CAR ACCIDENT RECOVERY: WHAT COMES AFTER THE HOSPITAL STAY?
May 9, 2019
Recovering from an automobile crash can be a long process. While it’s likely a hospital stay is the first step in healing, this is often the shortest step. The process really begins once you are home. Even with doctor’s orders, it can be difficult to know what to do once you’re home. You may be instructed to rest, or you may have to undergo physical therapy or surgical procedures. It’s important to understand the recovery process, so you know when you can return to work and how you can strengthen your car accident claim.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MAXIMUM MEDICAL IMPROVEMENT
When you are observed, diagnosed, and treated after a car accident, your physician will be able to give you your maximum medical improvement (MMI). An MMI refers to the point in your medical treatment where you will have recovered as much as you will from the injuries you sustained in the collision. Depending on the severity of injuries, it can take months or even years to reach your MMI.
Understanding your MMI is important for a number of reasons. First, it will give you an idea of what your recovery will look like. Entering blindly into treatments or procedures with surgeons or physical therapists can be confusing if you are uncertain as to how they will benefit you. Every medical treatment you undergo should put you closer to reaching your MMI.
Your MMI is also important for your car accident claim. You may want to settle the claim quickly, especially if you will be without income for an extended period of time; however, if you do so without your MMI having been calculated, you are likely to receive less compensation than what you deserve or will need. With reports from your doctor, your lawyer will be able to determine how much money you will need throughout your recovery.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS
While recovering from your injuries, it’s crucial to track your progress. As with understanding your MMI, documenting your treatment will benefit your physical health and your legal actions. You will be able to determine how your recovery is progressing compared to what your doctor said recovery would look like. In the event there are serious differences, it’s crucial to get in touch with your physician and determine if changes need to be made in your treatments.
Documenting your physical progress can also help strengthen your accident claim. It will make it easy for your attorney to verify with the insurance company that you are seeking treatment and abiding by the recommendations of your doctor. This will make it much more difficult for the insurance company to minimize your injuries or deny they exist.
TAKING THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF TIME OFF WORK
The amount of time you should take off from work will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the type of work you do. Someone who works a desk job may be able to return to work before somebody who works in construction can, but it’s all contingent on the types of injuries. The best way to determine when to go back is to listen to your doctor. This will ensure you do not make your injuries worse. It will also aid with your car accident claim, as following your doctor’s recommendations is a crucial aspect of receiving the compensation you need from the insurance company.
CONTINUING MEDICAL TREATMENT
In addition to understanding how long your recovery could take, tracking how you’re doing, and taking time off of work, you want to make sure you are following your doctor’s order and continue treatments as long as it is deemed medically necessary. This will ensure you are able to restore order in your life as quickly as possible.
It’s tempting when you begin to feel better to cease treatments. This, however, can hurt you physically and financially. If you stop treatments before you reach your MMI, your injuries could begin to worsen, or you could create additional problems. Disobeying your doctor also gives insurance companies the ability to say your injuries aren’t worth as much in compensation.
While recovering, it’s crucial to take steps with your insurance company to ensure your claim is on the right track. If negotiations are difficult or you are worried about being taken advantage of, our lawyers can provide you with answers and guidance. We will work to determine what you are owed and do what it takes to make sure you are not short-changed. To learn more about the benefits of seeking legal representation, reach out to us today. 270-355-7264