Healing Plateau and permanent injuries
I talk to a fair number of injury clients every day who have trouble with the concept that further medical treatment isn’t helping them get better, following a serious car accident. Some patients treat as long as two to three years after the car crash, and never really get better. In some cases, they are even worse.
It is disturbing to them that further medical treatment will not cure them or give them a quick fix. At some point, a medical decision, as well as legal decision needs to be made to cut them off from treatment and the patient may have reached a healing plateau where the patient will not benefit from any further medical treatment.
Clients get very angry when they learn they may have sustained an injury that they will have to live with the rest of their lives. When no further medical treatment is assisting the patient in getting better, a decision has to be made by the doctor from a medical perspective and the injury lawyer from a legal perspective, about terminating further treatment.
Instead, the patient needs to be evaluated for permanent injury by their own doctor or sent for an independent medical examination. The doctor will assess the extent that their medical injury is permanent and how it will affect their life going forward. The doctor will assess a percentage to the disability as it affects their entire body. In some cases, it may be as small as 2% disability. In other cases, it could be a 20% or even more significant permanent disability.
A permanent injury adds a considerable amount of extra value from a damages perspective, to the injured parties’ case. That is hardly comforting to the client who learns that medical treatment will not cure them, and they are stuck living in pain or having some other permanent impairment the rest of their life.
There is also no purpose in continuing to go for medical treatment and incurring additional medical expenses, if the treatment isn’t doing any good. Racking up a huge medical bills can be a stumbling block to achieving a good financial outcome to the case. The doctors make out really well, but you as the injured party, may not make out so well. Clients aren’t doing themselves any favors either by thinking that the more they treat, the more they rack up huge medical bills, the larger their settlement may be.
At some point, if the insurance company takes the position that the patient over-treated, they may have the case evaluated by their medical team or the patient, if there is litigation sent for an independent medical examination, and more likely than not, that reviewing physician is going to pick a date when they feel, based on the injuries sustained, the patient should be have been 100%; any treatment after that date, the insurance company is not going to honor or pay for.
When you are injured in an accident, it is important to heed the advice of your medical doctors and your injury lawyer on the best course of action on your case and what treatment is appropriate to resolve your injuries sustained in the accident. There really is no purpose of continuing getting medical treatment, if at some point, it isn’t helping you get better.
If you have questions about your injuries, treatment or permanent disability, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today for a consultation.
For more information on this article, contact Karp & Iancu.