Why Immediate Medical Care Can Improve Your Odds of Success
Seeking immediate medical attention after an injury is extremely important for several reasons. Some of those reasons include 1) Documenting your pain complaints or visible injuries, 2) helping relate the injury to incident, and 3) securing your use of insurance benefits.
Documenting Your Pain ComplaintsProperly documenting your injury claim begins early on.* Without proper documentation, you may be hurting your injury case.
An important step is documenting your pain complaints with a medical provider.* Initial evaluations are necessary to rule out any injuries which require immediate emergency medical attention.* These evaluations also serve to document your pain complaints and visible injuries after an incident or accident.
Insurance companies often argue an injury victim*s injuries or pain are not related to the incident or accident.* Instead, insurance companies often blame the injury or pain on some preexisting health issue or age.**With your injuries documented, you can help counter this argument.
Documenting Visible InjuriesOne of the benefits of seeking immediate medical care is documenting your visible injuries. As our bodies heal, visible injuries will disappear leaving behind the unseen injuries. However, many times the visible injuries assist with explaining how an injury occurred.
Example: A torn meniscus in someone*s knee following a slip and fall is often argued by insurance companies to be age related. However, if you were to document a bruise to the knee as a result of impact with the ground, that may help establish the relatedness of the injury to the incident.
On an initial evaluation your doctor will ask you to describe all pain complaints. When asked, do so. Also tell your doctor of any bruising, cuts, scrapes, bumps or other visible injuries you have so they can best document them.
Relating Injuries to IncidentInjury victims are responsible for proving their injuries are the result of someone else's negligence.* In fact, the first question asked of juries on the standard verdict form states:
1. Was there negligence on the part of (defendant) which was the legal cause of [loss] [injury] [or] [damage] to (claimant)(decedent)?
If the jury answers "NO" you just lost your case.
Juries are unpredictable by nature.* Trials are unpredictable.* However, you can place yourself in a better position to avoid a "NO" answer to this question with medical treatment.
The quicker the treatment, the more effective it may be to relate your injury to whatever caused it.* Seeking immediate medical care solves this problem.
Securing Insurance BenefitsPersonal Injury Protection, or PIP, benefits help pay for medical care and lost wages if you are involved in a car accident.* Florida requires you seek qualified medical treatment within 14 days in order to use your PIP benefits.* Seeking treatment on day 15 after the crash may result in the denial of insurance benefits you pay for.
Seeking medical attention immediately will satisfy Florida*s 14 day requirement leaving you able to focus on getting better.