Toledo Personal Injury Attorney

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Toledo, OH 43604

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Bitten by a dog? Act now to preserve your rights!

In addition to experiencing frightening attacks, dog-bite victims often are left with permanent scars. If you’ve been bitten by a dog,  you’re likely entitled to compensation for your current and future medical bills, the pain you experienced, and your mental suffering. Contact Dale Emch at 419-241-1150 immediately to protect your claim.

Dale's Blog

Failing to seek treatment will kill your personal injury accident claim
Published Thursday, January 8, 2015 3:00 pm
Seeking medical treatment following an injury sustained in a car accident, both for your physical recovery and your personal injury claim.

Every once in a while, I'll have someone who will contact me looking for help with a claim who has never been to a doctor following the accident. Usually, it's after they've been given an offer by an insurance adjuster who has made what they consider an unfair offer. While getting unfair offers isn't unusual, it's understandable if the accident victim hasn't sought medical treatment. It's a tough sell to tell an adjuster who handles claims all day long that you're really hurt but you haven't seen a doc. That's a claim that's going to go nowhere 9 times out of 10. While I have bumped into attorneys from other states who claim insurance companies in their neck of the woods will settle cases for relative significant totals on minor injuries with little treatment, that certainly is not the model in Toledo, Ohio.

It’s difficult to emphasize enough how important it is to seek medical treatment immediately for any injuries you suffered and to follow through on your doctor’s orders regarding the treatment plan. Obviously, the most important reason to seek treatment is so that you can make the best recovery possible for your injuries.

But presumably you’re reading this blog entry to gain a legal perspective, so here goes. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim can only make decisions on the seriousness and value of your case based on the treatment you receive. The justifiable argument from their perspective is that people who are injured go to the doctor or other medical providers such as physical therapists and chiropractors. Your lawyer will have an extremely difficult, if not impossible, task to make the argument that you’re really hurting from the accident but you’ve decided not to get any medical help. If you’re one of those people who thinks that you should tough out injuries and doctors are for wimps, that’s fine, but your claim isn’t going to be worth much money regardless of how badly you were hurt. That’s just the way it is.

And, there’s a related reason to make sure you’re treated for your injuries. In addition to evaluating how seriously you were hurt, the adjuster also will look at the total of your medical bills to try to figure out the value of the claim. In addition to the seriousness of the injury and the length of treatment, the final settlement will be based on the bills that were incurred. Years ago, lawyers and adjusters often settled claims for three times the value of the medical bills, which is a rough and unscientific formula. Those days are long gone and attorneys have to do a lot more work to justify their settlement demands. But barring exceptions for rare circumstances, if the medical bills are low, the final recovery probably will be low. So, you should follow through on your treatment so you reach your maximum recovery, but you also should keep in mind the impact on your claim.