What If I Refused Medical Treatment After My Accident?

Aug 31, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Male holding his head after a car accident injury

Refusing medical treatment immediately following an accident does not make you ineligible for pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver. However, you’ll still need to prove that your injuries are the direct result of the accident.

The sooner you seek medical care after an accident, the better. It will be far easier to prove correlations between your injuries and the accident if a doctor has documented those injuries shortly after the accident.

Read on to learn the benefits of seeking care soon after an accident and when it might be time to talk to an attorney. 

Reasons to Seek Medical Care After an Accident

Seeking medical care after an accident is wise, even if you think you feel fine. So whether your accident was a few hours ago or a few days ago, you should schedule a visit with your primary care physician. You’ll experience the following benefits from making one quick appointment:

  • Review any medical concerns, including minor aches and pains that could have severe underlying causes
  • Prevent minor injuries from becoming serious ones by catching them early and beginning treatment.
  • Recover quickly by starting treatment immediately after the accident.
  • Prove compliance with your doctor’s care plan when pursuing a personal injury claim.
  • Document the injuries in case you decide to file a claim against the at-fault party. The longer time there is between the accident and your medical evaluation, the easier it will be for the other party to call into question the cause of your injuries.


Virginia Contributory Negligence Law

Failing to seek medical care quickly and follow your doctor’s care plan could give the insurance company grounds to claim contributory negligence. Or, something that you say during your interactions with the insurance company could become evidence in a case against you to prove you contributed to the accident that led to your injuries.

And if the insurance company succeeds in proving contributory negligence, you’ll be barred from recovering damages for your injuries under Virginia’s contributory negligence law. It’s a very strict law that only four states in the country follow.

Even if you’re found to be only one percent at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to pursue financial damages against the person or entity responsible for the other 99 percent. This is why it is important to work with an attorney from the start to avoid missteps and recorded statements.

When Is It Time to Talk to an Attorney?

Many people will tell you that a clear sign it’s time to talk to an attorney is when the insurance company starts giving you a hard time about paying your bills. The challenge with that advice is that you’ll have already begun discussing the claim with the insurance company and be at risk of having said or done the wrong thing.

The best time to talk with an attorney is once you know you’ve suffered injuries due to an accident. You want to engage the advice of an attorney long before you start discussing the claim with the insurance company. This will protect your rights and arm you with valuable information about how to work with the insurance company and what pitfalls to avoid during those discussions.

Sadly, insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. They are working to limit their liabilities and close out claims as quickly as possible. That means getting victims to accept low settlement agreements before they know the full extent of their injuries or the correlating expenses.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation Regarding Your Accident

Geoff McDonald & Associates offers a free consultation to prepare you for interactions with an insurance company and arm you with knowledge about how to document your injuries and expenses. Schedule your free consultation now. 


Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    How Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen in Virginia?

    In 2022, over 2,000 motorcycle crashes occurred in Virginia, accounting for only 1.7% of all traffic collisions but over 10% of serious traffic injuries. If you’re a rider, you should be extra careful on the roads and avoid the motorcycle collision causes we mention...

    How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents in Virginia?

    Power trucking accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents, and they differ significantly from car accidents in several ways. The most apparent difference between a truck and a car is their size and weight. Trucks are much bigger and heavier than...

    What to Do if You’re Hurt in a Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

    Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage, and multi-vehicle accidents can dramatically increase those risks.  Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles, which also complicates determining fault and...

    How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case in Virginia?

    Truck accidents are some of the deadliest vehicle accidents that occur across Virginia, especially when commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck collision, you may ask, “Do I have a valid truck accident case?”...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald