How Not Seeking Medical Treatment After a Car Accident Can Cost You in Court

Last updated Aug. 31, 2018.

For most British Columbians, being involved in an automobile accident is a thankfully rare occurrence. And being injured in one is even more rare. Although there were 330,000 crashes reported to ICBC in 2016, only 64,000 involved an injury or death. Because accidents are so relatively rare in any given individual’s life, what should be done in the moments, days, and weeks following an accident is not always clear.

But one thing should be clear: You should always seek medical treatment after a car accident in British Columbia. Obtaining car accident treatment is not only essential to regaining your health, but will also be critical in any ICBC claim or lawsuit arising out of the accident. Keep reading for a more detailed look at these reasons and a few tips when visiting your doctor.

Health Reasons to Seek Medical Treatment

The health reasons for seeking medical treatment after a car accident should be obvious, but two of the most significant are these:

  • Without treatment, you may not discover the full extent of your injuries. When most of us are injured or ill, we think of symptoms, not necessarily the underlying injury. Doctors look deeper into an injury or illness to determine the actual cause and how to treat it. Plus, car accidents often cause injuries that are not immediately apparent without close inspection by a medical professional.

 Unfortunately, despite these reasons (let alone the legal reasons discussed below), many people are uncomfortable seeing a doctor after a car accident. They may consider it an inconvenience to family or friends or may simply be embarrassed to discuss their personal health. Don’t let those types of concerns stop you—your immediate and long-term well-being is on the line.

Legal Reasons to Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

In addition to the health reasons for obtaining car accident treatment, your treatment will also play an important role in any claim arising out of the accident, whether a claim for Part 7 benefits or a tort claim against the other driver.

When you visit your doctor or another healthcare provider, you aren’t just receiving medical care. You’re creating a paper trail of evidence showing how you were injured in the accident, how serious those injuries were, and what it has taken (or will take) for you to return to health.

This paper trail is part of the record on which ICBC and a court will rely in determining what benefits and other compensation you are entitled to.

The mere fact that you attended a hospital, your doctor, or another health care professional after an accident can be critical to the success of your case. If you delay in seeking medical care—or fail to go at all—then ICBC may deny your claim and argue that you weren’t even injured or your injuries must not have been that bad.

Tips for Car Accident Treatment

  1. Tell your doctor everything. Your doctor can’t diagnose or treat a problem he or she is unaware of. And without that diagnosis or treatment, you can’t receive compensation for that injury. Don’t neglect a symptom just because you think it’s minor—let the doctor make that decision. Even a headache can be a sign of something much more serious (like a concussion).
  2. Follow your doctor’s advice. Just like not visiting a doctor at all, you risk undermining your claim if you fail to follow your doctor’s advice. In that case, the defence may argue that what you told your doctor was an exaggeration—otherwise you would have followed his or her treatment plan.
  3. Keep a journal of your symptoms. When you’re not at the hospital or your doctor’s office, keep a journal listing your symptoms. This can help you remember what you need to discuss when next you see your doctor. It can also help your lawyer obtain a clearer picture of your injuries when it comes time to make a claim.

How Preszler Law Can Help with Your Auto Accident Claim

The lawyers of Preszler Law Firm BC have extensive experience with ICBC claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents. People injured in car accidents are generally entitled to accident benefits for lost income and treatment expenses, even if the car accident was their fault. The lawyers of Preszler Law are experienced in seeking out all ICBC benefits for their clients.

Similarly, those injured in car accidents are often entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, costs of treatment, housekeeping costs, and out-of-pocket expenses. Our lawyers are committed to maximizing ICBC settlements to ensure that our clients get the justice they deserve.

Our lawyers help coordinate treatment teams and ensure that our clients receive the insurance benefits that they are entitled. We hire some of the best doctors in BC to write reports for our clients setting out the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment recommendations.

Our lawyers are fiercely dedicated to obtaining the highest compensation for our clients and seeking the justice they deserve. And the best part is – you don’t pay unless WE WIN! Contact us today for a free consultation.