Does a Treatment Delay Hurt My Claim?

This is one of the most common mistakes people without competent personal injury claim representation make: They wait too long to get medical attention after an accident.

Why does that matter? Well, in a perfect world it wouldn’t, right? But remember, this is not a perfect world; it is a world driven by insurance company interests, and they have the checkbook, so you have to consider their responses to your requests. When they see what they refer to as a “gap in treatment” or a “treatment delay” they will point at it with one of those giant foam fingers and say, “See! You weren’t really hurt after the accident or you would have gotten treatment sooner!”

Is that true? Not necessarily. But, as you probably know from the current political scene, truth doesn’t really matter. What matters is perception. And a jury – who is the ultimate arbiter of the value of your claim – might be VERY susceptible to the argument of “if you ain’t treating then you ain’t hurt.” Remember, you’re having to cater to the lowest common denominator here, so the more simple and obvious you make things, the better. So how do you make your claim simple and obvious?

Well, after an accident you go get some sort of treatment. I don’t care what. Primary Care Provider, Urgent Care, whatever. Just go somewhere and get your complaints documented. If it’s just some Owies, then fine, you blew a couple hundred bucks that you should be able to get back. But if it’s more than that, and you are still hurting after a few days, GO BACK OR GO SOMEHWERE ELSE! PT! Chiropractors! Whatever. Go and get it documented that you’re hurting and how you’re hurting AS SOON AS POSSIBLE following the accident.

Trying to tough it out won’t help your claim. Hoping you’ll get better on your own won’t help your claim. Trying not to make a “big deal” out of it won’t help your claim. ALL that does is HELP THE INSURANCE COMPANY. Why would you help them?

If you’re hurt in an accident, do yourself a favor and call a personal injury attorney. Call me at 919-929-2992.

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Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
1829 E. Franklin St. - Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(P) 919-929-2992
(F) 919-636-4779

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