Medical Treatment Mistakes in DC Car Accident Cases

In order to have the best chance for necessary compensation following a DC car accident, it is important to avoid common mistakes regarding medical treatment.

Medical treatment mistakes in DC car accident cases can lead to lower settlements and serious injuries, so it is important to receive necessary medical treatment and follow-up following an accident. A car accident attorney can help use this proof of injury when building a claim. 

Seeking Medical Attention

Anyone who is injured should seek medical treatment right away. Oftentimes, there are people who are very nervous or overwhelmed with the situation and they may not appreciate their injury. Other times, there are people who do not appreciate for any number of reasons whether they are injured. Therefore, if someone else who has responded to the scene has suggested that they should seek medical attention, then it is probably in that person’s best interest to do so. 

Likewise, even if the person feels okay, there is no harm in being evaluated in order to rule out any unknown or unforeseen injuries that could become more serious later on. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek medical attention at the scene and if everything checks out okay, then there will be peace of mind in that initial evaluation. 

Motivation of Refusal

 

Sometimes, people will put their health aside and simply go back to work or refuse medical treatment in order to get their economic life back on track. This can be a factor that is brought up by the other side during the course of the trial and used against them to either minimize or refute their damages altogether.

With the example of a heart attack, if a person has a heart attack, then they are going to go to the hospital and they are going to get treatment instead of going to work and pretending like they are fine.

The argument is the same that if a person has the symptoms for which they are complaining at a trial, then it would make common sense then that a person should seek medical attention for the injuries and if they do not, then there are some questions whether they were injured at all.

Impact on a Claim

There are a number of reasons why people do this, either a lack of insurance coverage or not having the funds for an unexpected medical expense, or fear of losing a job or any number of reasons, but this is a factor that certainly will be exploited by the defense.

If the person refuses medical attention, the defense will use those facts as evidence of bias or monetary seeking behavior in that the person was going to leave the scene of their own volition and refused medical attention at the scene but after retaining the services of an attorney, they then began medical treatment which the defense will imply as being done solely for litigation purposes.

Therefore, certainly, no one is considering lawsuits at the time of a collision or how things will be perceived, but people should understand that there are repercussions for their actions and if and when an injured person consults with a personal injury attorney, they should make the attorney aware of this situation.

Following up with Treatment

Lawyers perceive all of these types of cases from the perspective of a juror to try the case and therefore attorneys who have experience in this area know how issues will play out later on at trial.

In a situation where a person does not follow their doctors’ orders or continue with the treatment that is recommended by a concerned doctor, the attorney knows that the defense will use this information to refute any claims of pain and suffering or inconvenience made by the injured person.

Testimony

This means that when the injured person testifies that they have injuries from the motor vehicle collision of ongoing pain and discomfort, then that testimony will be immediately refuted by highlighting for the jury the facts that additional treatment which would, in theory, eliminate the pain, suffering, and inconvenience the person is going through has been refused by the patient.

This also raises the possibility that the complaints of pain and suffering or inconvenience are not true because if they were true, then the person would seek medical attention. For example, if a person has a heart attack, they would not refuse to go to a hospital but certainly, if they had a heart attack, they would. There is no question about that.

Therefore, if someone has a bad back or sore neck, then they would get medical treatment but to say that they would not then draws into question whether they actually have a sore back or hurting back.