Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of not immediately speaking with an attorney after suffering an injury. This article will address another common mistake – the failure to seek immediate medical attention. As outlined below, this error can cause major problems on the road to recovery.
The civil justice system is designed to allow injured individuals to recover compensation when injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of another. There are many nuances to this process, but one key thing that must be proven is that the negligence or intentional act of the responsible party caused your injuries. The legal term used for this is “causation”. It becomes more difficult to prove the connection between the incident and the injury if you wait to seek medical care. If you delay in receiving treatment, the first argument levied against you will be that you must not have really been injured. The typical argument is that when someone is seriously injured, going to the doctor is a priority. In addition, a delay in treatment opens the door to the argument that a subsequent incident is the true cause of your injury and that you are now attempting to blame the injury on the initial accident. Navigating through the recovery process can become much more difficult when there is a gap of time between the accident and seeking medical care.
It is important to understand that a delay in treatment does not mean that a Texas resident loses a right to recovery. Failing to seek immediate medical care simply means that the defense or insurance company has room to argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident. This does not prohibit you from seeking compensation. However, it may mean that additional steps may need to be taken in order to show the causation between the incident and your injuries. These steps may include such things as using medical experts or other professionals to evaluate and explain your condition and course of treatment.
The most common reasons people give for not seeking immediate medical care are that they were concerned over costs or that they did not believe their injuries to be as serious as they turned out to be. We always tell our clients that our primary focus is getting them back to 100% health. Receiving proper medical treatment is the first step in getting you back to full health. Many medical care facilities will offer care without requiring immediate payment. These facilities will often place a lien on any proceeds from an eventual settlement. Thus, concerns over cost should not prohibit you from seeing a doctor.
Attorneys are not medical doctors. We do not control your treatment or understand your progression the way that a doctor does. We are unable to understand the full scope of your condition unless you are under the care of a doctor and receiving proper treatment. When you are injured, it is important to see a doctor immediately and follow the treatment plan that he or she sets out for you. Not doing so can have a negative impact on your personal injury case.
When selecting a personal injury attorney it is important that you select a firm which handles major injury cases and in which the lawyers have substantial experience. You should also determine whether the attorneys are board certified and whether the firm employs a full time investigator. Finally, you should determine whether the firm is large enough to advance court costs and whether the office can devote multiple attorneys to your case. This is true whether you were injured in counties including Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, and Wise as well as Fort Worth, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Arlington, Keller, Grand Prairie, and Dallas.