Tulsa Car Accident Attorney Provides Tips for Dealing With Medical Providers After A Car Wreck
Automobile accidents are stressful situations by their very nature, and how to approach medical treatment following an accident is normally the last thing on an injured person’s mind. The most important factor above all else is your health and that of anyone else involved in the accident. However, insurance companies routinely deploy tactics to attempt to minimize their liability and discount legitimate injuries that you may have incurred. Below are five basic rules to follow when you receive medical treatment following an automobile collision. These steps will significantly hinder the insurance company’s attempts to downplay your injuries and also eliminate their ability to claim that you are not entitled to be fully compensated for any legitimate injuries you may have sustained:
- Do not delay in seeking treatment:
One of the most critical pieces of evidence an insurance company will evaluate is the gap in time from the date of the accident until you initially receive treatment for your claimed injuries. This is why it is imperative that you visit either the ER or your primary care physician immediately if you feel you have sustained a physical injury of any kind following a collision. If you wait too long to seek treatment from a medical professional, it may be argued by the insurance company that another event occurred following the collision that created the injury you are now claiming, thereby relieving the insurance company of their obligation to pay for your out of pocket medical bills and for any other losses you may have sustained. Seeking immediate medical treatment is also important because the main goal is for you to recover from your injuries and regain the physical abilities you had prior to the date of the accident. Also, certain injuries will not manifest symptoms in a patient until days or possibly weeks following a traumatic event. With proper diagnostic testing, these injuries can be identified immediately, and you’ll be able to receive immediate attention before your symptoms worsen and any type of pain progresses to a more severe state. Do not let the insurance company dictate whether you have been harmed by the negligence of another. Instead, always seek immediate medical attention from a qualified physician so an appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment plan can be immediately made.
- Select your treating physicians wisely:
Many doctors routinely will not see and treat individuals who have been involved in automobile collisions. Most of the time, certain doctors do not want to get involved in any form of litigation involving a client they are treating, and also do not want to be subject to a deposition from the insurance company where they will be asked under oath to justify and substantiate the necessity of the treatment the client ultimately receives. Due to these factors, you should select competent physicians for treatment who will also advocate for you and stand by their decisions to provide any medical treatment and services you need. Always be truthful with your medical providers regarding any sustained injury and whether you believe the injury is related to the automobile accident or if the injury occurred prior to the collision and would be considered a pre-existing condition. It can become a daunting process if your treating physician does not believe your underlying condition could be related to a traumatic event or occur in the manner in which you describe. If your treating provider places this type of information into your medical record, the insurance company will do everything it can to try and discredit you based on the entries that are unambiguously stated in your medical chart. Do not give them the opportunity. Explain your injuries fully and let your treating provider know whether you were experiencing any symptoms prior to the collision. If you were not, it is highly likely your injuries are related to the traumatic event of the collision, thereby making you entitled to just compensation for any economic and non-economic injuries you may have received.
- Keep up to date with treatment and medical appointments
After you have selected a competent medical professional to treat you for your injuries, it is vital that you maintain all appointments scheduled by the provider and that you do not miss necessary treatment sessions. There is nothing worse for a client when his or her medical records are reviewed and the words “non-compliant” show up due to missed appointments or failing to participate in the treatment plan that was selected by your physician. Sometimes, you may feel relief from initial treatment sessions and not feel the need to return for follow-up appointments because you feel fine at that moment in time. However, if the treatment only temporarily decreases the pain and your physical symptoms return, you may need to be re-evaluated and additional testing may need to be performed to further evaluate your medical condition. If you do not have a strict record of following through and attending your medical appointments, the insurance company may use this against you and claim that any additional pain or injury you are experiencing is a result of your non-compliance with your treating doctor’s orders. This can significantly weaken your position in your case and will allow the insurance company to place partial blame on you for a problem or condition that they will maintain could have been corrected and that additional in-depth treatment options could have been avoided if all regular appointments were originally followed through with.
- Consider your injury with your ability to work
If you do get injured in an accident, it is often only natural that you won’t be able to work for a while. When visiting with your doctor for the first time, it is extremely important that your medical provider knows the type of work that you do, as your injuries could completely prevent you from performing certain lines of work that require heavy lifting or similar types of activity. Lost wages are often an overlooked damage item in many personal injury claims so it is important for a client to show that the injuries sustained prevented him or her from attending work in their particular field and to prove-up the amount of time from work that was missed. Your treating provider can be a valuable asset in this regard and note the time you will be required to be away from your job based on the injuries you sustained and indicate the type of activities you will be permitted to engage in at the workplace upon your return.
- Always verify the accuracy of your medical records:
More times than not, an insurance company will request to review your medical records related to the accident so they can be evaluated and a decision regarding causation can be made. Given this is the case, you should always perform a complete and extensive review of your medical chart to verify that there are no errors and that any diagnosis made by your doctor has been accurately recorded in your medical record. If there are errors, always make sure to discuss these errors with your treating physician so they may be corrected before the records are sent to the insurance company for review. This will ensure that the insurance company is evaluating accurate information regarding your claimed injuries which may also shorten the timeframe in which it takes for your case to be fully resolved.
If you’ve been the victim of the negligence of a third party, call Larby & Associates today at (918) 796-5780. We will fight to make sure you receive payment for every aspect and facet of your claim. This includes any claim you may have for lost wages, hospital and other medical bills, ongoing medical care, and pain and suffering. We will always put your well-being above everything else and give your case our undivided attention to help you attain a successful outcome. Call us today for your free no obligation consultation.