Sometimes car crash victims refuse medical treatment at the scene, thinking they are uninjured or only have minor injuries that do not require medical attention. While there are many mistakes injury victims can make that would hurt their chances of recovering compensation, this is one of the biggest.
Our licensed attorneys in Harrisburg discuss the impact of refusing medical treatment at the scene. We also discuss how waiting to get treatment and refusing treatment recommended by a doctor could affect a claim for compensation.
If you were injured in a crash and have questions about your legal options, especially if you refused treatment or delayed your first meeting with a doctor after a crash, we may be able to help you. You can meet with us for free to discuss possible legal options. Our legal services are provided with no upfront costs or obligations.
Refusing Medical Attention at the Scene is Often a Mistake
One of the biggest mistakes crash victims make is assuming they are not injured or that their injuries are not that serious. They may not want to deal with the inconvenience of an injury, as it may cause them to miss work and lose wages. They may hope the injury will get better on its own over a few days or weeks.
These kinds of assumptions can result in crash victims not seeking medical attention at the scene and/or waiting to seek medical treatment after leaving the scene. These are huge mistakes because you may be allowing your injuries to worsen. If you suffered a brain injury, like a brain bleed, it will not stop without treatment. Some brain bleeds can be fatal if they are not treated.
Internal injuries could also be fatal if they are not treated. Internal bleeding could cause seizures, coma, organ failure, external bleeding and possibly death.
Even a more minor injury could become much worse without immediate treatment. Soft-tissue injuries could get significantly worse because we often compensate for these injuries. This puts a strain on other areas of the body and could lead to additional injuries.
The other problem with refusing treatment at the scene is you are passing on an opportunity to show your injuries were caused by the crash. If you get treatment at the scene, it becomes much harder to dispute that the injury that was treated was caused by the crash. Waiting makes the insurance company think you were not seriously injured – people who are injured usually seek treatment.
You can still file a claim if you waited to seek treatment, but your claim may be harder to validate. The insurance company may be more likely to dispute that your injuries occurred in the crash, or that they are all that serious.
Refusing a Treatment Recommendation
Sometimes patients disagree with their doctors about the treatment they are recommending. They may question whether it will work or whether it is too risky to try.
These disagreements may cause patients to seek a second opinion. You are completely within your rights to seek another opinion about medical treatment.
However, it is important to understand how refusing a course of treatment may affect the value of your claim. Unless you can get another doctor to recommend an alternative treatment, the insurance company is going to use your refusal against you. If you reject treatment, the insurance company will argue you are healed, or your injuries are not that serious.
If another doctor recommends another treatment and you agree to it, the insurance company will have a harder time arguing about the severity of your injuries.
It is important to discuss the situation with an experienced Harrisburg-based vehicle crash attorney who will know how to protect the full value of your claim. Your decisions about medical treatment should be based on discussions with your doctor and what you think is best for your health and safety.
Another mistake accident victims make is stopping treatment. For example, they may skip some appointments without rescheduling them. This creates a gap in your medical treatment, leaving the insurance company room to claim you are healed or your injuries are not that serious.
Continuing your medical treatment is one of the most important steps you can take to protect the full value of your claim. If you need to miss appointments for legitimate reasons, that is OK. Make sure to reschedule the appointments and inform your attorney about the reasons why you missed these appointments.
If you are concerned that a course of treatment is not working, discuss it with your doctor. He or she may recommend something else.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Potential Case
Refusing medical treatment absolutely can hurt a claim for compensation. However, an attorney may still be able to help you.
Give us a call today to learn how we may be able to assist you. We have been working with Pennsylvania car crash victims for more than three decades. In that time, we have helped many recover fair compensation to help them with medical expenses and other damages.
Contact Schmidt Kramer today to learn more. There are no upfront fees and our attorneys are not paid unless you get paid.
Schmidt Kramer. Licensed Attorneys. Proven Results. Phone: (717) 727-2089.