If I Waited to Seek Medical Treatment Following My Accident, Can I Still File a Personal Injury Claim Against the At-Fault Driver Later?
While you can still file a claim, it’s a lot more credible and persuasive if you can show that you had medical attention immediately following the accident. The longer you wait to get medical treatment, the more likely that the insurance company or their representative for the at-fault party will conclude that maybe you were not injured as badly as you are representing. You want to get medical attention sooner rather than later to maximize your recovery and also your ability to get a fair evaluation on your case.
Could It Hurt My Personal Injury Claim If I Miss a Few Doctor’s Appointments Along the Way?
Again, your priority should be to get better, which means you want to keep the appointments the doctor recommends. It is understood, however, that many of these cases will result in multiple treatments over an appreciable period of time, perhaps months, and it’s not unlikely that someone will miss an appointment here or there. However if there are long stretches of time with no treatment, that can impact your case negatively because it creates the perception that, your injury was not significant.
Significant lapses in treatment can also cause the argument that there might have been another accident that caused you to resume your treatment. For example, if you stop treating for two or three months and then you resume treatment, the argument could be made that there may have been some intervening event that actually caused a new injury, which is why you’re now resuming the treatment that you had stopped several months ago.
Should I Wait to See If My Injuries Get Better Before Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney or Should I Hire Someone Today?
I always encourage people to see an attorney as soon as possible, because the attorney will be able to collect the relevant information to present your case in its most favorable light. If it turns out that you don’t really have a case, your attorney will be able to tell you that; but if you do have a case and you delay, you are going to negatively affect the attorney’s ability to properly prepare your case. Therefore, my advice would be to seek counsel sooner rather than later.
Should I Keep a Record of All of My Doctor’s Appointments, Photos of My Injuries, How They’re Healing, Etc.? Is There Any Way a Record Could Hurt My Personal Injury Case?
Keeping a record or some kind of journal would definitely help because the duration of these cases can sometimes be years. At some point in time, you may have to recollect events, painful episodes etc., in order to testify about your injury, and without a record, you may overlook or not recall something important. However, make sure that diary or journal is exclusively limited to the accident information because that your record may have to be turned over to adverse parties as the case progresses. You don’t want to integrate your accident information with your personal diary because you could conceivably open up your personal diary to examination by the attorney for the other side. Finally, make sure that your attorney is aware that you’re keeping the diary or record.
Why Is It Important to Notify My Lawyer If My Treatment Is Complete or If My Treatment Changes at All?
Notifying your lawyer of any change in treatment is very important because that is generally going to be the point in which the case really accelerates. The attorney will not be able to resolve your case to its maximum benefit until your treatment has ended. In most cases, your attorney will be waiting to hear either from you or from your treating doctor that your treatment has concluded. Your doctor’s office is probably very busy and could take months after your treatment is concluded to alert your attorney, and those would be wasted months. I instruct my clients to notify me as soon as they’ve been discharged from all care so that I can then start to collect all of the relevant records and prepare them for presentation to the insurance company for settlement discussions.
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