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Biggest Mistakes Injured Victims Make with Post-Accident Medical Care

Posted on: January 3, 2019

 

When you are hurt in any type of accident, your first priority is your health. It is critical to seek proper medical care, which may vary depending on the nature of your injuries. The University of Maryland Medical Center provides some useful information on when to visit the emergency room versus an urgent care facility. Generally, the ER is for life-threatening bodily harm and conditions that require immediate surgery. You might consider an urgent care center if you are severely hurt and need same-day care. If your injuries are less serious, you may still want to visit your primary care physician within 72 hours after the accident if you are hurt.

Though many injury victims will get appropriate treatment in the immediate aftermath of an accident, they also sometimes make mistakes with respect to medical care decisions as they go through their recovery weeks and months after the initial trauma. These mistakes can impact future legal claim viability as well as carry an impact on their health and healing process. Here are the top mistakes victims make with post-accident medical care.

Skipping Doctor’s Appointments

When the insurance company handling your claim receives your medical records, the claims adjuster will review the information to see if you missed one or more appointments without good cause. Failing to attend a scheduled needed visit with your doctor gives the insurer grounds to make inferences and arguments like the following;

  • You did not prioritize medical care among your concerns following the accident;
  • You were not hurt as badly as you claim;
  • You are not concerned with recovering from your injuries.
  • You were not interested in mitigating your own suffering and pain by seeking reasonable care to alleviate it

Not Sticking to the Facts When Describing the Cause of Your Injuries

Any physician who treats you for your injuries will take a medical history from you. This involves asking what happened and gathering information about your condition prior to the subject accident. You should be cautious with the information you provide, since it could become part of your medical records and doctor’s notes – which will be accessible by the insurance company. If you do remember critical details that are relevant to your treatment, it is important to not forget to mention the information to your doctor. However, it is generally inadvisable to speculate or guess about facts of which you are not certain.

Failing to Fully Disclose Your Medical History

You should be completely honest with your treating physicians regarding your health history, as any omissions could affect the physician’s ability to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Further, doctors frequently rely upon past medical diagnoses and treatments in assessing complex medical conditions, so leaving out details could affect the care you receive. Fully disclose any previous injuries or illnesses, especially those that relate to the part of your body currently being treated. It is inadvisable to try and hide a pre-existing medical condition. Such actions can hurt your legal case and cause you to lose credibility with the adverse insurance carrier and ultimately with a judge or a jury. You can rest assured that at some point during the claims process, an insurance employee will question whether the treatment you had was reasonable and necessary based upon incomplete information. Furthermore, should it be necessary to file a lawsuit in your claim, know that your entire medical history and records may be made available to the Defendant’s lawyer by subpoena or even a court order. In such cases, competent defense attorneys will look for inconsistencies in the claimant’s medical histories and narrative accounts of the collision against actual past medical records.

Discussing Legal Issues with Your Healthcare Provider

Your doctor’s primary concern is treating your injuries. Physicians do not even need to know about an insurance claim or lawsuit in order to perform their jobs, and many will want to avoid becoming involved in litigation. Talking to healthcare provider about your legal issues might create unneeded pressure, or make your doctor less willing to cooperate in the event that he or she does need to participate in the suit. Additionally, statements made to the health care provider regarding liability, fault, or a claim itself may make it into the medical records. Try to remember that your statements can sometimes be used against you to impede your claims success.

 Brushing Over Your Pain Levels and Limitations

You may try to be stoic or brave and not complain about your injuries, but such behavior does not really do you any service either medically or within the legal claim context. As discussed above, you need to be completely honest about your medical issues when speaking with your doctor. This honesty should extend to pain levels. To an insurer reviewing your medical records, the failure to address pain or discomfort can be tantamount to saying the injuries do not exist or are minor. The claims adjuster needs to read about your levels of pain and physical limitations, frequently and for as long as they last. Accordingly, always make sure your doctor is aware of your current pain levels and do not exaggerate or minimize these levels. Try to describe them as accurately as possible. Where applicable, it may be useful to use a pain scale to describe your pain, such as a scale from 1 to 10 – even if your physician does not specifically ask.

