If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how difficult your life can get. Not only you do have to deal with painful injuries, but there are all of the doctor’s appointments that you need to go to and make time for. It is not uncommon to have 4-5 doctor visits a week, if not more, following an accident. This can be not only daunting, but overwhelming.
I can’t tell you how many times I speak with people who have been in an accident express their frustration and difficulty in keeping up with all of the appointments – it truly is like having a second job, as the hours can really add up in a week. Many people simply give up care and stop going, because it can be just too overwhelming – which is exactly what the insurance company is hoping you will do. The following pointers are meant to keep you on track so you do not lose faith.
Keep an electronic calendar
So far as I know, every cell phone out there has an electronic calendar on it that will allow you to enter appointments. Use it to your advantage and make sure you are tracking and recording your appointments so you don’t miss any. Also, make sure you set reminders to go off at least 30 minutes in advance. Using an electronic calendar is also a good way to keep an accurate record of hours missed in the event you present a wage loss claim.
Group appointments together
To the extent you can, try to coordinate your care so that you are scheduling your appointments as close together as possible. That way, you can limit the impact your appointments will have on your day.
Ask about alternate hours
Many offices have hours before and after typical 9-5 work days, so see what is available. Also, some offices are open for limited times on weekends. The more flexible the provider is, the easier it will be to get the care you need. If the provider does not advertise they are open alternate hours, be sure to ask. You never know.
Talk to your employer
People seem to have a tendency to keep their employer in the dark regarding an accident. Some people feel like they will get treated differently, or they won’t get the “good” assignment, etc., but more often than not your employer will work with you to make sure you have the time needed to get to doctor’s appointments. Remember, if you do miss time from work and are able to use sick time, PTO time or vacation time, keep a record of that as well because you will be able to claim that as part of your economic loss from the accident. Even if your paycheck remains the same, the fact that you had to use benefits to keep it that way which you would not have used “but for” the accident, means the insurance company has to pay you back for that.
Remember, the worst time after an accident is typically in that first 3-6 months, so hang in there and make sure you are doing everything you can to keep those appointments. If you miss appointments, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will make one of the following assumptions, neither of which are to your benefit: (1) you missed appointments because you really weren’t that hurt to begin with, or (2) you would have healed much quicker had you followed the treatment plan as recommended by your doctors – both of which can affect your claim.
If you are stressed and overwhelmed about getting the care you need following an accident, the attorneys at Adler Giersch, PS are standing by to help you.