Though your first instinct may be to “tough it out” after a car accident, being evaluated by a medical professional is extremely important when it comes to your health, as well as your potential insurance claim.
We see it all the time. Someone gets into an accident, but they feel as though their soreness, bumps, and bruises don’t necessitate a visit to the doctor. They attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, and several months down the line, the adjuster flat out denies their injury claim.
While it may not seem important to seek medical attention as soon as possible following a car accident, the truth is that failing to do so gives the insurance company every reason to deny your claim. Not only is the burden on you to prove that your injuries were caused by the crash, but failing to get checked out by a doctor could be considered a failure in your legal duty to mitigate damages.
In these types of cases, it is your responsibility to prove your damages. One way of doing so is through records of medical treatment. An independent evaluation of your injuries by a doctor or other medical professional is incredibly important when it comes to proving damages.
This is why we strongly recommend that you see a doctor immediately after an accident, even if your injuries seem relatively minor. What may seem like a sore neck today could develop into something much more-painful, potentially leading to chronic pain and long-lasting complications.
If you do not have health insurance or are worried about the initial costs associated with a doctor’s visit, there are still options available to you. In fact, our law firm has relationships with several medical providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and we may be able to get you in to see a doctor at no out of pocket cost through what’s called a “letter of protection.”
At Montgomery Law, we stand with accident victims through every step of the process. Our Dallas car accident attorneys want to make sure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries, which starts with getting proper medical attention. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, call 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) for a free consultation.
There are four basic elements to any personal injury claim: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Without going into detail on the other elements, we can focus on the last one: damages. When it comes down to it, the burden of proof (showing that you actually suffered the losses that you claimed) falls to you and your attorney. Generally, if you cannot prove that you suffered a physical injury of some type (with documentation to back it up) then the insurance company will deny your claim without hesitation.
Evidence is extremely important when it comes to your claim. When you seek treatment, an objective third party will be creating a record of your injury. This documentation can then be used to prove up your damages. If you are also seeking compensation for expected future medical care, this needs to be backed up by physician recommendations and/or expert testimony.
If you cannot objectively show that you suffered direct physical harm as a result of the car crash, you will more-than-likely be unable to recover compensation for other categories of damages, such as lost wages or pain and suffering.
For example, if you suffered whiplash but did not go to the doctor because you initially thought it was just a neck sprain, it will be hard to show that the time you took off work was related to your injury. The insurance company will argue that if your injuries weren’t serious enough to seek medical treatment, then they couldn’t have been serious enough to prevent you from returning to work. Similarly, it will be difficult to recover anything for pain and suffering because there was no objective proof that you actually suffered any harm.
Seeing a doctor quickly is very important as well. Many types of injuries do not fully develop until days after the accident, but the longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the more-likely it is that the insurance company will claim that your injuries weren’t related to the car accident.
In a car accident injury claim, you can seek compensation for 100% of your related losses as long as you can back it up with evidence. This includes any property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, disfigurement, disability, medical bills, as well as any expected future costs such as continuing medical care.
Past medical expenses can be calculated by collecting all previous “paid and incurred” medical bills, while a claim for future medical expenses will most-likely require the testimony of a medical expert. Hiring a medical expert to testify on your behalf can be prohibitively expensive for most people, but if your attorney works on contingency (like we do), you will never be asked to pay anything out of pocket with regard to your case.
With most personal injury claims, it’s strongly recommended that you complete medical treatment before making an official demand to the insurance company—and this is done for good reason. Without knowing the full extent of your injuries, attempting to negotiate a settlement could limit the value of your case. Many people end up suffering from chronic pain or weakness even after treatment, and these types of non-economic damages should absolutely be factored into your total demand.
If you’ve been injured in a Dallas car accident, contact Montgomery Law today for a free consultation. Attorney Sadat Montgomery and his team of dedicated legal professionals are devoted to assisting victims of car wrecks, and will work hard to get you the medical treatment and compensation you deserve. We represent all clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only earn a fee if we actually recover money for you.
If you need to be seen by a doctor but do not have the financial means, we will work to get you treatment at no out-of-pocket cost. If you have questions, we’re here to answer them free of charge. Please contact us today by email or call us at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) to learn how we can help.