Each year there are 28.1 million emergency room visits for unintentional injuries in the United States alone. Accidents are also the fourth leading cause of death in the country, accounting for about 136,053 fatalities in 2014. For those who survive accidents leading to catastrophic injuries such as severe brain injuries or spinal damage, they will need an incredible amount of insurance coverage to pay for medical costs, rehabilitation, alterations to their home, and lost wages. Even smaller injuries that require only a few days of lost wages and some medical treatment could require auto insurance coverage or workers’ compensation insurance.
However, insurance companies are notorious for denying personal injury claims based on any number of excuses. While they are obligated by law to act in good faith regarding their customers, they don’t make money by paying for medical care and covering lost wages. They earn income by collecting premiums and exploiting any holes in a policy holder’s claim.
One of the ways they can do this is by examining every piece of evidence regarding your accident and using it to their advantage. For example, if you get into a minor car accident and sustain minor muscle damage, you may not feel it until a few days later—this is when people typically go to the doctor. If an insurance company decides to deny your claim, they will do it by citing the fact that you didn’t visit a physician for your injury directly after the accident and saying your injury is less severe than it is. Similarly, if you don’t get regular medical treatment for particular injuries, such as attending physical therapy on a regular basis, the insurance company will use it as evidence your injury isn’t as severe as you assert.
Additionally, insurance companies can claim there is insufficient medical proof you even have an injury. If you visit a physician directly after your accident, not only will your health record show you were treated for the wound, but it can also be used in court to defend your case if an insurance company denies your claim.
Visiting a medical doctor directly after an accident can also do you two other favors: it could prevent any injuries from getting worse, and it can provide additional insight into injuries you may not have noticed. Many injuries that could be debilitating or life-threatening, such as concussions or spinal cord damage, do not surface immediately after an accident. While your brain is well protected by your skull, the force of something like a car crash could push the soft tissue of your brain into the hard bone of the inner skull, causing a concussion. Any pain you could experience might be masked by the adrenaline rush of being involved in a dangerous incident. The human body is designed to pump out adrenaline and endorphins when it experiences danger. These two chemicals work together to supercharge our bodies and block pain. Internal bleeding is also difficult to determine unless you’re a medical professional.
Make sure you have an adequate paper trail of medical records and bills related to your injuries by visiting a physician right after an accident. Not only could it save your life, but it can also save you time and money down the road by potentially preventing an insurance company from rejecting your claim. Even if they attempt to reject your claim, any additional documentation you could provide from your physician will be helpful in appealing the denial. Talking to a Kentucky personal injury attorney about how the claims process works could help your case.
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact one of our experienced Louisville personal injury attorneys. Whether you were involved in a car or truck accident, or you were injured on the job, our skilled lawyers at Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC can help. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we can recover compensation for you. If you want to make a claim, contact us as soon as possible. The Kentucky statute of limitations or statutory notice for injury claims can be as little as 90 days from the date of initial injury or discovery of harm. After this time passes, courts will usually refuse to hear a case, and you’re unlikely to receive any compensation for medical bills or lost wages. To get started on your case, contact us at (502) 565-0035 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.