One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident is not accepting medical care. You have the right to refuse care, but this is not always a good decision. Even if your injuries seem minor, medical treatment is important after an accident due to many reasons. If you want to recover compensation after an accident, seeking medical care may be essential for your case. Not receiving it can prevent you from getting the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Duty to Mitigate Damages
If you have been injured in an accident, you have the duty to mitigate damages. The mitigation of damages means that you must take reasonable steps to minimize losses. In a personal injury case, receiving medical attention for your injuries and following through with treatment and your doctor’s orders are a way to mitigate damages.
The mitigation of damages does not require an injured person to receive treatment that is dangerous, alternative, or experimental. It only requires obtaining reasonable medical care that can prevent injuries from worsening or becoming more aggravated. Following your doctor’s instructions after an injury can help you avoid aggravating the injury. Not following your doctor’s instructions can make the injury worse or cause it not to heal properly. If a lawsuit is pursued and the injured person has not taken the appropriate steps for medical care, a court may reduce the amount of compensation awarded for the claim.
Steps to Protect Your Rights After an Accident
After an accident, there are several steps to take that can protect your legal rights and possible recovery. One of the most important things you can do is to receive medical attention. This can provide proof of the injury and how it can affect the person’s ability to work or enjoy life. Without proof of the injury, you will not be able to file a claim for damages that resulted from it. You should obtain a copy of the medical report and any records of treatment associated with the injury. Medical bills and reports are evidence of your injury and its severity and can help show what you had to endure due to the accident.
In addition to seeking medical attention, some other steps to take after an accident that can help protect your legal rights are:
- Filing a police report and obtaining a copy
- Getting contact information for any witnesses and other parties involved in the accident
- Not talking to or settling with insurance adjusters until you contact an attorney
- Consulting with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case
Recovering Damages After an Accident
After an accident resulting in personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure you get a fair settlement and that your legal rights stay protected.
An attorney will help you navigate the process of a lawsuit and will determine the value of your case and what damages you will be entitled to receive. Damages may include:
- Cost of medical care and treatment
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation costs
- Punitive damages
When determining a fair settlement for your case, the other side may dispute the amount you should receive based on whether or not you took the necessary steps to mitigate your damages. If you are unable to provide proof that you followed your doctor’s instructions or received medical attention to reduce your loss, your settlement amount may be reduced, and you may not get the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident and have questions, contact Hupy & Abraham for a free consultation with one of our Milwaukee personal injury lawyers. We have been helping accident victims since 1964 and offer appointments in any of our 11 Midwest law offices located throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. To schedule an appointment, fill out our convenient contact form online or call us at 1-800-800-5678.