Is it Better to get Treatment Before or After Your Personal Injury Settlement?
Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked a question of: Besides the initial doctor evaluation, when should I receive treatment for my injuries? Before or after I get my settlement? There are a couple of things to think about when answering this question. The short answer is get treatment now. Now it can get more complicated than that, but here are a couple things to look at.
First of all, the purpose other settlement is to make sure that your medical bills are taken care of, that any other expenses that you’re out of pocket for are taken care of, and that to the extent that you’ve experienced pain or suffering or, quite frankly, the scales of justice are unequal, that the other side pays money to try to equalize the scales of justice.
Now with that in mind, it’s difficult to convince the defendant, specifically an insurance company, to pay you for things that haven’t happened yet. You may have the initial doctor visit and he may say that you’re injured, but if you don’t seek treatment for that, the initial reaction of the insurance company, and quite frankly, often a jury, is going to be that you’re not really injured, you’re not really all that hurt. Sitting at home in silence in pain is never a good choice because it’s bad for the case because it’s more difficult to settle for what the case is really worth. It’s also bad for you because there’s no reason for you to sit at home and be in pain.
Now the object of treatment is twofold. The first and primary goal is to get you better. You need to see the doctors that are going to treat you will and that are going to get you the care that you really, truly deserve and need. There is a secondary reason to get treatment, and that’s evidence-based. Because we need to document what your injuries actually were and what you had to do to get better. Juries and insurance adjusters find that relevant, and it is relevant. Make sure when you get injured to go see a doctor. Go see them that day. That’s the best. Then listen to your doctor and do the treatment that your doctors recommend. Do all the treatment that your doctors recommend. At the point where you feel like you don’t need the treatment anymore, just don’t by yourself decide you don’t need any more treatment. Go to your doctor and think about it. Because sometimes even though you’re feeling better, it’s still beneficial to go a little bit longer to make sure that you don’t relapse, to make sure that your muscles, your tendons, everything else are strengthened so that you don’t have further injury.
The short answer is make sure that you go and get your treatment before the settlement. Now there are sometimes where you don’t have insurance and it’s difficult to find anybody who will give you treatment until you have the settlement. Most of the time, there are doctors out there who will still treat you even though you don’t have the money yet. Because they care and because they know that it’s a difficult predicament for you. There are times when you do need to wait until after the settlement to get the treatment because you need to have the money in order to do the treatment, but usually you can find doctors who are willing to treat you now and then wait to get paid later. Again, the short answer is don’t wait to get treatment. Go get it now. Thanks, and if you have any more questions, give us a call.