When a careless driver has caused your life to be disrupted, you may rightfully wish to make them pay for the damages. In most cases, the at-fault driver's auto insurance policy will pay for most of your needs, but not all of them. When it comes to ensuring adequate compensation, many accident victims find it necessary to take legal action. If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer, you must actually have an injury. Read on to find out about the importance of medical care after an accident.
Damages Owed to Victims
In a typical car wreck, accident victims can be paid from the insurance carrier for basic medical treatment costs and for the wrecked vehicle but nothing else. Unfortunately, many accident victims end up needing far more. For example, if the other driver is at fault, why should you need to lose money due to being out of work, needing a car, caring for your future medical needs, and for pain and suffering? None of those forms of damage can be expected unless you seek personal injury damages.
Damage mitigation just means that if you expect to be paid for damages over and above what the insurance carrier provides willingly, you must show that you did everything possible to care for your health after an accident. That means you must have both suffered an injury and also sought medical help for that injury. If the other side claims that you failed to mitigate, that means they are alleging that you did not seek adequate medical attention and that your efforts (or lack of them) are responsible for some of your injuries. This is a serious allegation and could reduce the amount of your compensation by thousands of dollars.
Avoiding Failure to Mitigate Issues
To ensure that you receive the amount of compensation you need and deserve, take the following actions after a car accident:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you don't need an ambulance ride, at least follow up with your doctor.
- If you find unusual physical symptoms popping up days or weeks after the accident, see a doctor. Some types of injuries may not be apparent until later. For example, back injuries and head injuries can take time to show symptoms.
- Once you see a doctor and are treated, follow all medical advice. For instance, if the doctor advises you not to return to work until next month, do so.
- Don't allow gaps to appear in your treatment—continue to keep all follow-up appointments.
To learn more about the importance of medical treatment to your claim, speak to an auto accident lawyer.