Without realizing it, many injury victims make various decisions after an accident that hinders their ability to recover monetary compensation for their damages and ultimately negatively affect the outcome of their claim. One of these decisions is refusing or delaying medical care at the accident scene or during treatment. Although you have the right to decline medical treatment, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Refraining from medical treatment is dangerous for your health and decreases the likelihood of receiving the full compensation you may be entitled to. If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact our determined Essex County Personal Injury Attorneys, who can help guide you through each step of this complex legal process in pursuit of recovering the best possible compensation award.
When do injury victims have the right to refuse medical treatment after an accident in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, those injured in an accident retain the right to refuse any medical treatment after an accident as long as they are conscious and capable of making a decision based on sound reasoning. That said, if an individual is left unconscious after an accident, a medical professional will execute the necessary emergency medical care. Regardless of the risks, a victim can refuse medical treatment despite the consequences. However, this can cause a severe issue when filing a claim. Initially denying medical care could result in the insurance company arguing your injuries are minor as you did not need to treat them or exaggerate the severity of your injuries. Comparative negligence laws state that a victim in an accident is responsible for mitigating further damage, including seeking appropriate medical attention so that the injury can quickly heal and the condition does not worsen.
How can refusing medical treatment impact my injury claim?
As mentioned above, comparative negligence laws in New Jersey dictate that a victim can be held responsible for a percentage of fault for an accident. If they find that you are more than 51% at fault for the cause of an accident, it will result in the absolute bar of recovery, meaning they cannot seek compensation for their damages. That said, if a victim did not take the appropriate measures to ensure a speedy recovery by accepting immediate medical attention, they could be considered at fault for contributing to the severity of their injuries. As such, not taking the appropriate measures to mitigate further damages after an accident by refusing or delaying medical attention would be used to hinder their ability to recover compensation for their losses.
Ultimately, you can still file a claim if you initially deny medical care. However, it will negatively impact the outcome of your accident claim as it will likely be argued that the causation of later treatment contributed to the severity of your injuries. The sooner you seek medical treatment after an accident, the more likely you are to recover the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a determined attorney from the legal team at The Law Offices of Christopher T. Howell, Esq., who can help you fight to obtain the just compensation you deserve.