How Refusing Medical Treatment Could Hurt Your Claim for Compensation

female doctor showing images to patientSome injury victims refuse treatment at the scene of the crash, or they refuse some of the treatment their doctor recommends. Injury victims may not think their injuries are serious or they think their injuries will heal without treatment.

While decisions about medical treatment are up to you, it is important to understand how your decisions about medical treatment could affect your claim for compensation. The insurance company is going to claim your refusal to get treatment means you have fully recovered, or your injuries were not a big deal in the first place.

Below, we discuss what you need to know about refusing medical treatment after getting injured in a car crash, including common reasons why people refuse treatment. If you disagree with your doctor’s treatment plan and want to seek another opinion, that is your right.

However, it is vital to inform your Lafayette-based auto accident attorney about treatment you are receiving. The insurance company will be looking for a way to devalue your claim and that means they will carefully analyze the things you say and the decisions you make. Your attorney needs to be prepared so he or she can protect your claim and build a strong case.

Refusing Treatment at the Scene of the Crash

Crash victims often downplay their injuries. They may feel some pain but think it will not get worse. They may not want to go through the legal process or be restricted from working by a doctor. Sometimes injury victims think there is a chance their injuries may be worse, but they think it will eventually heal over time.

It is important to understand your symptoms could be masked by adrenaline and the shock of the situation. In the hours and days ahead, your symptoms could get much worse.

Sometimes crash victims feel overwhelmed. They just want to get away from the scene and then consider what they should do.

Some crash victims do not want to get treatment because they do not have health insurance. Even if they have insurance, they may have a deductible that they cannot afford.

Problems With Refusing Treatment at the Scene

Refusing treatment at the scene is a bad idea because you could be allowing your injuries to worsen. For example, if you have an internal injury, not getting treatment right away could allow it to become life-threatening.

Sometimes treatment becomes more difficult the longer you wait to get it. Your injuries could also take longer to heal. Waiting for treatment could lead to longer-term damage or even a permanent injury.

You may not think you are seriously injured and seeking treatment is not worth it. You may think your injuries will heal on their own, but you could be wrong. Your injuries could be much worse than you think. Sometimes adrenaline masks the symptoms of an injury. It can take a few hours for you to really notice how bad some injuries are.

The other problem with refusing treatment at the scene is that it gives the insurance company a reason to claim your injuries were not caused by the crash. They could argue you would not have waited to get treatment if you were injured in the crash. They may even argue that something else happened after the crash and that was the cause of your injury.

The insurance company may try to devalue your claim, arguing your injuries got worse because you waited to seek treatment. They may say the insurance company should not be responsible for the worsening of your injury.

Refusing Treatment During Your Recovery

Sometimes injury victims get treatment soon after the crash, but they may refuse treatment or discontinue treatment later in the process. For example, you may disagree with a treatment reccommendation by your doctor and refuse it. You may skip appointments or stop following doctor’s orders.

It is important to note that decisions about your treatment are ultimately up to you. Injured victims should strive to make the best decisions for their health. Even though you are seeking compensation, you should not make decisions about your treatment based on how it may affect your claim.

That being said, you need to understand how decisions about your medical treatment could impact your claim for compensation. If you skip appointments and/or stop your medical treatment, the insurance company is going to say you are healed and they do not need to provide any more compensation for your medical costs.

The insurance company may claim you were never seriously injured in the first place. The insurance company may also say you were injured by something that happened after the crash. They may say this unrelated injury was not that serious, so it did not need a lot of treatment, which is why you stopped getting treatment.

What if I Want a Second Opinion About My Treatment?

You are within your rights to seek a second opinion. In fact, this may benefit not only your health but also your claim. If you refuse one doctor’s treatment plan but agree to another doctor’s plans and follow through, it is harder for the insurance company to claim you stopped treatment. However, you need to make sure the second doctor has the appropriate credentials.

Not seeking a second opinion and simply stopping treatment would be bad for your claim.

If you need to miss an appointment, make sure to reschedule it and inform your attorney. Sometimes people cannot make it to the doctor’s office. However, your attorney needs to know so he or she will be prepared for the insurance company to try to use it against you.

Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Your Claim

We know how devastating a car crash can be, physically, financially and emotionally. We have the resources and experience to pursue full compensation for your damages.

If you think another driver is to blame for your injuries, give us a call to discuss your situation. Your initial consultation with a licensed Lafayette personal injury lawyer is free. We also do not charge upfront fees for representing you.

Millions Recovered. Contact Galloway Jefcoat: (337) 984-8020.