Injured – But Afraid to Go to the E.R. Can I Still Sue?

Apr 24, 2020 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers - Emergency Room

Credit: Amir Levy


I got a call this week from a person who was rear-ended and wanted to know if he had a case. He said he was suffering pain but was afraid to go to the emergency room. He feared catching the COVID-19 virus and, therefore, was trying to treat himself at home.

I told him what I am telling you. If you do not seek medical care, you probably do not have a case — at least for your pain and suffering.

As a lawyer, I must prove that you were injured. If you do not seek treatment, that is very tough to prove.

Here is what I suggested. Call a doctor or chiropractor who can examine you by tele-consulting over the internet and through your home computer or phone. It is not as good as getting a physical exam but is better than nothing. At least it documents that you were injured. Then when things get better, perhaps in a few weeks, you will feel more comfortable letting a doctor more thoroughly examine you.

Now I will let the doctors discuss the medicine, but my first advice to clients is always to get treatment. As I explain it, their job is to get better. I’ll take care of the rest of it.

Now, don’t think going to the E.R. is the only way to get relief. Consider an Urgent Care facility where there are fewer people. Plus, even though their offices are technically closed, a number of doctors will physically see you if you really need treatment. Call them. You might be surprised at just how helpful these caring men and women can be.

If you are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer a personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are working remotely mostly but are always available.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama personal injury lawyer