Not Cooperating with Your Physician and Specialists

Besides attending scheduled appointments, do your best to work together with your primary care physician or any treating specialists. It is inadvisable to be argumentative when discussing your doctor’s diagnosis, treatment plan, the doctor’s diagnosis or prognosis or prescription medications. Given the importance of your medical records, you do not want a strained relationship with a provider reflected in the notes. Especially, where your case may be disputed or litigation may become necessary and you will need your doctor to be an advocate for you.

 Stopping Treatment Early

When patients contract certain illnesses, doctors will often prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the illness. Patients will begin taking the antibiotics and then will stop taking them early without finishing the full course because they begin to feel better. Sure enough, this creates medical problems because the illness can return and the antibiotics lose their effectiveness. Thus, the doctors recommend to future patients to finish the course of treatment prescribed, even if they are feeling better. Similar but distinguishable issues can arise with treatment for physical injuries after a trauma. Even if you feel better after going through part of the course of treatment directed by your physician, do not cease with your at-home care responsibilities until you discuss these issues with your doctor. Sometimes, patients will think they are healed because they begin to feel better, only to several weeks later have a relapse in pain. Try to remember, the insurance company employee assessing your claim, may argue that your treatment discontinuation is evidence that your injuries have healed. Alternatively, discontinuity in treatment could even indicate that you reinjured yourself through some other event that is unrelated to the accident – which gives the adjuster grounds to deny your claim. It is always an advisable practice to defer to your physician’s recommendations and treatments plans and follow through on the same.

Failing to Accurately Document Your Experience

While much focus in a legal claim turns on medical records, you may still want to document notes about your own experiences during the recovery process. Write down all appointments, referrals to specialists, your in-home care routine, and any other details that you think may be relevant. Also, make sure to document your pain level and physical limitations. If your injuries affect your job or educational opportunities, note the impact on your personal and professional life. When your medical condition prevents you from engaging in favorite activities, document your feelings about diminished enjoyment of life with friends and family. These are important details in a claim for pain and suffering.

