If you slip and fall, how long after your accident do you have to visit a doctor? Technically, as long as you want. But, there’s a catch. Find out what to do in this post from Mullen & Mullen.
You slip. You fall.
Your knee hurts. You could have sprained it. But you’re the tough type. You only go to the doctor when things become absolutely unbearable. In fact, you can’t even remember the last time you went to the doctor.
So, you just shrug your injury off. You ice your knee for a few nights. You try and take it easy.
But the pain doesn’t go away. Finally, a month later, you decide to go to your doctor. He orders an MRI and you learn you have a torn meniscus.
What’s the big deal about this story?
If you decide to file a slip and fall injury claim against the negligent store that caused your fall you’ve now weakened your case. You may only be able to collect a reduced amount, and possibly nothing at all (even if you hire a clever personal injury attorney).
So, how long do you have to visit a doctor? And when should you visit a doctor after a slip and fall injury?
Technically, You Can Go to a Doctor Whenever You Want, But That Doesn’t Make It a Good Idea to Wait!
Texas law doesn’t specify when you have to visit a doctor if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall. So, you could go to a doctor weeks or months following your injury. But that doesn’t make it a good idea to wait that long.
Here’s why you shouldn’t wait:
- You run the risk of making your injuries even worse by delaying their treatment
- Even serious injuries – like brain trauma – can be hard for you to notice on your own
- Insurance claims adjusters, opposing lawyers, judges, and juries will be more likely to think you’re being dishonest because honest people act fast
- The insurance claims adjuster could try and argue the injury you sustained wasn’t caused by the fall. If you delay treatment they will try and suggest “something else” must have happened between the time of the fall and the time you finally sought medical treatment.
What If You’re Worried You’ll Have Thousands of Dollars of Medical Bills, Fearing You Won’t Win Your Claim?
Health insurance is a complete mess. Many times co-pays and deductibles are so astronomical that seeking the care you need isn’t even financially possible or would cause such financial strain that you delay getting the help you need until you have no other option. You may be concerned that you could end up with thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills even if you have health insurance. Millions of Americans have no health insurance whatsoever and the thought of paying medical bills completely out-of-pocket is terrifying.
Following a slip and fall injury, however, you should always go to a doctor as soon as possible.
This protects your health, and the credibility of your claim, should you have one.
This protects the validity of your claim since you’ll get examined by a doctor and have a chance to report what happened to you and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
If your injuries get worse, and it appears you have severe enough ones to warrant medical tests, procedures, and treatment, you’ll have enough of a paper trail to protect your credibility.
Unsure? Talking to a Personal Injury Lawyer Doesn’t Cost You Anything
If you slip and fall, and you’re not sure how to navigate the situation, call an injury lawyer immediately. They offer free consultations. And they don’t collect any payment unless your case wins.
Personal injury attorneys also work with doctors and other medical professionals that agree to delay billing for services until the conclusion of your claim. So, you can protect your health, and your claim, without risking thousands of dollars during the process.