Consider the following hypothetical situation: You suffer a personal injury accident. You tripped and fell in a grocery store due to obstacles in your walkway. There was a small stack of full boxes on the floor in an aisle. Since you were searching for an item on your grocery list that should have been on the top shelves, there was no way that you could have seen the boxes on the floor. As you continue to walk along the aisle, searching for your item, you suddenly feel your foot hit something on the floor. Before you know it, you are tripping and falling down. Your wrists immediately hurt because you tried to break your fall. Your right knee feels sore. Witnesses gather around you and try to help you up. Store employees contact a manager who helps you file a report. Somebody asks you if you would like to call an ambulance – you decide that you would not like to call an ambulance and instead drive yourself home, still a little sore.
As the days go by, the feeling that you associate with soreness continues to worsen. You still refuse to seek medical attention because you claim that the fall was not serious enough to cause any injuries. A few weeks later, your pain has become unbearable. You cannot move your wrists without pain. There is also a constant pain near your right knee. You are finally suspicious of the possibility that your pain is associated with the fall in the grocery store.
When you finally seek medical assistance, you find that your pain in your knee is due to an overstretched ligament. You also find that both of your wrists are strained. Because you failed to seek treatment immediately, these minor injuries have caused complications, and you will need to spend many months in physical therapy.
You know that your injuries were caused by the trip and fall accident you experienced at the grocery store many weeks ago, so you seek legal assistance to learn more about the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim. Your lawyer explains that your delayed treatment will significantly reduce the likelihood of reaching a successful outcome for your claim.
Why did your delayed medical treatment negatively affect the possibility of pursuing a successful trip and fall claim? Why is seeking prompt medical treatment so important to reaching a successful claim? Consider the following points:
- Seeking prompt medical attention results in early identification of any injuries suffered.
- Seeking prompt medical attention ensures that your injuries can be directly correlated with your accident.
- Seeking prompt medical attention allows you to begin tracking the expenses associated with your treatment for your records.
- Seeking prompt medical attention allows you to have a thorough record of the treatment to which you were subjected to starting immediately after your accident.
- Seeking prompt medical attention allows you to start your legal process sooner rather than later.
“When injured victims delay their treatment, they are risking many things – including essential pieces of evidence necessary to the success of their personal injury claims,” says Daniel Azizi, Esq., of Downtown L.A. Law Group, “many people delay their treatment and unknowingly create an avoidable obstacle for their own claims.”
Unfortunately, it is common for injured victims to delay their treatment. After delaying their treatment, the injured parties (and their attorneys) must take on the difficult task of proving that the injuries were sustained during a specific personal injury accident and not any other incident that might have happened between the date of the original accident and the date of initial medical treatment.
Because seeking medical care is so essential to the success of personal injury lawsuits, it is often recommended that the victims of personal injury accidents seek medical care even if they firmly believe that they are not injured – as many injuries could go unnoticed for many days or even weeks. A thorough medical evaluation could identify injuries that victims have not yet noticed.
Without a doubt, prompt medical treatment is an essential step towards filing a personal injury claim. However, your prompt medical care is also essential to your health and wellbeing. Do not hesitate to treat your injuries, begin working towards recovering.