How Refusing Medical Treatment at the Scene of a Crash May Hurt Your Claim
Even after a minor car accident, it is a good idea to get treated at the scene of the crash. Not doing so may hurt your claim for compensation. Below, we discuss why.
If you were involved in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, call our New Jersey auto collision attorneys today. We can discuss your claim during a free and confidential consultation.
Why Do People Refuse Treatment at the Scene of a Crash?
There are several reasons why an accident victim may refuse medical treatment at the scene of the crash.
One of the most common reasons is that the crash victim may not believe he or she was seriously injured. After an accident, however, there is no telling how much damage even a minor bump may have caused you. The only way to know for sure is if get evaluated by a medical professional.
Getting treatment at the scene of the accident could save your life, especially if you have a serious internal injury. For example, crash victims may not know if they have a concussion or other head injury. Many people also believe you must lose consciousness if you sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). However, that is a common myth that could lead to serious consequences if left untreated.
When a trained medical professional arrives at the scene, he or she can do an initial evaluation to determine whether your injuries may require further evaluation at a nearby hospital. This leads to another common reason accident victims may refuse treatment at the scene of a crash. They may believe their insurance will not cover the cost of an ambulance ride. However, this is also typically not the case.
In New Jersey, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This is no-fault policy should cover your medical costs, including emergency transportation services, no matter who caused the collision. Therefore, you should not refuse medical treatment simply because you are concerned about the cost of riding in an ambulance.
The Insurance Company Will Say You Are Not Injured
If you refuse medical attention at the scene of the accident, the insurance company may try to use this against you. They may claim it means that you are not injured, and therefore they should not pay you any compensation.
Even when you have proof of your injuries, the insurance company may still try and devalue your claim by arguing your injuries are not serious. They may say that if your injuries were serious, you would have accepted treatment at the accident scene.
Refusing Treatment at the Scene Makes it Harder to Link Your Injuries to the Crash
Another drawback of refusing medical treatment at the scene of the crash is that it will make it harder to prove causation. In other words, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries could have been caused by something else and that you are trying to take advantage of the situation to get money.
This argument could harm your credibility, especially if your case goes to court and you must prove your claim to a jury. Your refusal of immediate medical attention may strengthen the insurance company’s argument that you are not hurt.
What Steps Can I Take to Protect My Claim if I Refused Treatment at the Scene?
Even if you did not get treated at the scene of the crash, there are steps you may be able to take to help protect the value of your claim.
The most important step is to get to a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. Not only can this help link your injuries to the crash, but it will help to protect your health, which should be your highest priority. Emergency room doctors will have the equipment needed and staff on hand to accurately assess and stabilize your injuries.
After that, it is important to keep up with the recommended treatment from your doctor. For example, if he or she tells you to refrain from certain activities, it is important to follow this advice. You could seriously hurt yourself and your claim if you continue to do things that could make your injuries worse.
Call an Experienced Attorney Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence but refused medical treatment at the scene of the crash, you should seek legal help right away. Even if the insurance company is telling you cannot because of your refusal of treatment, you may still be able to recover full compensation.
Let our knowledgeable attorneys deal with the insurance company on your behalf. We do not charge you anything while we work on your case. You do not pay us until we successfully recover compensation for you.
Call (800) 518-0508 today to schedule a free consultation.