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The short answer to this question is Yes – one of the most important things you can do is fully follow your doctor’s advice.

The doctor said I had to do physio and other rehab exercises to recover from my car accident injuries. Does it matter if I do not do rehab and physio?

The short answer to this question is Yes – one of the most important things you can do is fully follow your doctor’s advice. Most importantly, this helps you recover as fully and as quickly as you can. Because of that, following your doctor’s advice is important to not compromise your claim. Failing to follow a doctor’s advice is a standard thing the insurance company uses to reduce or deny your compensation. Insurance companies do not trust what you have to say about your recovery. They rely on medical records. To this end, when you see a doctor after a crash, spell out “everything” that you are having issues with and do not hold any information back.

If you need to, make a list before you see a doctor to cover all the issues you are experiencing. I think this is important. Even in the best of circumstances, a patient typically doesn’t remember everything the patient wants to talk to the doctor about. But accident survivors can be under a lot of stress and are even more likely to forget to mention all of the things they are worried about after a crash. Try not to leave out anything and above all else, follow exactly what the doctor says to do. If that means using crutches or a wheelchair, do it. If that means doing at home stretching exercises, do it. If that means you need physical therapy or remedial massage therapy, do it. And, keep a journal of every appointment, because if you do not follow medical advice, insurance companies would love to reduce the full value of your claim.

While you are documenting your therapy appointments, also keep track of any other injuries you sustained and how they affected you. Take pictures of your initial injuries, and during the recovery process. Why do this? This is because accident survivors are often asked to describe how the collision affected them and affected their families. Ask your family to help you write the journal as they often see things you do not. Those who document their injuries for their attorney often have a better outcome when it comes to insurance settlements or court awards. That also means your information is only seen by “your” lawyer.

Try not to be in a rush to settle. This is because most insurance companies try to make a first lowball offer and suggest that is the best they can do. Under no circumstances should you do this. If you settle early and then find out that you’re hurt worse than you thought or that you are not healing the way expected, you’ve given up your claims. Wait until the doctor says you are better. Do not accept any settlement from an insurance company without having a lengthy discussion with your attorney. Your attorney is acting to protect your legal rights and working to ensure you get a fair and equitable settlement. 

Also, do not provide a recorded statement. This is just another sneaky tactic for the insurance company to try and get you to say something that torpedoes or reduces your claim. Tell the insurance company to contact your car accident attorney.

If you do not know what to do after a car accident, make the first phone call to an experienced personal attorney. They protect your legal rights, ensure you are not taken advantage of, and keep the rapacious insurance companies off your back. Your first consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney is usually free. Take advantage of that. It could mean the difference between an insurance company ripping you off and obtaining fair compensation because you had a personal injury attorney in your corner.

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