Consistent, effective medical treatment is absolutely essential to the success of any personal injury claim. Without documented, recent medical treatment it is impossible to prove that an injury victims was objectively hurt by the carelessness of another person or company. More importantly, a person that has been hurt due to no fault of their own deserves every opportunity to get better and restore what has been lost medically. The recent global pandemic has definitely had an adverse impact on personal injury cases in this area. At the Ferguson Law Group our personal injury attorneys have seen an increase in the following
- Gaps in treatment between the time of an accident and a person first seeking medical care,
- Reluctance and anxiety to seek medical treatment for fear of contracting COVID-19,
- Total abandonment of good personal injury claims,
Telemedicine presents a clear answer to this growing problem. Through telemedicine an injury victim is able to visit with a medical provider via video on their phone, tablet or computer. Telemedicine visits provide face to face interaction with the provider so that the injury victim can communicate symptoms as well as a medical history. Providers can also conduct some basic physical tests such as asking patients to raise their arms, legs or move joints. From these visits, a medical provider may prescribe medication or medical devices, order diagnostic testing and provide home treatment options to patients. Certainly some medical diagnostics still require in-person visits, such as MRI's or x-rays. Likewise, if a patient needs surgery, epidural steroid injections or other medical procedures an actual visit to the facility is required. However, telemedicine does answer the question to some of the basic treatment requirements of an injury victim. Moreover, telemedicine cuts off gaps in treatment, prevents abandonment of claims and provides documented, medical proof of injuries.
As we face more lockdowns due COVID-19 or future pandemics telemedicine will only grow in terms of usage and effectiveness. As telemedicine grows in popularity, we will hopefully see its use become more accepted in rural areas of Georgia and Alabama where obtaining high-quality, timely medical care following an accident is frequently impossible. Also, the use of telemedicine will prevent gaps in treatment or missed appointments during longer periods of inclement weather.