Whether you were hurt in a car crash caused by someone texting at the wheel or you slipped in a puddle in the produce section of your grocery store and hit your head, getting hurt because of someone else is a frustrating experience.
You have to worry about missing time from work, covering your medical costs and how this injury might impact your career and your family. If you don’t have health insurance or if you have a high deductible or co-pay, you may feel tempted to forego medical evaluation after a crash or to skip certain recommended treatments because of the cost involved.
Unfortunately, doing so could limit your right to seek compensation later.
Treatment directly affects your recovery
Whether your doctor recommends surgery or a regimen of physical therapy to help you bounce back after an injury, it is of the utmost importance that you follow those medical recommendations and document that you do so. If you don’t get the care that you need, take the medication recommended or perform necessary exercises in physical therapy, you won’t get better.
If you plan to make an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company that caused your injury, failing to get medical evaluation and follow through with medical recommendations now will diminish your right to compensation later.
Lack of medical follow-through could result in a finding of comparative fault
For those hurt in a texting-related car crash, it may seem obvious that the driver with their eyes on their phone instead of the road is the one who caused the injury and negative consequences in your life.
However, if you didn’t go to a doctor to get treatments, if you didn’t follow through with medical recommendations or if you didn’t commit to the physical therapy that would let you regain full function, the other party may be able to point to that behavior as an example of you having fault and bearing responsibility for your own injuries.
The courts could potentially agree with such a claim and reduce what compensation you receive by what they view as your percentage of fault for the ongoing impact of your injuries. Even if you don’t have excellent medical insurance, the costs associated with injuries from car crashes should get paid by motor vehicle insurance as opposed to your health policy. You won’t have to worry about copay, coinsurance or deductibles.
Getting the care you need now will mean a better standard of living and a faster recovery as well as protection for your right to seek compensation in the future.