Many people make mistakes after they injure themselves in slip and fall or other premises liability accidents—hurting the ability to obtain the full value of their claims. In most cases, victims do this inadvertently and do not realize at the time that they are doing anything wrong. A potentially huge mistake victims make is not getting prompt medical care after their accident. If you want to obtain the full amount you are owed for your injuries, you can learn from other victims’ mistakes and learn about the actions others took in cases similar to yours.
Why Prompt Medical Care Is So Important in Premises Liability Cases
Unfortunately, many victims make the mistake of not seeking prompt medical care right after the accident. They may not feel quite right, but think the pain will go away in a few days or decide to “tough it out.” To be entitled to compensation, you will need to prove the business’ or property owner’s negligence in causing your injuries, that your injuries were the result of the accident, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Obtaining prompt medical care is crucial to proving your injuries and that they were caused by your accident and not by another incident. Here is how seeking medical treatment can strengthen your case—and your right to compensation:
- Proves your injuries. It goes without saying that you should see a doctor right away for health reasons. It also helps establish that you were in fact injured or concerned about being injured right away. By seeing a physician soon after your accident, you are proving the causal link between the injuries and the accident—even if the seriousness of your injury does not emerge until weeks or longer after you were hurt.
- Discovers hidden injuries. You may not experience symptoms of injuries for days or weeks after your fall or other accident. Traumatic brain injuries and soft tissue injuries to your shoulders, back, neck, and spine don’t usually have immediate symptoms—they often develop or worsen over time. However, a doctor may perform a diagnostic test that could show the beginning stages of your injury, enabling you to document the injury right away and receive medical treatment—sometimes before the condition becomes life-threatening.
- Provides a paper trail. Whenever you are seen by a doctor or receive any other medical care, a medical record is created of your visit. These records provide strong written documentation of how you were injured and the treatment you received. Just like pictures, medical records provide compelling evidence that strengthens your claim and makes it more likely that you will receive what you deserve in settlement.
- Defeats insurance company arguments. The insurance adjuster for the negligent party has a duty to investigate your claim and raise arguments when he sees them as to why your claim should be denied or its value reduced. When you seek prompt medical care, you make it much more difficult for him to argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or that you were not injured as seriously as you claim.
Follow-Up Treatment: Avoid the Pitfall of Not Following Through With Your Treatment
Many accident victims who seek medical care do not follow their doctor’s advice on the treatments for their injuries. Often physical therapy is the first type of care ordered. Many people will go once or twice and then stop going—until the pain increases again—or miss doctor appointments, sometimes letting months elapse without treatment.
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