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Will Gaps In Medical Treatment Affect Your Car Accident Claim?

Almost every person will readily accept medical aid offered at the accident scene by first responders when they have apparent physical injuries. Others without any physical injuries may not see the need because they could be feeling okay.

But feeling okay does not always mean you are alright. It could be that adrenaline is masking out your pain, or you could have injuries that typically take longer to show.

Types of Medical Treatment Gaps

Unfortunately, failing to get medical attention right from the accident scene creates gaps in your medical treatment. Sometimes the at-faults insurer could capitalize on those gaps to claim that your injuries were not associated with the accident or were not as severe.

But failing to get timely medical attention is not the only way treatment gaps occur. Failing to follow up on your doctor’s recommended treatment regime can also create treatment gaps that could negatively impact your car accident claim.

Insurance companies, like other businesses, are out to make money, not dish it out. The lower the payouts, the higher their profits. Therefore, they will work themselves out, trying to minimize the value of any claim. Medical treatment gaps are the main area that most insurance will capitalize on because medical bills and records significantly impact the value of recoverable economic and non-economic damages.

Seeking Medical Attention Late

The first possible point of contact with healthcare providers is at the accident scene. The at-fault’s insurer will want to look at the first responders’ report to see if you received medical attention at the scene.

While not getting medical help at the accident scene cannot be used to deny your claim, it gives the opposing side fodder for their case. Getting medical attention at the scene helps rule out hidden injuries and places you at the scene creating a link between symptoms that show days or even weeks later to the accident. So whenever possible, get checked up at the scene. If not, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Most insurers consider 72 hours as enough time window for accident victims to know the extent of their injuries and get medical attention. After this period, an insurer can claim the injuries were not a result of the accident.

Failing to get medical attention on time could mean allowing injuries to deteriorate, affecting your recovery time and the cost of treatment. Under such circumstances, an insurer may claim that you are partially responsible for the deterioration of your condition. This could create grounds for minimizing the value of your claim.

Not Following Through With the Recommended Treatment

There are other situations where a person could get medical attention immediately after an accident but then fail to comply with your doctor’s follow-up recommendations faithfully.

Unfortunately, many accident victims fail to keep the doctor appointments as soon as they start feeling better. Failing to follow through with the doctor’s follow-up appointments can mean reversing the gains made in your recovery, adversely affecting your recovery time.

“Any failure to follow through a doctor’s recommendation can hurt your claim,” says car accident attorney Amy Gaiennie. “It’s always important to be on the safe side by discussing your situation with medical and legal personnel.”

During the discovery phase of your car accident claim, the most crucial thing the insurer will want to look at is your medical records, including bills and your treating doctor’s reports. If your doctor’s report cites failed doctor appointments, the value of your claim can be adversely affected.