Some accident victims refuse medical treatment after an accident. They may feel fine or think that their injuries are minor. However, if you refuse medical treatment after an accident, you may be giving the insurance company a reason to devalue or deny your injury claim.
Let an experienced lawyer at our firm represent you. We are ready to help you through the process of filing your claim so you can recover the compensation you need, even if the insurance company tries to refuse it. Below, we discuss several ways a refusal of treatment may affect an injury claim, as well as how our lawyers may be able to protect your rights when your reasons for refusal are legitimate.
The initial consultation costs nothing so there is no risk to you. There is also no obligation to retain our services after this meeting. Our firm only gets paid if we successfully obtain compensation for you.
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Do I Have the Right to Refuse Medical Treatment?
Under Ontario law, any mentally competent adult has the right to make certain decisions about his or her health. This includes the right to consent or refuse medical treatment – even if the refusal of treatment increases the seriousness of an injury or illness or may result in death.
For instance, if you are involved in a crash and are conscious, you have the right to refuse medical treatment. However, refusing treatment after an accident could negatively affect your injury claim.
Why Accident Victims May Refuse Medical Treatment
There are various reasons why accident victims may refuse medical treatment. Oftentimes they do not think they are injured in seemingly minor accidents. An accident victim may think his or her injuries are not serious, so they may decide to not call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital. However, some minor accidents may result in significant injuries that may not become apparent until after they are properly diagnosed by a doctor.
Some accident victims may refuse medical treatment because they do not like doctors or hospitals. Others may have certain religious beliefs that prevent them from seeking medical care. They may likely refuse medical treatment in different scenarios, such as if a blood transfusion is needed.
Regardless of the reason for refusal, the insurance company may still question your credibility and argue that you did not suffer a serious injury. They may use this as a reason to make a lowball settlement offer.
How Treatment Refusal May Affect Your Injury Claim
A refusal of medical treatment after an accident can complicate your injury claim in several ways. An insurance company is already looking to pay out as little as possible. You do not need to give them another reason to attempt to devalue or deny your claim for compensation.
Hidden Injury Risks
Refusing medical treatment may result in your injuries not being recognized and remaining hidden. Failing to diagnose any injury can lead to delayed treatment or no treatment at all. For instance, if you suffered a concussion but you think you only had a headache and nausea from the accident, you may have a more severe head injury. Not getting an actual diagnosis in time could be catastrophic.
Longer Recovery Time
Getting adequate medical care could help speed up your recovery. Refusing treatment, on the other hand, could result in a longer recovery time. Personal injury lawyers often advise accident victims to wait until they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before filing an injury claim.
A refusal of medical treatment also means having to wait to file your injury claim. You will not be able to recover the compensation you need to cover your damages as soon as you would like.
Increase in Damages
A delayed diagnosis and longer recovery time may likely increase your damages. For instance, you may incur higher medical bills if your injury gets worse or you require extensive treatment. You may have missed work for a considerable amount of time, while you may not have missed as much work with more immediate medical care.
Injury claims involving significant damages can be more complicated than others. You can expect the other party and his or her insurance company to make a strong argument against paying for your damages.
What If I Have Already Refused Medical Treatment?
Initially refusing medical treatment may still be rectified by seeing a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. It will also depend on how much time has passed. You may have made an honest mistake and not realized you were injured because the adrenaline experienced after an accident can mask pain.
Call Us Today for Answers to Your Legal Questions
If you have refused medical treatment after an accident, a trusted personal injury lawyer based in Windsor is here to help. Our firm has decades of experience helping accident victims seek the maximum compensation possible for their damages. We have recovered $300 million on our clients’ behalf.
Learn more about your rights during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid for our services unless we help you obtain a recovery.
Call (866) 320-4770 Today to Get Started.