"I'm not sure if I should go to the doctor, I feel fine."
You've been in a car accident. You think you should be hurt, but you don't feel any pain. Why? Your body's immediate reaction to an auto accident is very similar to the response it might experience while riding a roller coaster. After a roller coaster ride, your blood is pumped full of endorphins, and this masks the pain you would otherwise feel. The same is true of a car accident. There are many serious injuries that can be caused by a collision and you will need immediate medical treatment.
There Is Nothing More Damaging to a Personal Injury Case Than Delays or Gaps in Treatment
An auto accident victim's intentions may be noble when he or she avoids treatment, but the insurance company does not reward good intentions. In fact, a person's good intentions are often penalized and the value of your injury claim will suffer.
Here at Keller & Keller, we have witnessed countless instances in which accident victims did not seek the treatment they needed. The victims thought their pain would eventually subside, that their injuries were not severe and that the insurance company would treat them fairly.
Unfortunately, this doesn't usually happen.
Your Case Is Only as Strong as Its Proof of Treatment and Compliance With Doctor's Orders
No matter how experienced the injury attorney is, he or she will never be able to successfully represent a victim of an accident if that victim doesn't have documented medical treatment. Insurance companies rarely compensate victims who fail to seek out medical care or who fail to attend doctors' appointments and follow doctors' instructions.
Proof of treatment that will be helpful to your case includes:
- A calendar of medical appointments
- Your doctor’s notes
- A hospital medical chart
- X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging scans
- A record of prescription medications
- Copies of referrals for physical or psychological therapy
- Medical billing statements
Keep in mind that an insurance company will view "no shows" or "delays" and "gaps" in treatment as proof that you are not seriously injured, or that you are not injured at all. They also know that a jury will side with them on this opinion.
Also, it's important to understand that an insurance company will not compensate you for the "could have" scenarios. In other words, if the accident "could have" been worse, or your injuries "could have" left you with a permanent disability, then your case will have little merit. There must be documented, objective injuries in order for you to obtain fair compensation, as well as to help a personal injury attorney analyze the value of your case.