Seeking Medical Attention After An Accident in Irvine
It is very important for the plaintiff to seek the appropriate medical treatment immediately after the injury occurs so that they have continuity of care. For example, if you are in a car accident with severe injuries or you were taken to the hospital by ambulance, it is very important to then follow up appropriately with any other doctors that the Emergency Room doctor is telling you to see. This could be your family doctor or primary care physician, or any specialist. If you have a head injury, you might need to see a neurologist; if you have a neck, back or spine injury, you might need to see an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon.
Therefore, as an Irvine injury lawyer can tell you, it is very important that you see an initial physician and follow their recommendations so that you receive the appropriate treatment. This way, the records will reflect the seriousness of the injury and that you are doing everything appropriate to seek the appropriate medical treatment.
Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment
It is extremely important for the injured plaintiff to seek the appropriate medical treatment based upon the injuries. One of the reasons is so the personal injury lawyer can establish that the accident caused the resulting injuries.
For example, if you are rear-ended in a car accident, and you have neck and back pain, or injury to your spine or an orthopedic injury, you will most likely go to the emergency room first and then you may see an orthopedic surgeon. There should be appropriate medical records that establish that the incident caused these resulting injuries and medical damages.
The injured party may have a preexisting injury, or after they are injured and receive a certain amount of medical treatment, they get into a second accident or have a fall or work related injury. In such cases, it is very important to follow up so that the resulting injury from the subsequent accident can be segregated and properly evaluated. This allows the attorney to be an advocate for the client to establish which injuries were caused by the accident in dispute and which are caused by something unrelated.
Impact of Treatment Gaps on Injury Cases
It is very important for the injured plaintiff to obtain the appropriate medical treatment and not delay, whether initially after the accident or with regard to subsequent treatment. For example, if you see your family doctor and they say you need to see a neurologist because you had a head injury, or you need have an MRI or a CAT scan to further evaluate the injury, but you wait 30 or 60 days, then it would appear that the injury was not severe enough for the injured party to act properly when it was recommended.
The defense will usually use the lack of follow through with treatment against your interests. If you begin physical therapy treatment, and you see the therapist three times a week for two or three weeks and then you do not return for a month, the lawyer defending the case against you will try to prove that the failure to properly follow through with the appropriate treatment plan means that the injury was not severe and therefore you do not really need the treatment.
How Soon Should Someone Seek Medical Treatment Following An Accident?
The injured party should seek appropriate medical treatment immediately after the accident occurs. If there are gaps in treatment, the insurance company and opposing attorney will emphasize that information to try and show that the injuries were not that severe. Credibility is exceedingly important when proceeding with a personal injury case, whether to negotiate a settlement or proceed to arbitration or trial. The credibility of the injured plaintiff needs to be established and maintained throughout the case. Any documentation that you failed to show up for medical treatment would be damaging to your case.