How Ending Medical Treatments Can Harm Your Injury Case

How Ending Medical Treatments Can Harm Your Injury CaseA serious injury can happen to anyone at any time. When it happens to you or someone you love, your primary focus becomes finding medical treatment as soon as possible. But did you know that if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the timing of when you stop medical treatment is just as important – legally speaking – as when you begin?

It may sound a little bizarre, but it is true. If you are pursuing a personal injury case, ending medical treatment early can cause serious harm to your case.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is important that you speak with an experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyer right away.

The cost of medical care

A serious injury requires serious medical care. While this may seem like an obvious statement, it is worth mentioning because of the time and expense involved in treating a serious or catastrophic injury. It often means emergency medical treatment as well as ongoing medical care in the form of surgeries, procedures, physical therapy, follow-up appointments, and even the assistance of an in-home nurse or health aide, depending on the extent and type of injury or injuries.

The time and expense related to such care can add up quickly. Depending on your circumstances, this can cause financial hardship or be devastating to your finances. It can also have a tremendous impact on your personal life, family, and even your career.  You may be unable to return to your job right away – if at all – and even if you are able to return to work, your appointments for medical care may require you to take substantial amounts of time off from your job.

Most people expect severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, traumatic amputation, burns, or broken bones to rack up the medical expenses and interfere with your ability to work. However, even seemingly minor injuries can require ongoing medical care. Soft-tissue damage such as a sprain, for example, may seem less serious than a broken bone. While this may be true in some instances, it is not always the case. These injuries can be traumatic for the body and may require ongoing treatment.

For instance, a sprained ankle is often considered a minor injury, but it can actually be quite serious and take a long time to heal. Depending on the severity, physical therapy or even surgery may be required to successfully treat a sprained ankle. At the minimum, you will be required to rest the injured ankle and keep your weight off of it for a certain amount of time – a challenge if your job requires you to be on your feet. You may not be able to drive until your ankle heals, which may interfere with your ability to perform your job, care for your family, or even get yourself to and from medical appointments. You may have to take time off of work to receive medical treatment and while you recuperate, you may have the added expense of paying for transportation.

Give them a reason, any reason

When you suffer a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, it is normal to want to hold them accountable for the role they played in your injury. If they are responsible for your injury then at the very least their insurance company should cover the cost of your medical treatment and other expenses, right? We wish it were that simple. Insurance is big business, and like any business, most insurance companies exist to make a profit. Paying out on insurance claims cuts into that profit, so insurance companies do their best to fight every claim.

Whether it is an automobile insurer, homeowner’s insurer or commercial carrier, the insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying. Their first step is usually to try pinning the blame for your accident and resulting injuries on someone, anyone, other than their client. The first logical target is oftentimes the injured individual.  If they are unable to prove that you are completely responsible for your injuries, their lawyers will work hard to demonstrate that your actions contributed to the accident that caused your injuries. Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are injured in a car accident, for example, the court may determine that you are partially responsible for the accident. The insurance company knows this and will use it to their advantage as a way to shift the blame on to you.

Even if they cannot defend a claim on fault they will focus on your damages, perhaps alleging that your injuries are not as severe as you state. If you stop medical treatment early, the insurance company may use that as proof that your injuries are not serious. This can undermine your entire personal injury claim. The responsible party’s insurance company may even use it as leverage to attempt to force a settlement for a much lower amount than you deserve.

Feeling better? Not so fast

When you suffer an injury, it is always best to follow the advice of medical professionals. This is especially true if your injury was caused by someone else’s negligent behavior and you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit. If your doctor or other healthcare provider advises you to attend 10 physical therapy sessions, then you should attend all 10 physical therapy sessions unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you do not follow doctor’s orders, the lawyers and insurance company for the person or entity responsible for your injury will use this as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, that you failed to follow your doctor’s orders and in turn, they should not pay little or nothing for your alleged harms. Having a seasoned group of Tulsa personal injury attorneys in your corner will ensure you and your case are in good hands, including helping you throughout the medical treatment process.

Personal injury lawsuits can be complex, but the experienced Tulsa personal injury attorneys at Biby Law Firm can help. We represent clients throughout Oklahoma and we know how to build an effective case on your behalf. We understand how insurance companies and their lawyers think and operate, and we fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, we stand ready to fight for you. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. Give us a call or complete our contact form today.