Talking to a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Rights

If you have questions about post-accident medical care or want to know more about your legal options, please contact us. Our personal injury attorneys can also explain the important role your treatment plays in filing a claim for compensation. We are happy to schedule a free consultation to review your situation and discuss remedies against the party responsible for your injuries.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Makeda Richardson
Makeda Richardson
00:34 28 Aug 19
Attorney Bob Katz handled my accident case with the optimal level of professionalism, promptness and care. They kept me informed every step of the way and made me feel very comfortable and protected. I would definitely recommend their firm!
Jung Woo
Jung Woo
19:48 26 Aug 19
I got rear-ended by an uninsured motorist in January of 2019. I worked with Marisa Ward, who took great care of me. She was very responsive and made sure that she had all the details of my case. In July, after all my treatment was finished, I received a large settlement. I would not have received this settlement if I had dealt with only my insurance for this accident. I highly recommend working with Bob Katz if you are involved in any type of vehicle accident.
Marie Florence Kouadjo
Marie Florence Kouadjo
17:09 02 Aug 19
Marisa Ward took my case for an accident. she was very professional and very patient with me. the outcome of her work was even more surprising. I would recommend her if you are looking for help with your personal injury case. Thanks again Marisa
Marie Florence Kouadjo
Marie Florence Kouadjo
17:09 02 Aug 19
Marisa Ward took my case for an accident. she was very professional and very patient with me. the outcome of her work was even more surprising. I would recommend her if you are looking for help with your personal injury case. Thanks again Marisa
Sherrie Doody
Sherrie Doody
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I have been working with this firm for over a year and they have been very supportive and knowledgeable. I've been working one on one with Rebecca Slattery who has been amazing in helping me through this whole process... I would recommend this firm to any of my colleagues.
April Runk
April Runk
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I love this office in the Baltimore area. Marisa Ward went above and beyond as my paralegal. I could not have asked for a better assistance. Meghan Young help me all the way up to the court date. She kept me informed the entire time. This is a very informative and efficient team. I didn't have to do the work, they took care of everything. Thank you for all your hard work. April Runk
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I loved the staff from this office. They are so easily reachable and so informative. They update me on the status of my settlement so I know what going on. They are so quick with the processing. I recommend here. So far best Attorney office ive worked with. I will definitely be working with them again. Each attorney know what they're doing. Thank you for making my first experience so positive.
Soo Kim
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I worked with Bob Katz and Jennifer Bolton during my settlement case and highly recommend their team! Ms. Bolton was there for me the every single step of the way and I could not be happier. Everyone is very professional, quick, and you will not be disappointed!
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I usually don't write reviews but this one by far was well worth it. Attorney Megan Young went above and beyond for me, in a matter i had lingering on for almost a year and she helped me settled it in less than 60 Days! If I could give 10 stars i would but unfortunately it only allows 5 stars.And the Paralegal Ms.Kristen Turner was also a great help in every step of the way with my case. Thank you guys again!! I would recommend them to any and everyone!
An Tran
An Tran
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Attorney Bob Katz helped me from start to finish with extreme care and consistency. They are there for you during the process and will do their best to serve you and keep you well informed. My experience with this office was great and I highly recommend Attorney Bob Katz.
Brooke Adams
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16:05 10 Apr 19
I loved having Attorney BobKatz help me with my recent car accident. Ms. Erica was very helpful as well. Very friendly and personable. I would definitely recommend everyone to choose Attorney BobKatz if they are in need of help!
Theo Ngongang
Theo Ngongang
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Attorney Bob Katz and his team provided me with great guidance and assistance throughout the process of working toward a settlement. Very professional team, knowledgeable and patient. Thank you again!
Seo Young Hong
Seo Young Hong
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I had positive experience with Attorney Bob Katz office. They were really helpful and really quick in response to all the questions that I have throughout the case. Special thanks to my paralegal, Christina Franetovich and Mrs. Yun, Korean interpreter. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone and especially that needs interpreter.
Felicita Lopez
Felicita Lopez
20:15 15 Mar 19
I have had a very good experience with this attorney. They have been patient with me and have updated me on any news of my case. At first I wasn't sure if I should have chosen them but after a few meetings they have been nothing but nice and understanding. They pushed through and fought to get me through this case without any worries. 10/10 would recommend them to anyone looking for an attorney.
Carla Young
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18:09 11 Mar 19
This was my first time ever having to go through a situation like this with a car accident. My main contact was Erica & she was very supportive & informative. She made the whole process seem so effortlessly. They even went to bat with some of my medical providers ro lower my balance with them. I hope I never need an attorney again, but if I do I will surely give them a call.
Atiq Vahora
Atiq Vahora
17:43 04 Mar 19
My family has used this law firm for almost 16 years on our car accident cases. Accidents are stressful experiences, but their law team is very supportive throughout the ordeal. The staff is friendly, professional, and always working to find the best possible outcome for me. As drivers, we just want to get things fixed quickly and move on with our lives. All that is required besides the facts is a little patience. With Bob Katz, I feel assured that someone I can trust has my back.
jungsun Park
jungsun Park
19:00 28 Feb 19
I am very pleased with the service that Attorney Bob Katz and his legal team has provided. I would highly recommend!
Amartuvshin Batbaatar
Amartuvshin Batbaatar
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I am very grateful for handling my several car accident claims and they were helpful and responsive to all our questions and concerns. I highly recommend them without any reservations.
anthony henry
anthony henry
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It was a pleasure to work with Christina Franetovich She is awesome! She kept me well informed throughout the whole process. Thanks for all your hard work! I would definitely recommend her for your legal needs
Angel Boyd
Angel Boyd
14:32 28 Jan 19
Christina has been really helpful with settling both of my accident claims even with my nervousness and constant questions lol. But she worked with me and settled it. She is also available for my diminished value claim (which I'm trying not to annoy her with lol). I would recommend this firm and will probably stick with this firm for any accidents in the future. Hoping there aren't anymore tho
karla rivas
karla rivas
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Great Team & Great Attorneys very good lawyers and excellent work. happy with the case.
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Had a very awesome experience fast settlements... Communication was a A+ ...Strongly recommend Mr.Katz. !!! Ms. Robin made me felt like family was always there when i needed her and when i had a question.
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Yarnell Goodwin
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Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
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Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
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I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
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I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
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It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
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Soun Gil
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Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
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The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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