What is the legal importance of going to my medical appointments?

If you are injured in a Nova Scotia accident through the negligence of another party, you have the right to bring a claim forward for your personal injuries and losses.

The burden of proof rests with the person who is bringing an injury claim. They have to prove negligence and the existence of an resulting injury on a balance of probabilities (in other words, more likely than not). During an injury claim, usually a lawyer will act on your behalf to prove your losses through the court process. However, even if you have an injury lawyer involved to represent you in a personal injury case, you have a significant role to play as well.

It is important to understand that an injured person has a responsibility to mitigate their losses. This means that you will need to do whatever is reasonable to try return to yourself to your previous levels of health and to limit your losses.

For instance, if you are injured in a car accident and bring a claim against the insurance company of a negligent driver, the law expects you to seek out medical treatment for your injuries and follow through with the recommendations of their treatment providers (such as doctors, physiotherapists, specialists, and so on). The party who caused the injuries will not be responsible for losses which may not have arisen if the injured party fails to make proper and reasonable attempts to resolve their injuries. In other words, the insurance company will not have to compensate an injured person for losses that could have been avoided through that person’s own reasonable efforts.

It is very important to make sure you access the appropriate treatment, but beyond this is it important to follow the recommendations and advice of your treatment providers. Failing to do this (or, failing to “mitigate”) could have negative impacts on your return to health and could significantly reduce the otherwise fair compensation you may be entitled to in an injury claim. The legal rationale is that if you had followed the recommendations or your treatment providers, you may have recovered from your injuries earlier and had fewer complications with getting back to your ordinary tasks.

Going through treatment after being injured in an accident can be time consuming and can be a difficult adjustment on your schedule. However, it is always important to keep the long-term benefits in mind, which are best achieved by making sure you seek out and follow the advice of your treatment providers.

If you are a loved one have been injured in an accident, it is highly recommended that you discuss your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Doing so can make sure you get on the right track for treatment and maximize your prospects of getting back to your pre-accident health.

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