The short answer is that it is still possible to get medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Getting proper treatment takes persistence during these times and may not involve an in-person meeting with a physician, nurse, or physical therapist but treatment is still available.
Several of our lawyers focus on helping folks who get hurt in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and a variety of other incidents involving serious injury and death. As an aside, please always look for motorcycles on our roads as the weather continues to get warmer.
We have been receiving a lot of questions about seeking medical treatment during the COVID-19 quarantine. Below is a short summary of some advice we give our clients.
Keep treating, whether in-person or via tele-medicine
You will not be turned away from an emergency room if you suffer serious injury. In Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, ambulance and medic flights continue to take victims suffering serious injury directly to the emergency room. If you are injured, however, the emergency room is not always necessary.
After any injury, talk to your family or primary care doctor. The doctor who knows the most about your past medical history is in the best position to offer treatment advice and send you to the proper specialists to make sure you get the best medical care. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, we anticipate insurance companies and insurance carrier lawyers will argue that any “gap in treatment” reduces claim value, so we recommend you continue to get care if you are in need.
Even if a physical face-to-face examination is not possible, tele-medicine is becoming increasingly popular. Many family physicians are offering consultations through Facetime and Zoom. These options allow you to continue receiving the care you need while also protecting your doctor and you.
Continue home therapy and track your progress
Most doctors are willing to provide physical therapy programs that can be completed at home. Please document your progress so you can recall the details of your daily routine in the event you are later asked questions about your recovery at a deposition. Many injury cases are litigated several years after the incident causing injury. Keeping a diary and taking pictures at the request of and for your lawyer will help you recall all the details of a time that you would rather not remember.
We strongly prefer you get treatment provider recommendations from your primary care physician, but if you are having difficulty finding specialists to help during this time, our office is happy to send names of physicians who are willing to help.