After a devastating car accident that results in injuries, it is only natural to seek medical treatment so you can get on the road to recovery. Naturally, if you were not at fault for the car accident, the other driver’s insurance company would be responsible for paying these medical bills. However, what happens if you delay your medical treatment? What if there are gaps in between your treatment?

The insurance company is a business. The object of a business is to make a profit. Insurance company’s saves a good portion of these profits by paying you the smallest settlement possible for an auto accident claim. They will sift through all of the details of the accident, as well as what you have or have not done after the accident. This would include how you have treated for the injuries you sustained.

d’Oliveira & Associates attorney, D. Robin Gouveia, who has 25 years of experience successfully handling car accidents cases, had this to say about treatment gaps:

“All too often, insurance adjusters raise the arguments the victim didn’t seek treatment until 4 weeks or more after the accident.  They also will often state during her treatment period, she missed several days or weeks; therefore, her pain must have been tolerable or resolved.  These arguments are often challenging to oppose.  I urge clients take care of themselves and seek appropriate medical care and to never miss appointments unnecessarily.”

Clearly, delays and/or gaps in medical treatment help the insurance company, not you. If an insurance adjuster sees you did not immediately seek a medical exam, or if there was a gap in your treatment, they can easily say your injuries were not severe or they were the result of an incident that happened after the crash. 

The insurance adjuster will first look to determine if you went to the emergency room, urgent care or primary care for an evaluation in the days immediately following the crash. If there was a delay in seeking medical attention, even if you feel relatively fine, they will conclude your injuries were not serious; therefore, it is always a good idea to be seen by a doctor or medical professional. The adrenaline following an accident can fully mask the true injuries that you sustained. In addition, it is also important your injuries, and the accident, are fully documented. Always get seen by a doctor immediately following an accident!

The insurance adjuster will also look to see if you have kept up with all of your appointments for doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and anything else. Just like before, if they see an apparent stop or gap in treatment, they will conclude that your injuries have healed and treatment is no longer necessary. If you then attempt to resume treatment at a later date, those missed days, weeks or months, will negatively impact the value of your case. Obviously, we all know that life happens and you may miss appointments for various reasons; however, making a habit of missing appointments or completely stopping treatment before a doctor discharges or releases you, will not help you heal and will also not help your case. 

Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering, among other related losses. You need a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer with experience to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim. There is no upfront out of pocket costs to you and you only pay if we win your case and you receive a settlement or award. Contact us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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