Don’t Be the Tough-Guy…Get Treatment If You Need It

One of the biggest pitfalls of personal injury claims is failing to seek treatment in a timely manner. Why is that such a big deal? Let me explain…

The liability insurance company will be judging the facts of your case to determine what amount of money (if any) they’re going to offer you to resolve your claim and reimburse you for your losses. When making that evaluation, you better believe they are going to take advantage of every single deficit, every little thing that will help them get away with paying you less. One of those things is what they call a “gap in treatment.”

This gap in treatment phrase refers to time that passes between the alleged injury and seeking treatment for that injury. Jurors can often be convinced that if you were “really hurt” you would seek treatment immediately, therefore drawing the erroneous (though plausible) conclusion that if you don’t seek treatment immediately (or at least in a timely manner) then you weren’t really hurt. This isn’t necessarily true, obviously, but it is believable. And remember, as the plaintiff, it’s OUR burden to prove our damages. All the bad guys have to do is throw some doubt on our damages, and that’s a far easier thing to do than prove them.

By delaying treatment you’re giving the defense some doubt to give to the jurors, which in turn makes the insurance company feel more confident in being stingy.

Don’t play tough. Don’t act like you’re not hurt. Don’t hope it will go away on its own. If you’re hurt, go get it checked out ASAP. Worst case scenario you burn some time and a few bucks in the Urgent Care. Best case scenario you help to lock up your claim in a way that makes it really hard for the insurance company to stiff you. Which sounds better to you?

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