Should I Wait Until I Finish Medical Treatment Before I File My Car Accident Claim?

After a car accident with injuries, some time will need to pass before you will really understand the severity and nature of the injuries suffered. Even a minor injury and pain can linger for months after your car accident, before you can properly assess how it affects your life. Injuries that are more serious may require extensive medical treatment that could be ongoing and no clear end date.

Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may wish to finish your medical treatments to file your claim. It can take weeks or months for you to meet maximum medical improvement before you and your attorney fully understand the level of compensation you deserve after the accident. While it may be hard to wait that long to obtain compensation for your injuries, the best route is usually to hold on until you see just how fully you recover.

Maximum Medical Improvement and Its Importance to the Claim

Waiting for this particular moment in time is often termed waiting for Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI. The legal definition of this is a level of treatment recovery where there is no functional, fundamental or physiological change that can be expected within a reasonable period of time, regardless of continuing to receive medical or rehabilitative procedures.

MMI will often coincide in your personal injury case because it provides you with an estimate regarding possible damages. On your side, you will have a better concept of your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and more, which help you to better arrive at a final demand figure.

As you are thinking about your medical treatments and your personal injury claim, there are some other serious considerations to keep in mind that will affect the value of your claim:

  • Never wait to seek medical treatment after your car accident. It is nearly universal that if you wait to seek medical treatment, the insurance company or defense attorney will argue, how badly can you really be injured if you did not see a doctor for days or weeks after the accident. If you feel any pain or symptoms after the crash, get checked out by your doctor immediately. There is a natural tendency to avoid doctors and to try to tough out the pain, but legally, this is always a mistake.
  • Don’t miss medical appointments. The defense attorney and insurance company will check if you missed any of your medical appointments for your treatments. If you skip a doctor’s appointment, it probably will be noted in your file as DNS or did not show. The attorneys for the other side will argue that you must not have been seriously hurt, and you must not have been concerned about getting better.
  • Be honest with doctors about your medical history. You will be asked about your health history prior to the accident. He will probably ask questions about if you had any accidents that affect the same area of the body that was hurt in the accident. Do not try to hide any past conditions or injuries that affected the portion of your body that was injured.

If you have further questions about your medical treatments and how they affect your personal injury claim, please talk to a qualified attorney in your state that you can find using our website.

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