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Delaying Non-Critical Medical Care on Accident Claims

Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries that can take months, even years, to recover from. Whether it’s a spinal cord injury or damaged organs, these injuries can require a series of doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and other treatments to heal the body. Whether you are pursuing a slip and fall claim, automobile accident claims, or a dog bite claim, it’s vital to adhere to your doctor’s advice and complete the medical care regimen recommended by your medical team. Moreover, it helps establish the validity of your claim and demonstrates the true extent of your injuries and the impact they have caused.

Unfortunately, the current spread of COVID-19 across the country means that many hospitals and medical providers in California, New York, and elsewhere are temporarily suspending non-critical medical treatments and elective surgical procedures. This means that many patients who are undergoing physical therapy, restorative surgeries, etc. are going to have to wait until this crisis passes before they can resume their treatments.

This has not happened in Colorado, and neither Governor Polis or the Colorado Department of Public Health have ordered such measures at this point. Most medical providers have initiated enhanced sterilization procedures, and most remain open. However, it could happen if the number of people infected begins to overwhelm healthcare systems in the region. If this happens, individuals currently pursuing accident claims should save and retain copies of all communications from their medical provider that clearly states the reasons treatments were suspended and the estimated timeframe for resuming medical care.

This is an extremely unusual situation, and we are confident that the courts will take any delays or lapses in treatment during this period into account when considering accident claims in the near future. For now, plaintiffs in motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, etc., should adhere to their doctor’s advice and recommendations. This means completing all scheduled physical therapy sessions, treatments, planned surgical procedures, and ensuring that they have sufficient medical supplies to treat their injuries. Further, individuals should speak with their medical provider about steps they can take to avoid exacerbating and worsening their specific injuries until treatments and therapies can resume.

For more information about medical care and accident claims, contact Sloat, Nicholson, and Hoover at (303) 447-1144. We will answer your questions and give you the guidance you can depend on.

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