May 30, 2019
MEDICAL ADVICE WHEN INVOLVED IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE
After being involved in a motor vehicle collision, people will often ask me for advice regarding treatment. I am not a medical doctor, so I cannot give medical advice, but I have a large network of trusted medical professionals to which I can refer my clients, although which medical professional they choose to see is entirely their decision. Above all else, it is imperative that my clients follow the advice of the medical professionals they see.
Neglecting or delaying medical treatment, or failing to comply with the advice of medical professionals after being involved in an auto collision can negatively impact my client’s case. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, if not immediately, after being involved in a motor vehicle collision for several reasons.
First, if you sustain cuts, scrapes, or bruises after a wreck, those are readily visible injuries that would probably require immediate medical attention. However, you would not necessarily know if you have sustained any internal injuries because they are not as apparent as external injuries. These types of injuries could potentially be harmful, and it is for this reason medical advice should be sought after an accident.
Additionally, failing to follow the advice of medical professionals when involved in a motor vehicle collision can negatively impact your ability to recover in your case because in Georgia you have a duty to mitigate your damages – including your injuries. Essentially, this means you have a legal duty to try to get healthy. Not doing so can be held against you in your case. For example, if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision and you see an emergency room doctor immediately afterwards, or any other medical professional, and it is recommended that you follow a specific schedule for physical therapy, but you do not follow the doctor’s advice, the insurance company or opposing party’s attorney will have a strong argument that the injuries you sustained in the collision were not severe because you did not follow the treatment suggested by the doctor.
Similarly, the insurance company or opposing counsel will likely argue that you must not have been severely injured by the collision if you waited days or weeks after the collision to seek medical treatment, or if you are inconsistent with treatment. These gaps in time between treatment are called “gaps in treatment.” An example of a “gap in treatment” would be if your doctor advised you to attend physical therapy twice a week for eight weeks and you went for two weeks, then skipped two weeks, and then continued your physical therapy thereafter. Gaps in treatment can negatively impact your ability to recover in a personal injury case because the insurance company or opposing party will argue that your injuries must not be severe if you skipped treatments.
When you or someone you know is involved in an automobile collision due to the negligence of someone else, seek medical attention as soon as possible, follow the advice of your medical professionals, and call the experienced trial attorneys at the DeWoskin Law Firm at 404-987-0026.