail of medical records that can be used as evidence of Pat’s injury. Insurance companies are not in the business of believing people when believing people will cost them money. So I expected that the other driver’s insurance company would not believe Pat’s claim that these shakes and tremors were caused by the crash.
Pat was under the mistaken belief that because Pat is an honest person, that insurance representatives, or jurors for that matter, would just believe her and her friends/family. Pat was not going to be satisfied with any offer the insurance company might make because the insurance company wouldn’t include the shakes and post-traumatic stress problems in their evaluation because she waited so long to get treatment.
Unfortunately, gaps of time between the crash and when medical treatment is initiated can be devastating to an injury claim. Having worked in the insurance industry for a time, I know it is beaten into the heads of insurance employees how everyone is a fraud, everyone is out to rip off the poor insurance companies. Having worked on both sides of it, the number of people “working the system” is very, very, small, but when those working on the other side see a gap between the date of the incident and when you first seek medical treatment, it creates an opportunity for them to argue: 1) that you were never hurt in the crash, otherwise why would you have waited so long to see a doctor; or 2) that there must have been something else that happened between the accident and when you sought treatment that caused the problem, but you wish to blame the accident so you can get money.
I certainly understand there are people who just don’t like getting medical treatment. It’s inconvenient, it may cost money, some people are just tough, and we often wonder if going through the motions will even help. But one thing is certain, failing to get medical treatment soon after the accident will damage your case and that damage can’t be fixed because you are honest or you get an attorney a year later. No attorney I know has a time machine that can go back and fix this.
Large gaps in your medical treatment in between doctor visits create the same problems. So if you are injured make sure you seek medical treatment, avoid gaps in your medical treatment, and get a free consult from an attorney soon after the crash because the advice you get early after the crash be valuable. Waiting months to talk to an attorney or seek treatment can sink your case, even if you are honest and truthful.
Mooney & Associates has recovered tens of millions of dollars for Central Pennsylvanians injured in motor vehicle accidents. Our consultations are ABSOLUTELY FREE.Avoid tripping up your case before it even begins. Call us right away so we can guide you with sound legal advice. Call today at 717-200-HELP for a FREE consultation.