Medical care is expensive, so it is very tempting to think that once you start to feel a little better, that you can stop going to appointments and simply wait to get better on your own. You may also want to start going to a different doctor because they are closer to home, less expensive, or any number of other reasons.

If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your medical damages, it is important to continue to attend all appointments, ideally with the same doctor, until you are cleared. When you don’t, you may be hurting your chances of obtaining any compensation.

WATCH: Gary Bruce discusses when to use personal health insurance to pay medical bills after sustaining an injury in a car wreck or other incident. 

Why You Should Keep Up All Medical Appointments

Personal injury lawsuits are intended to compensate injury victims for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This means that you will need to prove that you have all of these damages before you can get compensation for them.

When you fail to get medical treatment or stop attending medical appointments, you are giving the insurance company a free pass to argue that you don’t actually need compensation, or you would have gotten it.

When you stop attending doctor appointments before the doctor has cleared you as being back to full health, they will say that means you must be back to full health already. They will use this as evidence that your injuries are not severe and don’t deserve as much compensation.

The insurance company will also likely say if you are well enough to stop going to the doctor, you must no longer be in any pain, so they can reduce any compensation for pain and suffering. They may also say it must mean you are well enough to return to work, and they don’t need to provide any additional compensation for lost wages if you did not return to work after that point.

That is why we always recommend attending all appointments and treatment plans related to your injury until you are fully cleared by your doctor. This includes attending specialist visits, physical therapy, and completing the full course of any medications you were prescribed.

Related Reading: Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim if I Haven’t Finished Treatment?

Why You Should Keep Seeing the Same Doctor

Seeing the same doctor consistently is extremely important when you are dealing with prior injuries that are made worse by a new injury, such as after a car crash. If you were treated in the past for an injury and a wreck aggravated that injury, the best witness available is the doctor who you saw for the injury the first time.

Insurance companies often try to deny claims when pre-existing conditions are involved because they try to blame your current injuries and pain on the prior injury. However, your doctor was there for your prior treatment, can prove you got better, and can argue that your current injury and pain were caused by your crash. They are witnesses to both the “before” and “after.”

Even when pre-existing conditions are not involved, the best witnesses are doctors and therapists, because they can report on the progress of your recovery. They can say “this was the level of my patient’s health before the injury, and here is how it has been permanently impacted” or “this is what my patient’s health was immediately after the injury, and here is how far they still need to go before they are recovered.”

If you are not regularly attending checkups, or if you switch doctors halfway through treatment, their testimony will not be as accurate, and the insurance company may not trust it as much.

Related Reading: What Factors Impact the Offer I Get from an Insurance Company?

An Experienced Attorney Can Advise You on ALL Aspects of Your Case

Your attorney’s job is to take over the hard part of a personal injury claim so you can relax and focus on your recovery. That means handling all paperwork and deadlines, but it also means advising you on what steps to take next, from whether to accept a settlement or go to trial, to advice on how what you share online could affect your claim, to following up on your health progress post-injury.

In short, your lawyer should take care of you. At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we are devoted to our clients and our communities, because we genuinely care about the person behind the injury. Large national firms may not have the same time or concern.

To experience why so many people across Georgia and Alabama trust Gary Bruce, contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.