Right after a person gets involved in an automobile accident, the responding police officers, whether in New Mexico or elsewhere, will invariably ask that person if he or she needs immediate medical attention. Sometimes it is difficult to assess that question during the aftermath of a wreck. Such auto accidents occur quickly. Injuries often do not manifest themselves until days after an accident either because the person sustaining the injury is in shock right after it occurs or because of some quirk peculiar to that injury. Generally speaking, it is a best practice to agree to be taken to the hospital right after a tense collision just to be on the safe side.
But once the dust settles, metaphorically speaking, it is prudent to be careful about what additional medical treatment should be sought in the wake of an accident which leads to a viable personal injury claim. It is clear that the victim should pursue any and all medical treatment and therapy that directly relates to injuries either sustained in the accident or those conditions that were clearly re-aggravated by the collision and its impact. What should be avoided, however, is the chance to use the case to seek remedies for other medical problems not caused by the incident. Also accident victims need to be concerned about ongoing chiropractic treatment as part of rehabilitation. While chiropractic treatment is often a necessary part of any recovery after some accidents, many chiropractors will require their patients to treat with them for extensive periods of time involving numerous appointments. This type of treatment can not only be unduly expensive but frequently is scrutinized with suspicion by insurance companies covering the injured party’s claim.
None of this should suggest that an accident victim forego treatment which addresses current medical problems and conditions. Rather it is meant to underscore that insurance companies are not bound to compensate a victim for old injuries or injuries which cannot be traced to the collision.
For these reasons, it is vital that, after the initial medical treatment received at an emergency room of a nearby hospital, the accident victim must consult with a personal injury attorney who can direct them in the process of determining how to obtain additional medical treatment. This is not to say that the professional opinions of doctors and other medical personnel should be ignored but rather that careful and sober deliberation should apply to these decisions.
The attorneys at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. represent individuals in personal injury suits in New Mexico. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Call the office at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at giddenslaw.com.