So, you’ve been in a car accident and you are upset about it — rightly, so. Your day is ruined, your new car is ruined, and you are in a lot of pain. So, you do the right thing and immediately hire a local car accident lawyer to help you navigate the ins and outs of your car accident claim.
People often hire a lawyer to protect them from the insurance company that will likely take advantage of them otherwise. Your lawyer will also find you the right doctors to help treat you with your injury. It is important that you go to these appointments right away and not miss one of them.
The Importance of a Doctor’s Note
First of all, you are being sent to the best medical treatment money can buy. If you hire a great car accident lawyer you will be sure that your lawyer will invest in your case by sending you to doctors that she has vetted and who she knows will write a good medical report. That report should show that your injuries did not come from a prior incident, but from this particular accident. This is important because if the injuries are found to be prior injuries, then the value of your claim will go down substantially. Doctor notes are one of the most important things to an insurance adjuster.
Tort law — the law of injury — generally allows recovery for any damages occasioned by the tortfeasor (the person who hit you). This includes damage from re-injuring a prior body part. If the medical notes don’t clearly distinguish between the cause of your two injuries (your old one and your new one), the insurance adjuster will do their best to make sure not to pay you as much as you deserve. They will harp on the fact that the old notes clearly show that your body part was injured before the accident and that the new notes don’t really talk much about what caused your new injury. The doctors that car accident lawyers send their clients to will generally put magic language in the medical report stating that the accident, more likely than not, is the cause of the injuries. That statement alone is worth the attorney fee. Even if he or she thinks about it, most doctors won’t put that language in there without an attorney being on the case, because, frankly doctors are not trained to put all their thoughts in a medical report.
The Importance of Going to Appointments
The insurance companies also hope that you will not go to all of your physical therapy, chiropractic, or doctor appointments. They are going to let the case unfold as most cases do, with victims, like you, in a lot of pain from your car accident and with the insurance company delaying payment. Ironically, that pain limits your ability and desire to get treated.
When you go to physical therapy or get a steroid injection to treat a herniated disc, it causes more pain before it starts to feel better, so it can be difficult to get the motivation to go to appointments. As you start to cancel or miss appointments, you are going to slowly lose your ability to get a bigger pay day because in the mind of an insurance adjuster, you are not in as much pain as you claim. They know jurors in a trial take your medical treatment very seriously. Most cases don’t go to trial, but that doesn’t mean the adjusters on the file are not keeping score to see what will benefit their case.
Going to treatment shows that you are serious, so you must actually be injured. People don’t always consider that you are a parent or full time worker that your family depends on. Just remember that hurt people get treated and, in turn, get paid. So if you want to make sure you get top dollar for your injury claim, you absolutely must go to the appointments that are set up by your lawyer. If you don’t, you could be costing yourself thousands of dollars when the case reaches the point of settlement. By then, there won’t be anything that you or your lawyer can do.