Bodily Injury Claims and Following Your Doctor’s Order, As seen in Hempfield Suburban News
As an attorney handling exclusively personal injury cases, my practice is dedicated to helping people who have been injured in all sorts of accidents. Whether it is a motor vehicle, work or slip/trip and fall accident, if the event causes injury to someone and comes about as a result of the fault of another person or entity, typically, the person who is hurt will have a potential bodily injury claim.
In each of these contexts, though, almost always, an insurance company will be involved on behalf of the negligent party. And, when this is the case, the representative for the insurance company handling the claim is not just going to give money away. Rather, the insurance company will need a solid basis to dispense compensation and must be able to justify the amount of compensation tendered.
During my 23 years as an attorney, I have seen our legal system adjust to the changing times in many ways. Pennsylvania’s bodily injury and workers’ compensation laws have done so, as well. One thing that has not changed, however, is the direct correlation, in these settings, between treatment and compensation.
In other words, almost always, the strength and value of an injury claim will be tied, in large part, to the nature, consistency, extent and duration of treatment the injured person receives or undergoes.
The most important thing to do after being injured in an accident is to see a medical professional and make sure that all of your injuries and symptoms are documented and addressed.
Not only will this give you peace-of-mind, health-wise, but it will make a “record” of the body parts affected by the trauma from the accident. Your diligence in getting the treatment you need, though, does not end there.
So many times, I see people forego medical providers’ advice or recommendations and not follow through with a treatment plan after their initial visit. The most common reasons: time and money. Physical therapy, chiropractic sessions, diagnostic studies, injections and surgery are all time-consuming and usually translate into lost income and out-of-pocket expenses, at least temporarily. While the path of immediately minimizing income loss may appear to be “toughing it out,” in the long run, it might not be the best thing for you and your family.
Most importantly, if your injuries are not treated properly and in a timely manner, it can lead to a delayed, prolonged and/or incomplete recovery. And, when viewing the situation through a “legal lens”—that is, considering the strength and value of your bodily injury claim—waiting to get, or not getting, the appropriate treatment will be a ready-made excuse for the insurance company to question the causal relationship of your injuries to the accident and/or the severity of your injuries. In the short term, “playing through the pain” might seem like the right thing to do. In the long run, however, it may end up costing you much more, from a health-standpoint and financially.
Every single bodily injury case is different, so, if you want to discuss the specific circumstances of your claim, please feel free to give me or my partner, TJ, a call. There is absolutely no fee for our time in evaluating your situation and answering your questions.