Accidental injuries are now the third leading cause of death in America. These accidents can include car crashes, slip and falls, and medical injuries.
Were you recently in a car accident? You must see a doctor and stick to your treatment plan. A gap in treatment could impact your personal injury case. You might not receive the compensation you deserve as a result.
What is a gap in treatment, exactly? How can it impact your personal injury claim? What types of personal injury cases can you pursue?
In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about avoiding gaps.
What is a Gap in Treatment?
First, let’s answer the question that’s likely on your mind: what is a gap in treatment?
After a car accident, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Only a medical professional can assess your injuries. They’ll complete the necessary tests to determine your health and well-being.
Their assessment can determine part of the damages you could receive from a personal injury claim. Be sure to follow-up with your doctor. Consistency of care will help you heal faster.
If you pursue a personal injury case, a gap in treatment could hurt the compensation you receive.
There are two types of gaps:
- Between when you were in the car accident and when you first start treating your injuries.
- When you initially visit a doctor, then let several months lapse before your follow-up appointment.
For example, you might not seek medical treatment until two months after the car accident. Or maybe you visited a doctor, felt better, and decided not to go for a follow-up appointment.
Either way, there’s a gap in your treatment plan. An insurance adjuster could use these gaps against you.
How Can It Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?
What if you don’t immediately seek medical treatment after an accident? What if you stop receiving medical treatment, then start again after a gap?
Remember, both types of gaps could impact your case.
Insurance adjusters try to devalue the claim during personal injury cases. They’ll try to prove you weren’t as injured as you claimed. If they see a gap in your treatment plan, they’ll say your injuries aren’t that severe.
The insurance adjuster will also challenge your credibility. They might even blame you for your injuries. They could claim you sustained the injuries before or after the car accident.
Instead of letting time lapse between doctor’s visits, see a doctor regularly. Keep a journal of every visit. Note any new pain and symptoms you experience, too.
Avoiding gaps will make it easier to build your case.
Reasons for a Gap in Treatment
If there’s a gap in treatment, it doesn’t mean you avoided injuries from the crash. Usually, it means you weren’t experiencing severe pain symptoms.
In other cases, you can’t avoid having a gap. Maybe you’re too sick to make it to your appointments. Perhaps you’re concerned you can’t afford doctor’s visits.
What if you were out of town when the accident occurred? You might struggle to make it to your doctor as a result.
If there’s a gap in treatment and you have a reason for delaying a doctor’s visit, talk to your lawyer. They can document the reason for the gap. Working with a lawyer will ensure the insurance adjuster can’t use it against you.
Listen to Your Doctor
Unintentional injuries account for 39.5 million physician office visits. They’re the reason for 24.5 million emergency room visits, too.
If you were in a car accident, see a doctor and let them know what happened. Let them know if you’re experiencing any symptoms, big or small. They’ll prioritize your health and wellbeing. Their assessment can also help you build your personal injury claim.
Otherwise, you could live with the consequences of the crash for the rest of your life. Your injuries could impact your range of motion. You might notice a difference in your quality of life, too.
Listen to what your doctor tells you. Follow their instructions to the letter. Don’t forget to keep track of any treatments and medications you receive. If your doctor refers you to a pain doctor or other specialist, follow their instructions, too.
Let your personal injury attorney know about the injuries you sustained and the treatment you received.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
What types of personal injury cases can you pursue?
A few examples include:
- Auto accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, bike, etc.)
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice (medication errors, surgery mistakes, wrong diagnosis, etc.)
- Wrongful death
- Workplace accidents
- Premise liability
- Product liability
- Defamation (libel and slander)
- Dog bites
- Assault and battery
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
If you’re unsure about whether or not you have a case, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. They’ll review the details of your case and let you know how to proceed.
Types of Personal Injuries
A gap in treatment could impact your health and well-being, too.
For example, adrenaline could mask the true extent of your pain. You might not realize the extent of your injuries until weeks after the crash.
See a doctor as soon as possible. They’ll run tests to determine the extent of your injuries.
A small injury could mask a more severe injury, too. For example, you might not realize you have an injury to a tendon or cervical disk until weeks later. A traumatic brain injury might not display symptoms until days or weeks later, too.
Traumatic brain injuries and concussions can impact your balance, hearing, eyesight, memory, and behavior.
See a doctor to ensure these issues don’t go unnoticed. They’ll ensure you start medical treatment right away. A delay in treatment could impact your overall health and well-being.
Strengthen Your Case: How a Gap in Treatment Impacts Personal Injury Claims
Don’t let a gap in treatment impact your personal injury claim. Instead, talk to a personal injury lawyer right away. They’ll help you develop the best course of action.
They’ll prove your injuries were the result of a car accident. With their help, you can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Think you have a case? We’re here to help.
Book a free consultation with our team today.
We offer services to the entire state of South Carolina with offices in the Midlands.