If you are hurt in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, don’t make these mistakes
A lot of injured individuals make one or more of these mistakes: (1) Delaying care, (2) Changing doctors repeatedly, or (3) Continuing to treat for unrelated conditions under the belief they are related. These are all big mistakes, but they can easily be avoided if you are working with an experienced Clearwater injury lawyer.
1: Delayed Medical Treatment
If you wait too long to get care, the insurance company will say you weren’t hurt that bad, no matter what your doctors eventually find. The insurance company can also argue that your injury may have occurred later on, it will be difficult to prove the condition was directly caused by the accident.
2: Looking for a “Good” Medical Report
This is where an injured person “shops” around for a doctor to give a favorable report. This is a huge problem. Ultimately, this information almost always comes out. If a physician tells you that your injury is not severe, this is good news. Talk to your attorney and look at your options. You can probably still recover from your injuries and obtain compensation for damages. However, if the insurance company finds out you’ve had numerous doctors tell you that your injury is minor, they will use it against you to minimize your claim.
3: Continued Unrelated Treatment
A person who has pre-existing medical conditions may feel they were aggravated in an accident. This could be true. But it’s important to use common sense and understand when you’ve improved to the point where what you are experiencing is basically just residual pain from the condition you already had. Continuing to incur tens of thousands in medical bills for a condition that you already had may not help your case. Instead, it may just make it more difficult for your attorney to obtain a reasonable verdict or settlement that will cover all of your bills.
You can still be compensated for aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Under the Florida jury instructions, a judge will tell the jury that this is to be considered.
Ensuring Your Best Chance of Success
Your best option is to seek emergency medical care immediately after your injury. Next, follow up with your primary care physician. Your doctor will review the ER record and perform an evaluation to determine if you require a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, or some other practitioner. He or she may also order additional tests, like MRIs, CT scans, or lab work. By this point, you and your attorney should be in communication to make sure there are no surprises in this process.
You may require surgery, ongoing physical therapy or continued treatment while you recover. Your attorney will want to check in periodically to see how you are doing. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, you will have a clearly documented injury, treatment record, and evidence of recovery. A clean treatment record will assist your lawyer in obtaining a successful verdict or settlement.
Contact Our Office for Help
For over 30 years, the dedicated attorneys of Roman & Roman, P.A. have been fighting for the rights of innocent victims of negligence throughout the Clearwater area. From wrongful death to car crashes, our team can help you through your recovery and work to hold those accountable for your injuries.