Generally, it is not a good idea to start any negotiations until you have completely recovered from the accident or injury.
The Importance of Finishing Your Medical Treatment
It’s important to seek medical treatment after an accident not only to begin the healing process and get back on your feet, but also to document the extent of your injuries. You’ll want a clear record of your medical condition after the accident and any medications, procedures, or therapies you had to undergo to reclaim your health. The insurance company may try to claim you aren’t seriously injured or that your injuries weren’t caused by this accident. By documenting your treatment, you’ll be able to fight those assumptions.
It may be frustrating, then, to wait until you’ve finished your medical treatment before you begin settlement negotiations. Imagine, for example, that you were in a car accident and you broke your arm. You’re in a cast, and it’s scheduled to come off in two weeks. You may be wondering why your attorney wants to wait to begin negotiations since, in your mind, your medical treatment is basically finished.
But the reason your attorney will want to wait is because you may return to your doctor in two weeks to have your cast removed only to discover that your arm hasn’t healed properly at all. In fact, due to a serious complication, your doctor wants you to undergo immediate surgery.
A person’s medical status can change in an instant, especially during treatment for a serious injury after a car accident. It’s important to wait until you’ve finished medical treatment and have been given a clean bill of health so your attorney can try to get all of your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering covered in your settlement.
Sometimes, patients don’t regain their health after a serious car accident, no matter how much medical treatment they undergo. Eventually, their doctor will declare that they have reached MMI, or maximum medical improvement. MMI is a percentage of the healthy condition you previously had before the accident, since you will never recover 100 percent. You may have developed a chronic condition for which you’ll need equipment or assistance for the rest of your life. Your attorney needs to know what MMI looks like for you in order to better negotiate with the insurance company what sort of ongoing care they should cover.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
Accepting an early settlement offer can be a big mistake. To get all of the money you deserve, your attorney must know the full extent of your injuries, losses, pain and suffering. However, an experienced attorney will do everything possible to speed up the process as soon as settling your claim is in your best interests. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.