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How Does Medical Treatment Impact Personal Injury Claims?

Couple Reading Letter About Husband's Injury

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident or other incident, the most important thing is to get the medical care you need. It’s important not only for your personal health, but also for your potential personal injury claims. Obtaining prompt medical care can have a significant impact on your claim for damages against the negligent party that injured you. Read on to learn about how your medical care can impact your personal injury case. Call a dedicated San Francisco personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured through someone else’s negligence in the Bay Area.

You Are Entitled to Compensation for Your Medical Expenses

If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, such as if you were hit by a distracted driver while riding your motorcycle, you have a personal injury claim for damages. The person who caused you harm is legally obligated to compensate you for the harm they caused. Often, their insurance will cover your damages. The cost of medical care after an accident is one of the principal economic harms recoverable in a personal injury case.

You are entitled to compensation for all of your medical expenses–doctor visits, nursing care, hospital stays, ambulance rides, surgeries, medications, prosthetics, medical devices, etc. Any medical care and associated cost that results from your accident is fair game in your personal injury case. You should not be forced to pay out of pocket for medical expenses generated as a result of someone else’s negligence. Your personal injury lawyer can help you gather the proof necessary to establish the extent of your medical costs and how those costs resulted directly from the defendant’s negligent behavior.

Length of Treatment Impacts Damages

Your treating physician will recommend a course of treatment and give you a prognosis concerning your pathway to recovery. Your personal injury claim entitles you to recoup your medical expenses for the duration of your treatments, including medical costs already incurred as well as future costs such as physical therapy, surgeries, medication, nursing care, and medical devices. If you have a long pathway to recovery, you will likely face significant medical costs in the future. The at-fault defendant is responsible for paying you for those anticipated costs.

Moreover, if you have a long pathway to recovery, your life will be negatively impacted for the duration of that recovery time. You might have trouble working, enjoying daily activities, and generally maintaining a high quality of life. You might expect to suffer periodic or chronic pain for a long period of time. All of these elements impact your potential personal injury recovery. You are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, your loss of life enjoyment, any disabilities you may suffer, and other intangible harm. Your prescribed course of treatment and anticipated length of recovery will play a large factor in your claim for damages.

Skipping Medical Treatments or Ignoring Your Doctor Hurts Your Case

The flip side of how extensive treatments and long-term recovery helps your case is that ignoring your doctor’s recommendations can and will hurt your case. If your doctor tells you that you need bed rest, or that you need to lay off certain activities such as sports, it’s important to follow those recommendations. If a defense attorney or insurance claims adjuster finds out that you have been missing doctor’s appointments or that you have been playing tennis on the weekends, despite your claimed injuries, they will use that behavior to significantly undermine the value of your claims. If you can play sports or engage in other recreational activities, they’ll argue, that maybe you are not as hurt as you claim. Maybe you should have returned to work earlier and do not deserve to recoup your lost wages.

Moreover, if you wait too long to see a doctor after your accident, the defense may use that to weaken your case. They may claim that your injuries, and your pain, must not have been very severe if you waited days or weeks to see a doctor. They might even try to argue that your injuries were not the result of the accident the defendant caused and instead may have resulted from another incident that occurred later. It’s important to see a doctor and obtain a diagnosis as soon as you can after an accident to protect the strength of your personal injury claim.

If you have been injured by a reckless driver or otherwise as a result of someone else’s negligence in San Francisco, contact William E. Weiss for a free consultation at 415-362-6765 ext 157 or preferably my cell at 415-235-7060. You can email me at william.weiss@gmail.com.

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