Long Island, NY Personal Injury
& Accident Lawyers
485 Underhill Blvd, Ste. 107 Syosset, NY 11791 Free Consultation 516.307.1199
Injured? Keep Treating

    Before taking on any new client, during the initial evaluation, I generally determine whether he/she has a viable case. What is a viable case? Typically, a viable case is one where an injury caused by the negligence of another is detrimental to your daily living activities, and will have long-term ill-effects on your health as well as your ability to earn a living. This includes: death; dismemberment; broken bones; disfiguring, scarring and deformity; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body part; significant limitation of a body part of function; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body part, organ, or function; or, a medically determined injury that prevents you from performing substantially all of your usual daily activities (i.e., work or school) for at least ninety days during the 180 days after the accident.

    Fortunately, not all personal injuries fall into that category. But, when an individual does have a viable case, he must continue to follow the advice of his doctor(s), and continue to adhere to the treatment plan(s). By following the advice of your doctor, not only will you build a stronger personal injury case, but you will also allow yourself the opportunity to recover or, at least, to reach your peak performance.

    This may become complicated if No-fault automobile insurance physicians decide that you no longer need treatment – something that happens quite often because, as I have said many times, insurance companies are not in business to pay out claims; they are in business to make money for their shareholders. Look at it this way – medical professionals who work for insurance carriers have every incentive to write reports favorable to their “employers.” Favorable means saving them money, and that means paying out less in medical claims.

    So, let’s assume that No-fault cuts you off even though you continue to suffer from impairments. If you have a personal injury case in the works, you will need to continue to treat. That means, you may have to use your personal health insurance plan (even if, as sometimes is the case, you have to agree to reimburse your private health insurance out of your settlement proceeds). If you do not have private medical insurance, many times, your health care providers will work something out with you so that you do not go without much-needed medical care.

    No Care – Not A Good Option

    Often, when No-fault cuts off, too many people just stop treating. This is bad for your health and bad for your case. At the outset – immediately following the injury – you must seek treatment.

    That begins with your first trip to the hospital to treat and assess your injuries, and continues until you are fully healed. After treatment in the emergency room, you will be given discharge instructions,” which may include R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression-elevation); directions to return to the ER for a follow-up, and following up with your own doctor.

    If ER doctors or your own doctor recommends diagnostic testing (x-rays, MRI, CT scan), you need to have these tests. Diagnostic tests help your doctors to make better medical determinations, and to develop a treatment plan that may include physical therapy, surgery, or both.

    If, for whatever reason, you stop treating, you not only risk your health, but you also risk losing your personal injury case. Because there are those who would bring baseless personal injury lawsuits, unfortunately, judges, juries and insurance carriers already are skeptical about personal injury claims. Failing to follow sound medical advice merely reinforces their skepticism, and hurts you in court. Lack of money is generally the reason most injuried parties discontinue medical treatment. But, sadly, the courts are not too sympathetic. So, if that is ever the case, remember to discuss it with your attorney who will help you find a way to get the medical treatment you need.

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