Gap In Treatment
In motor vehicles, where only a “serious injury” can sustain a lawsuit for pain and suffering, a “gap in treatment” is frequently argued by defendants to mean that the plaintiff has fully recovered from any injuries sustained and courts will rely on this doctrine in dismissing cases, where they find that a “gap in treatment” is actually a cessation of treatment. It cannot be stressed enough that medical documentation is the necessary foundation of any personal injury case and the absence of documentation or insufficient documentation will be used against you. While it is preferable from a legal standpoint that an injured plaintiff treat consistently from the time of the accident all the way up to the resolution of their case, this is not always possible and over the course of a number of years, defenses to the “gap in treatment” argument, in the form of an “adequate explanation” have emerged. The first of these defenses is known as maximum medical improvement, which in lay terms simply means that even though your injured body parts have not fully healed to their pre-accident state, medical attention to those injuries has done all it possibly can and further treatment, though it may make the victim feel better, will not do anymore from a medical perspective to heal the body or improve its functionality. The second of the defenses to a “gap in treatment” is where treatment which is deemed medically beneficial and necessary by your treating physician is terminated as a result of the no-fault insurance carrier denying medical benefits and refusing to pay for further treatment. It is up to your attorney to gather the appropriate documentation and advise you on how to avoid falling into the “gap in treatment” pitfall and it is your job to do anything and everything in your power to make sure that your injuries get the medical attention they need. Anything less risks dismissal of an otherwise valid case.