The importance of medical treatment in car accident cases

Video Transcript: Hello everyone and thank you for joining us here at Haug, Farrar & Franco for another one of our blog sessions. My name is Stopher Haug and I’m one of the attorneys here at the firm, and today I would like to take a few moments to talk to you about a very important topic in the world of personal injury and motor vehicle accidents or workers compensation claims and that involves treatment. Treatment, treatment, treatment. Treatment causes problems with so many aspects of a claim and I wanted to talk to you about three particular areas that you can focus on to help try to prevent some of those issues. One deals with getting treatment in the first place, the second deals with options on how to get treatment and the third deals with continuing that treatment as prescribed by a health care professional. Each of these aspects is critical.

Let’s talk about the first one, the importance of treatment. Consider this, your driving down the road on Highway 90, in Gulfport, Biloxi, or Ocean Springs Mississippi, and bam automobile accident. You’re in a car crash, and your body’s in a state of shock. It’s trying to address and process everything that’s happened. Often when that happens, your body will attempt to accommodate whatever the trauma is. You got your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping and sometimes it’s hard to recognize at that moment in time exactly what you may have suffered. For that reason alone, it’s important to seek medical attention if you think you might have suffered some type of injury. Another reason why this is important is because a lot of injuries are latent or hidden and they don’t manifest themselves right away, or for some period of time; without the right check-up. Proper check-up including x-ray’s, or CT-scans, or MRI’s can often detect injuries that might otherwise go unnoticed. Another reason why getting treatment is so important is to preserve and document the facts of the occurrence and of the situation and what you’re experiencing. Medical professionals are trained to keep detailed records of the reports of people that are injured. When you talk to a nurse practitioner, or a doctor, or an emergency room clinician, what you are going to be able to do is create a record that details exactly what happened. With the passage of time, it’s easy for our bodies to kind of minimize or downplay the effects of whatever we’ve gone through. It’s just natural. You have those medical records documenting the injury, and documenting the level of pain, the areas of pain, the areas of strain, it’s often much easier later on to recount the specifics of exactly what you experienced.

Another reason why this is important, and it is broader than that, what’s the main, number one goal, after some type of trauma like a car wreck or automobile collision? Well naturally, it’s to recover. A huge part of that is to recover your health. You can only do that, through, with any assurance through the use of health care professionals who can make sure you got your best chance of a full recovery. Whether that’s through something um, some type of non-surgical procedure, it could be some type of intervention, it could be a referral to physical therapy, or a chiropractor. Very well may need treatment and your body might not be telling you that that’s the case. Let the health care professionals decide.

Another part of recovery though is the financial side. It’s important to make sure that anybody looking back at your claim doesn’t get to say, "look you couldn’t have been hurt, otherwise you would’ve gone to get treatment." After the fact, if there’s a gap in treatment, from the date of the injury to when treatment is sought, it can be devastating to any claim; no matter how legitimate, no matter how injured you were. A lot of people try to be tough, a lot of people try to just get through their pain, only to go get treatment weeks or months down the road. That’s often the best that they do, and it makes recovery for those injuries, again no matter how legitimate, very difficult. So, now that we’ve decided that we need treatment, some people have nice insurance and they are covered and can set up appointments on their own, some don’t. For those that don’t, getting treatment can be very difficult, but there are options, and you need to pursue these options, don’t just give up. One of the options that is available is getting what’s called "Letters of Protection." Where people can, attorneys can consult with health care professionals and say, "look we understand this person has been injured, needs treatment, doesn’t have insurance, what are the options that are available" and often health care professionals will work with people in those situations to make sure that they get the treatment that they need, knowing that they might not get paid right then. Right? Other options are legal aid financing companies, we often discourage those because of the costs, but if the options are to not get treatment at all, or to have to borrow money to get that treatment, sometimes that’s the best route. Other options include, the bar association approvals. In certain circumstances, all firms like ours can make advanced payments on behalf of clients for appropriate medical treatment, there are limits, and there are a number of different requirements, and restrictions, but that’s an option. The bottom line is pursue the options, if you need treatment. Don’t just give up.

Alright, the third part of all of this, and whenever there’s an injury, or on the job injury, or automobile injury, it’s continuing the treatment protocol as prescribed. All to often we run into a situation where somebody was injured, somebody saw treatment, and then for whatever reason, discontinued their treatment for some period of time, and then the injury didn’t get better, and then they try to treat later, and often that creates lots of problems. Health care professionals have extensive training, they know what they are doing, you got to listen to them, and you got to follow their instructions, and you got to follow through with the treatment. If you get a referral to a specialist, go see the specialist. If you get a referral to physical therapy, go to your PT. If you get a referral to a chiropractor, go to chiro treatment. It’s critical, because again, what’s the most important thing? It’s recovery. And what’s a huge part of recovery? That’s your treatment. That treatment can focus on getting your body fully recovered, and at the same time, help make sure that you have the financial recovery that you need and deserve. If you have any questions about treatment, or any other aspects of motor vehicle accident, or any other kind of injury, please give us a call at Haug, Farrar & Franco. We’d be glad to talk with you and look forward to helping you out. Have a great day.