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How Medical Treatment Can Impact a Personal Injury Claim

By May 10, 2022May 19th, 2022No Comments
Medical Treatment Can Impact a Personal Injury Claim

You’ve suffered a personal injury. Maybe you slipped and fell leaving your favorite restaurant. Or, you had a little fender bender. These injuries seem so insignificant that you don’t even consider them an injury, but a few days later you start experiencing severe headaches or have ankle pain when you walk. After a week, you decide to seek medical treatment.

A month later you’re looking at medical bills for X-rays, CAT scans, physical therapy, doctor visits, etc. When the bills keep piling up, is it too late to file a personal injury claim? The delay doesn’t prevent filing a personal injury claim, but it may impact any settlement award. That’s why you should seek medical treatment from a licensed healthcare professional immediately.

Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment After an Injury

Many people don’t seek medical treatment after an accident or injury because they don’t think the injury is that severe. No matter how you feel after an accident, you should visit a healthcare professional immediately. Your physical well-being is important.

Receiving medical attention is crucial if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Prompt medical treatment validates your person

al injury claim and it also demonstrates a willingness to recover quickly. The documented medical care provides a foundation for the dollar amount of a workplace injury, while the billing statements can indicate the type of services received and are a strong indicator of future expenses.

You and your doctor should determine a course of treatment together and the plan may require ongoing physical therapy, periodic follow-up visits, or lifestyle changes. This plan becomes a critical part of the documentation for the amount of your injury claim, so make sure it is clear and comprehensive.

Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim if I Refuse Medical Treatment?

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The short answer is yes, but achieving a positive outcome will be much harder. If you don’t see a doctor, insurance companies can claim that the injury was insignificant and deny the claim. How bad can the injury be if you waited a week to see a doctor? Many people try to “tough it out” and wait too long before seeing a doctor.

If you wait to seek medical attention, healthcare providers may have a difficult time determining what care is specific to the injury. This scenario gives insurers a way to deny medical treatment. When filing a claim, it’s important to understand that the insurance company’s job is to protect its assets. To do that, insurers must minimize the money they distribute as a result of claims. They will scrutinize every claim for legitimacy.

Do I Have to Use My Employer’s Doctor?

An employer or its insurance company may set up an appointment for medical treatment of a workplace injury. You do not have to keep the appointment. In fact, it’s better if you see a physician of your choosing. Your employer or its insurance company has the right to request an independent medical evaluation. If that happens, you must keep the appointment.

According to Minnesota law, an employer may require you to see a specific healthcare provider for treatment if:

  • The employer is part of a managed care plan.
  • The employer is part of a collective bargaining agreement.
    • The employer may specify a list of healthcare providers to use for treatment and evaluation.
  • The employer is part of a care plan with designated pharmacies.
    • The employer may designate where outpatient prescriptions and nonprescription can be purchased.

Regardless, you should always see your doctor or an emergency healthcare provider immediately after an injury.

What Should I Do If I’m Denied Medical Treatment After a Workplace Injury?

Insurance companies should comply with all necessary orders and requests by a licensed physician. These orders may include CAT scans, MRIs, physical therapy, or surgery. If the insurer denied you medical treatment, you can appeal. However, you should contact a lawyer beforehand to ensure you are presenting the best case for appeal.

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Mottaz & Sisk: Experienced Personal and Workplace Injury Attorneys

Whether your personal injury claim is the result of a workplace injury or someone’s negligence, do not wait to seek medical attention. The first concern should always be your health. Then, contact a legal firm such as Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law that specializes in personal and work injuries. Our legal team will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Jerry Sisk

Jerry is a Minnesota workers' compensation attorney and work injury lawyer. He a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Justice, and Anoka County Bar Association. He has 10/10 on Avvo, 5 Stars on Google, AV Rated through Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Work Comp Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice.