"Should I get treatment before I even know if I have a good case? And what if I don’t have money to get treated?"
If you have been involved in a car crash and you feel like you’ve been injured as a result, then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many people wonder if they should forgo treatment until the liability of the other party can be established since they don’t have a ton of extra money available to pay for medical treatments. There are many reasons why a person should not wait. First, if you prolong treatment, you may be too late to obtain 100% recovery. Second, the longer a person waits, the less likely they will reach maximum financial recovery. Insurance companies are even more skeptical if a person was not treated immediately after they were injured and instead only began treatments after they hired their personal injury lawyer. Third, the sooner you call the police the faster the evidence can be collected and preserved. Once police are called, the next step is to see your doctor and explain to him/her all of your symptoms and how the car crash happened. Finally, the longer you wait the more pain and suffering you experience, and that will only delay the healing process. As such, one should immediately call the police to ensure there is a record made. The police should take photographs, determine who, in their experience and training, was at fault, and take witness statements and gather other crucial evidence at the scene. This will help establish that the other party was negligent in hitting your vehicle. It will also help you down the road to establish how that person’s negligence caused your bodily damage. The police will take measurements, which assist the accident reconstructionists we use at trial to determine the force and speed and how that force caused your disability, your pain, or your disfigurement, if any.
After you call the police and they have concluded their investigation, it is crucial for you to see your doctor so he can run you through a series of evaluations to determine if you had a concussion, if you are a candidate for physical therapy, chiropractic visits, or even a consultation with a surgeon, or with the radiology department to get either X-RAYS, CT scans, or even an MRI to determine if there are any fractures, herniations, or even pinched nerves that may be causing you pain.
It is important to follow through with any and all treatment your doctor(s) recommend for you. Some people think that they have to pay for their medical treatment out of their own pocket until the case ultimately settles, which could take over a year. This is untrue. Most doctors, when they know that you were involved in a car accident, know that it takes sometimes a year or two to settle a car crash case. Because of this, most doctors will allow a patient to receive medical treatment without an up front payment if the patient lets them place a medical lien on the future settlement proceeds to ensure they get paid for their services. The lien means that the person that owns the settlement funds cannot collect until the lienholders are paid first. Most car crash lawyers also communicate regularly with the hospitals to keep them updated on the settlement process so the doctors put the patient’s collection file in their “pending litigation” file so they will refrain from sending your account to collections and will stop calling you to collect on that debt since they know you are being represented by capable counsel.