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Published on January 25, 2024

How a Lack of Medical Attention Can Hurt a Personal Injury Claim in San Diego

If you suffered injuries in an accident in San Diego, promptly consulting a personal injury lawyer is critical for increasing the likelihood of securing maximum compensation.

However, accident victims also need to prioritize getting urgent medical care immediately. Attempts to downplay wounds, “tough it out” at home, or otherwise avoid formal medical treatment can have disastrous consequences. It provides the insurance companies in San Diego with enough ammunition to deny or minimize liability for crash damages.

Under California statute, victims have two years from the accident date to have a qualified San Diego personal injury lawyer file a claim. Savvy plaintiffs act quickly to document any type of pain with licensed physicians. Early doctor intervention helps defeat insurer tactics for downplaying injuries.

Here’s how ignoring immediate medical treatment can wreak havoc on your personal injury claim.

Insurers Can Argue That No Serious Injury Occurred?

Not seeking medical treatment after an accident provides the insurance company with ample opportunity to deny a claim by arguing that the victim seems fine or exaggerates unverified injuries.

If you refuse or delay seeking necessary care, insurers have reasonable grounds to dispute whether any serious harm occurred from their at-fault party’s actions.

Furthermore, gaps between accidents and treatment allow insurers to speculate that intervening incidents or preexisting conditions caused victims’ suffering instead.

Economic Damages Get Harder to Prove

If you do not consult doctors to treat an injury, you will likely lack monetary damages (medical bills) to sufficiently justify filing a claim.

Remember, to successfully secure damages payment, you must conclusively prove through documentation that tangible injuries and losses directly resulted from another party’s negligence. Skipping treatment leaves little evidence of legally compensable economic harm.

Pain and Suffering Awards Face Major Challenges

Insurers could also assert that refusal to receive urgent injury treatment reflects a failure to mitigate damages as reasonably required. They may contend with exaggerating pain and suffering to overstate a claim’s worth. Demonstrating unwillingness to manage trauma and injuries can jeopardize your legal rights to non-economic damages.

Why Refusal of Care Situations Still Occur

Refusal or delays in seeking medical attention remain highly inadvisable legally. However, there are a few accident situations where temporarily opting out of or postponing medical intervention will not necessarily wholly defeat a personal injury claim. This mostly depends on the unique context involved.

For example, a victim may justifiably refuse consent for a hazardous invasive elective surgery if the cited statistical success probabilities seem low or unduly speculative in terms of significantly improving the projected quality of life. However, they must still demonstrate proactive mitigation attempts through other treatment avenues.

Additionally, the effects of hidden, undiscovered major injuries occasionally manifest hours, days, or weeks later. This is despite victims initially stating they felt relatively fine about symptoms at chaotic accident scenes filled with adrenaline, shock, and distraction elements. In these situations, personal injury lawyers can sometimes successfully argue that these temporary care delays occurred under reasonable circumstances.

Key Takeaways

While valid reasons for a lack of perfectly urgent treatment occasionally occur, accident victims must take great care to avoid allowing gaps in care to be used unfairly against them by insurers. 

As a victim of an accident, you must act exceptionally quickly to document all emerging health issues comprehensively. You must also closely adhere to reputable physicians’ medically recommended treatment plans whenever possible. A failure to do this will also affect your personal injury claim.

In case you suffer harm due to another party’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately for guidance to strengthen your case. By prioritizing evidence demonstrating losses while details remain fresh, they will aid your pursuit of fair outcomes. Stay safe on the road!


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