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Medical Treatment and Its Effect on Your Case

Most of our clients have a great deal on their minds when dealing with injury that has occurred through no fault of their own.  They worry about lost income, the kind of medical treatment they are getting, the effects on their family – the list goes on and on – and who can blame them?

One of the most common questions we get relates to medical treatment.  Many clients ask me “What will that do to my case?”  The “that” in the question usually refers to a certain type of medical procedure or diagnosis.  In most cases, a doctor has recently told my client that he or she will need a certain type of medical procedure or that the doctor has reached a conclusion as to the diagnosis of the client’s medical condition.

In many, if not most, cases, clients are asking what surgery to remedy a personal injury will do to their legal case.  My answer is always the same – you need to do what your doctor tells you to the best of your ability, and let the lawsuit process work itself out.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a right to seek a second opinion about the doctor’s care or diagnosis, but it does mean that you need to focus on getting well first, and let your attorney deal with the legal aspects of your case.

While it is true that insurance adjusters and defense attorneys often (and unfortunately) value your case based on your “medicals” or “medical specials,” which they call the amount of your medical bills, you should not worry about whether a certain course of treatment will increase your medical bills or, in some cases, keep them low.  What you should do is focus on getting well.  If you disagree with your doctor’s recommendation, you should speak to your attorney about it immediately.  We attorneys are not doctors but we can help steer you through the process of helping find someone who can give you a second opinion.

Always keep your attorney up to speed regarding your medical care.  If you see a new doctor, or begin having new symptoms, let him or her know.  It’s important to ensure that that treatment is included in your damages.  That way, your medical treatment will not have a negative impact on your case.

Edwin Lamberth

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