I was hurt in an accident but did not go to the doctor for treatment. I spoke with an attorney who will not take my case because of this. Should I pursue legal action for personal injuries?
I saw a similar question surface on a lawyer website the other day and felt like it was relevant to discuss on this blog. The foundation for proving personal injuries in a lawsuit is medical records. Without medical records there is really no way of proving that you were injured. Some people after accidents will not pursue medical attention because they worry about the cost of such treatment. Others simply do not have medical insurance and therefore think they cannot get treatment. These people do not realize that by not getting treatment they have nearly forfeited their personal injury claims. You should never avoid getting treatment if you are injured or wait to get treatment. Even if you are uninsured there are laws in place which allow you to get emergency treatment up to 72 hours after an accident or event that caused injury. By not getting medical treatment your lawsuit will be limited to recovering only intangible damages like pain and suffering. It is very difficult to be awarded money for pain and suffering when your pain was not severe enough to cause you to go and seek treatment. Additionally, it will appear inconstent if your injuries were severe enough to cause you to seek an attorney or pursue a lawsuit but weren't severe enough to seek medical attention.
In this day and age, juries are extremely reluctant to award damages that cannot be specifically proven. Juries like to see medical records and bills that can prove the cost of treating each injury. Rarely will juries award damages to someone for pain and suffering for their injuries if they have not sought medical attention. Attorneys also will likely not take your case if you have not first sought medical treatment for your injuries. The bottom line is, if you have been injured in some kind of accident do not wait to get treatment. If you do wait or haven't gotten treatment at all, there is a good chance an attorney will not take your case.