Wednesday, July 2, 2008

“People who are hurt go to the doctor.”

In my previous career as an insurance defense lawyer, that was one of my favorite lines. When someone gets in an accident and doesn’t go to the doctor immediately, or has a big gap in treatment, it’s a gift to the insurance companies. The insurance company will use the lack of treatment or gap in treatment to suggest that you are not really hurt. Injured people sometimes forgo treatment for a variety of legitimate reasons. For instance, they may not think that the injuries are bad enough to go the emergency room, or they may not want to make a big deal about it, or they might believe the injuries will get better on their own. However, unless you are a doctor, you should be checked out by qualified medical personnel and follow the doctor’s orders. Remember, juries are more likely to give you all of your medical expenses if you treat immediately, follow your doctor’s orders, and treat consistently.

If you are in an automobile accident and there is insurance, you are eligible for medical coverage. It’s called PIP (personal injury protection). One of the first things you’ll want to do after being checked out by medical personnel is to call the insurance company and open a PIP claim. The insurance adjuster will give you a claim number that can be used to pay for the accident related medical expenses. For more information on PIP and what it covers, click here.

-Arne Cherkoss


Anonymous said...

Heres a corollary to your words of wisdom:
"People who want to get money show up in the ER with no apparent injuries and waste everyone's time there."

Dwyer Williams Potter, Attorneys, LLP said...

Perhaps. However, the underlying premise of the post was that people who have symptoms should see a medical professional, and follow the doctor's orders.