Why is it Important to Follow Doctor’s Orders in a Personal Injury Case?
Boston Area Lawyer Proudly Representing Accident Victims
For many personal injury accident victims, bringing a lawsuit against the person who caused them harm is the first time that he or she has been involved in a civil claim. The process for obtaining the compensation that you and your family deserve involves several steps and it is critical to take each one seriously. For most personal injury victims, one of the most frustrating aspects of the incident is the pain and suffering that they experience due to their injuries. This is especially true if the injuries will result in permanent disabilities or physical limitations, such as amputations or paralysis. Although it can be difficult to follow a treatment plan, there are many reasons why it is important to follow your doctor’s orders in a personal injury case. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C., we have provided legal counsel to countless accident victims, including victims of car accidents and premises liability accidents. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, a knowledgeable Boston personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights.
Following a Doctor’s Orders is Critical to your Claim
One of the primary defenses that the defense will assert against your claim is that the plaintiff failed to seek medical attention after the injury or failed to comply with a doctor’s orders for improving the injury. If the defendant can show that you failed to take all reasonable steps to mitigate your damages, i.e., to improve your injury, then he or she may not be required to pay you compensation. The theory behind this approach is that the defendant should not be required to compensate you for any additional damages that could have been prevented by the plaintiff’s own diligence.
A failure to obtain treatment can include failing to go to doctor’s appointments, failing to take medications, and failing to complete physical therapy. It can also include situations where you fail to abide by the doctor’s orders regarding any limitations on your physical activity and movement. If a doctor orders you to obtain a specific test or to see a specialist within a certain timeframe, it is important to follow your doctor’s orders in a personal injury case.
Depending on your injuries, the doctor may order you to stay home from work, engage in light duty work, or to refrain from engaging in any hobbies or sport activities that could exacerbate your injury. If you are unable to attend treatment or unable to complete the prescribed course of treatment, it is essential that you speak to your physician and legal counsel as soon as possible to prevent having an inexplicable gap in care in your medical records. Although it may seem inconvenient to complete the entirety of the doctor’s prescribed medical plan, failing to do so could cost you a lot more in the long run, especially if the defense can point to several gaps in care throughout your treatment.
Some patients wish to seek alternative healthcare instead of the treatment plans that their doctors recommend. Not all types of treatment are equivalent in the eyes of the law, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and acupressure, and this is another reason why it can be important to follow a doctor’s orders in a personal injury case. At trial, a jury may conclude that your decision to choose one of these alternative treatments instead of the course of treatment that your physician prescribed caused you to suffer additional harm that you could have prevented. Before eschewing your physician’s recommendations for an alternative healthcare approach, speak to your lawyer and treating physician about how this may impact your recovery and your likelihood of receiving the full amount of damages that you may be entitled to in your case.
Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Boston
Most individuals who are involved in a personal injury accident have countless questions about the process of seeking compensation. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C., we have been providing legal counsel to Massachusetts residents for over two decades, which means we have seen a wide variety of case types and injuries. Our team provides a free consultation so that you can learn more about your potential legal rights and the best way to go about protecting them with the help of a skilled attorney. We are available to help clients in areas around Boston, Waltham, Lowell, Cambridge, Newton, Quincy, Dedham, Somerville, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. Call us at (800) 262-9200 or contact us online to set up your appointment.