Although your injury may have been caused by a negligent party, you can damage your opportunity to receive fair compensation if you do not follow your doctor’s orders. It seems like a claim for personal injury should be pretty straightforward. According to the State of New York, more than 12,000 hospitalizations occur each year following motor vehicle crashes. If you were injured in a car crash, the fault of the other party may seem clear to you, but fault—and compensation—for the accident relies on several factors. At the outset of your injury, you play an important role in how successful your claim could be.
Here is why you should follow your doctor’s ordersWhen you suffer an injury, one of the first steps in pursuing a successful claim for compensation is appropriate medical care. Here are some circumstances where medical care issues can impact your injury claim:
- When you are injured: If you are involved in an accident, or crash of any kind, you should accept medical evaluation by first responders. If they recommend you take a ride to the hospital and get checked out, be sure to follow the suggestion. When you speak to a doctor, whether you are discharged right away or not, be sure you follow the medical recommendations of your treating physician. If you choose not to go to the hospital right away, or wait several weeks to see your doctor, it may not be clear that your accident caused the injury or pain diagnosed later.
- During treatment: While some car, bicycle, or pedestrian injuries are serious and require hospitalization, others like soft tissue damage can be less obvious. In order to maintain your injury claim, it is important to see your doctor for follow-up appointments and be sure that you save all receipts and reports given to you by your healthcare providers. Following directions for your own medical treatment shows you take your injury seriously, and that you are working to better your condition through ongoing medical care.
- When you skip physical therapy: If your doctor prescribes physical therapy to help you heal after an accident, it is essential that you continue doing so for the recommended number of visits. While physical therapy can be uncomfortable or even painful, it is part of the healing process and shows how committed you are to getting better.
- Missing your medical appointments: While you heal, the medical records created through treatment and evaluation become evidence of your injury. If you believe you are seriously and painfully injured, but do not attend doctor appointments, take prescribed medication, or get therapy as recommended, you may lack the evidence needed during settlement talks or trial to prove the level of injury you claim.