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P.I. Tip #2: Watch The Treatment Gaps

Happy Valentine’s Day. Given this year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, the restaurants, malls and movie theaters will be busier than normal. This means more cars on the road and a higher than normal risk of auto accidents. One routine error many auto accident victims make is they incorrectly conclude that 'feeling fine' immediately after and accident means they have not sustained any treatable injuries and therefore don't see a doctor until months later when the pains become uncomfortable. On multiple occasions, I have had clients who initially were unsure about filing a bodily injury claim against the at fault driver only to subsequently discover the need for extensive treatment beyond the requirements for your run of the mill soft tissue injuries which resulted in large settlement awards. For instance, some accident victims sustain headaches that may not be initially diagnosed as concussions until months after the auto accident which may require additional treatment from a neurologist.

There are many other considerations but suffice it to say that auto accident victims who feel some type of pains but delay on seeking treatment until the pains become unbearable - which may be months later; are at a high risk of their bodily injury claims being denied by insurance adjusters on the premise that those injuries are not casually related from the accident. Potentially at stake of the victim is tens of thousands of dollars in settlement money that the adjuster wants to avoid paying out on what otherwise is a valid personal injury claim for the victim. There are no rule of thumbs but generally it is prudent that an auto accident victim receives medical treatment (E.R. or Primary Care Physician) within 1 to 2 weeks from the date of the accident (the closer to the accident date the better). This is partly due to the fact that the symptoms of whiplash related injuries generally manifest within this period (pains in the back, neck, shoulder and headaches). Also, the victim should follow the medical provider's recommended treatment plan to medically justify the length and extent of treatment and cost of care incurred.

In any event, it is inexcusable for auto accident victims to make these basic errors. For more information on this article or any auto accident related matter, call 240-676-4827 for a free phone consultation.



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