What happens if a person refuses medical treatment? Read on to learn more about how that can affect an injury claim for compensation.
When someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence, the victim is entitled to seek compensation covering the costs associated with the injury. In order to ensure that the victim receives full compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and psychological damages due to the accident, it is essential that all expenses be carefully tracked and import placed on engaging in all treatments that will help them recover fully and return to their daily lives as soon as possible. Accepting immediate medical treatment is one step to catching any hidden injuries and making a speedy recovery, and if you have been in an accident that was the fault of someone else, it is important that you consider accepting medical treatment offered. This could include an initial medical review by an emergency first responder and an ambulance ride to the hospital for more extensive review and treatment. Not only does accepting such treatment limit the chance that a hidden injury such as a concussion or internal bleeding will be undiagnosed and lead to potentially serious harm, but it also is a step toward receiving full financial compensation for your injuries.
So what happens if a victim refuses medical treatment? Read on to learn more about how that can affect their personal injury claim.
Does a Patient Have the Right to Refuse Medical Treatment in NJ?
It is a victim’s right to refuse any type of medical treatment. If they are unconscious, appropriate emergency medical treatment will move forward. However, a conscious patient can turn down any type of medical treatment, regardless of its risks. However, refusing medical treatment could cause issues when it comes to filing a claim. Why?
Possible Consequences of Refusing Medical Treatment After an Accident
According to New Jersey law, defense regarding an accident insurance claim can draw from the state’s comparative negligence laws. Comparative negligence laws state that a victim in an accident has the responsibility to mitigate further damage in an accident by taking such measures as moving a car out of the road, for example, or seeking appropriate medical attention so that an injury heals as quickly as possible. Under comparative negligence, a victim can be held responsible for a percentage of fault in the accident; fault is not black and white. A person who is found to have had 51 percent of the fault in the accident cannot seek damages.
According to the New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman, New Jersey comparative negligence law states that
“an individual’s fault for the accident cannot be more than the individual from whom damages are sought. Therefore, recovery of damages is permitted when each person in a 2 car accident is 50% at fault, but not if you are more at fault than the other person. The amount of damages paid to you is reduced by the percentage you are considered at fault.”
Therefore, a defendant who receives a victim’s personal injury claim can argue that the victim did not take appropriate measures to ensure speedy recovery by accepting immediate medical attention; and as such, they should receive less compensation for their injury. It can be professed in any counterargument that the victim involved in an accident did not take appropriate measures to mitigate additional harm that would create an obstacle to safety, health, and healing.
Another potential argument in these cases is that the extent of the victim’s injuries is less, as is demonstrated by their refusal of medical care at the time or immediately following the accident.
The Guidance of a Skilled Lawyer Can Make a Difference
Despite the potential negative implications of avoiding or delaying medical treatment after being injured in an accident that may have been caused by another party’s negligence, this decision doesn’t necessarily prevent you from successfully obtaining compensation if you file an injury claim. One of the most valuable decisions you can make after seeking a thorough medical review by a qualified doctor is talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the circumstances of the accident and what happened next.
Having an accident attorney guide you through the process of filing an accident claim is essential to ensure that all of your financial expenses, lost wages, and long-term psychological and emotional effects are compensated. Particularly when it comes to filing a claim against a business or corporation, an accident lawyer can help you gather all of the information and documentation that you need to successfully prove your injury and their full fault in the matter. Additionally, your accident lawyer will be the point of contact with the insurance company, ensuring that they do not draw any information from you that would hurt your claim.
Contact Our Trenton Personal Injury Lawyers to Get the Answers to All of Your Questions
Have you been the victim of an injury that was someone else’s fault? Having a lawyer to guide you through the legal process is essential to ensuring that you recover all financial damages and are provided for throughout the entirety of your healing journey. At Cohen & Riechelson, we are here to ensure that your rights are fully protected, so you can seek the medical care you need and obtain the much-needed financial resources to thrive after being injured in an accident.
Give us a call at (609) 528-2596 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your accident and the particulars of your potential lawsuit. When you need an advocate on your side, you can place your trust in our lawyers’ decades of experience and commitment to fighting for you.