You may think that the hardest part of being in an accident is the accident itself, but many victims would disagree with you. The long road to recovery can be frustrating, time-consuming, and full of missteps, making it often more difficult than the actual accident. Unfortunately, this often leads to patients ignoring their doctor’s recommendations or skipping out on medical care entirely, which threatens their health and their personal injury claim. Find out why it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter.
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about your claim options now by calling Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley at 251-847-2237 (Chatom) or 251-651-0483 (Bay Minette) to schedule a meeting now.
Improve Your Chances of Healing
First, your goal is to heal completely from your injury and return to life like it was before the accident. Listening to your doctor is the best way to achieve that goal. Even if you think your doctor is overly cautious, remember that they are the expert. They have likely seen many injuries like yours before, and they know what it takes to make a treatment plan that produces results. Canceling or skipping doctor’s appointments can have a negative impact on your health. You could also miss out on a treatment that could help you recover more quickly.
Injuries can be extremely complex, and complications may arise long after the initial incident that caused the injuries. For example, if you’re following your treatment plan and get frustrated with your slow progress, you might stop listening to your doctor. You return to work without medical clearance and go back to your fast-paced life. Your injury isn’t fully healed, and you push yourself so hard that you actually hurt it worse than it was in the first place.
Now, not only do you have to go back through treatment, but you have also lost all the progress you made initially. You can avoid this waste of time and money by sticking to your doctor’s recommendations from the very start.
Adjust Your Treatment Plan to Your Progress
Injuries are often unpredictable. While one person might improve by leaps and bounds in one month, another patient might experience multiple setbacks in that same month. By staying in close contact with your doctor and reporting all changes in your symptoms, you give them the opportunity to change your treatment plan accordingly. A personalized treatment plan gives you the best chance at success and allows you to progress at your own speed.
Document Your Progress for Personal Injury Claim Purposes
If you’re seriously injured, your recovery should be your top priority. Every doctor’s visit is a chance to check your healing and find out if there’s anything more you should be doing. Missing those appointments is a red flag. It could lead the insurance company to ask if you are truly as injured as you claim. In their mind, if your injuries were as bad as you said, you would be doing everything you could to heal.
When you skip doctor’s appointments or ignore treatment recommendations, you are giving a gift to the insurance company. They will jump on this and use it as “proof” that your injury isn’t as bad as you claim or that you are simply trying to milk the insurance company for more money. The result? You get a smaller settlement and are left covering the rest of your expenses on your own.
Your attorney can tell you how important it is to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and document all successes, setbacks, and changes in your symptoms. This makes it easier to prove the extent of your injuries and their effect on your life. In turn, it is easier for your attorney to fight for a settlement that covers your actual losses.
What You Give Up in a Settlement
When you get a settlement after an accident, it isn’t money you get with no strings attached. In exchange for the money you get, you have to sign a liability waiver for the insurance company. Essentially, the waiver states that you accept the money you’re receiving as full compensation for the accident and any injuries arising from it. You agree that you have no other right to seek compensation should other issues arise.
In most cases, this is fine. You have a general idea of your injuries and how much treatment will cost. But in some cases, this is disastrous for the victim.
The Risk of Accepting an Early Offer
In some situations, injuries aren’t always immediately visible. Perhaps you get T-boned at the intersection of Central Avenue and Ray Coaker Highway, but the other party’s insurance company contacts you immediately. Assuming that they are sincere when they say that their offer is the best you will get, you sign it and accept the compensation.
A few days later, you find out that you’ve suffered a serious bone fracture that will require surgery. Although it will cost thousands of dollars, you have no way of recouping that money from the liable party.
In this case, what is best for your injury and what is best for your injury claim are the very same thing. The clear choice is to listen to your doctor, participate in treatment efforts in good faith, and be open to changes in your plans.
Discuss Your Claim with the Team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley
If you’ve suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t be left holding the bill for their mistakes. That’s where we come in. Our team helps accident victims fight for the compensation they are owed. Learn more about your options right now by calling us at 251-847-2237 (Chatom) or 251-651-0483 (Bay Minette) or filling out our online contact form