How stopping medical treatment early can hurt your injury case
If you’ve suffered a serious injury as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party to cover the costs of your medical treatment. If you don’t seek prompt medical treatment after your injury, and if you don’t continue the treatment until you are completely recovered, it can be detrimental to the success of your injury lawsuit. If you quit treatment early, you could receive far less than you expected, or even nothing.
The process of a personal injury lawsuit
If you decide to bring a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will have to present evidence to prove a number of elements.
First, they will have to prove that the responsible person owed a duty of care to you. Next, they will prove that the responsible person breached that duty by acting carelessly, recklessly or negligently. Finally, they will prove that you suffered actual damages (physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially) as a result of the responsible party’s breach.
This last element is the one that can become harder to prove if you stop your medical treatment early. By failing to follow through with your doctor’s treatment plan, you make it harder for your attorney to prove that you actually suffered an injury that the other party should be responsible for.
What can go wrong by stopping treatment early
When you suffer an injury, the responsible party’s insurance adjuster will be looking for any excuse to deny your claim. One of the first things they will look at is your medical history. If they see that you delayed treatment, or that you quit treatment earlier than you were supposed to, that can give them grounds for arguing that your injuries can’t possibly be as serious as you claim. Further, gaps in your medical treatment could also make the adjuster suspicious of potential other incidents which may have caused your injuries.
Just because they deny your claim doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You can always bring a lawsuit in order to try to force the responsible party’s insurance company to pay you a recovery for your injury. However, by quitting your treatment early, you are essentially handing them a weapon to use against you in court. By following through with your treatment until the end, even if you don’t feel that you need it, you can avoid making your lawsuit harder to win than it has to be.
Suffering a personal injury can create all sorts of new challenges in your life. By sticking to your medical regiment, you can help to maximize the chances of being successful in your ability to receive an adequate compensation for your injury.
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