If you suffer injuries in an auto accident but wait for medical treatment, you may wonder how that delay will impact your personal injury claim. The insurance company responsible for paying the claim may try to use the delayed treatment against you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue compensation. Experienced attorneys understand how to explain an injury claim with medical treatment gaps to insurance companies and how to fight for the compensation you need to heal and recover with financial stability.
What Is a Gap in Medical Treatment?
A gap in treatment often refers to a window of time between the accident event and when you seek medical treatment. If you don’t seek professional medical help for days, weeks, or months following an accident, you will have what injury lawyers call a “gap.”
You may also experience a treatment gap between doctor visits if your physician’s initial recovery plan fails to address all of your injuries. For example, you may experience pain or other injury symptoms after completing physical therapy or other treatments, causing you to visit your doctor weeks or even months later.
Why You May Delay Medical Treatment
Car accident victims delay medical care for many justifiable reasons. Common rationales for gaps in medical treatment include the following:
- You don’t have health insurance or can’t afford your co-pay.
- An unrelated illness causes you to miss scheduled treatments.
- Your initial appointments fail to diagnose a soft tissue injury.
- You don’t immediately experience pain, stiffness, or other symptoms.
- You must wait for an appointment with a new doctor or specialist.
- You work through the pain because you have responsibilities.
- You delay treatment in the hope that your injury will improve over time.
Although treatment gaps occur for countless unavoidable and acceptable reasons, insurance companies often try to use them against accident victims.
How Do Treatment Gaps Influence Personal Injury Claims?
A treatment gap’s impact on your injury claim depends on the situation. In general, an insurance adjuster will try to devalue an injury claim with medical treatment gaps, using the time between medical care to argue that you’re overstating the severity of your injuries. For instance, an insurance company may try to refuse compensation for treatment following a two-week window between treatments.
Personal injury attorneys understand that gaps in medical care don’t mean the victim stopped experiencing pain or the injury ceased interfering with their daily life. They know how to explain treatment gaps to insurance companies and, if necessary, juries to help them understand the reasons behind these gaps.
Preparing for a Claim With a Treatment Gap
You can help your personal injury attorney prepare for an injury claim with medical treatment gaps by documenting as much as possible. While the insurance adjuster will primarily use your medical records to assess your claim, other forms of documentation, such as a symptom journal, can provide evidence of the severity of your injuries.
It’s also essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations and attend all scheduled appointments for tests and treatment. If you can’t follow a physician’s treatment plan, document the reasons why.
Let Stewart & Stewart Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have a personal injury claim with medical treatment gaps in Indiana, let Stewart & Stewart Attorneys help. We stand up for individuals and families in personal injury cases. We’ll investigate your claim and work relentlessly to fight for the maximum possible recovery.
Our law firm won’t charge you any money upfront for our services. We only charge fees if we win or settle our clients’ cases. Call us today at 317-537-9616 for a free consultation.