One of the most common mistakes people make in personal injury/automobile accident cases is not pursuing reimbursement for medical costs. In some cases, such neglect may take the form of failing to call necessary emergency medical services to the scene of an accident in the event of a serious injury. To be clear, serious injuries can often include internal injuries that may have no clear physical demarcation. For instance, when an individual is hit from behind, the force of the blow can cause the upper part of the body, particularly the head (where no seat belt is present), to be jerked suddenly and potentially impacted. The individual may not realize the full extent of their injuries until well after the impact.

Below are some of the common questions regarding past and future medical costs related to automobile accidents:

Can I recover past and future medical costs?

As the old adage goes, you can’t recover something that you never had to begin with. As noted above, many people fail to get the necessary treatment because they do not fully realize the extent of their injuries immediately following the point of impact. In determining whether an individual is entitled to past and future medical costs, an insurance adjuster (and potentially a court) will look at:

  • The causal relationship between the injury and the accident
  • The condition of the injured party as a result of the accident
  • Any medical bills which the injured party may have incurred as a result of the accident
  • Any pre-existing medical condition which the party may have had prior to the accident

A pre-existing condition will not preclude an individual from receiving compensation for such conditions which were aggravated by the accident. However, it may require a skilled attorney to gather the information necessary for the insurance company or court to make a causal determination. A skilled attorney can advise you as to what further steps may be needed to ensure all potential medical costs have been addressed.

What if EMS was not called to the scene of the accident?

While emergency medical services may certainly help to determine the extent of any injuries, their absence does not preclude a personal injury/automobile accident claim. However, if there is any doubt as to the extent of one’s injuries, one should seek medical attention immediately and this information may be helpful to your attorney in evaluating your claim.

Should I see a Doctor?

If there is any doubt as to whether you may have sustained an injury, you should seek the services of a skilled medical professional immediately. A skilled attorney may then be able to assist you in recovering your medical costs. It is important to keep track of all records and dates of appointment.