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Will Declining Opioid Medication Hurt My Uber Accident Claim?

If your doctor prescribed opioids during your Uber car accident claim and you refuse it, will that end up hurting your claim?

Two out of three drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2018 involved an opioid. These are substances commonly prescribed for pain, as they can alter the brain’s perception of it and make life a bit easier if you’re dealing with high levels of pain.

Opioids can be highly addictive. However, doctors continue to prescribe them. If your doctor prescribed opioids during your Uber car accident claim and you refuse it, will that end up hurting your claim?

opioids after uber car accident

What Refusing Treatment Means

Nobody can force you to take any drug or undergo any medical procedure without your explicit consent. However, if you cannot give it, like if you’re unconscious, then a medical proxy will, who is usually an immediate family member, unless you specifically design a person as your proxy.

Under normal circumstances, if a doctor wants to prescribe you opioids and you refuse, they can recommend another course of treatment, and that’s that. But in a car accident claim, especially against Uber, refusing treatment can be interpreted as something else.

Specifically, Uber’s insurance company may try arguing you are negligent by not following the recommended treatment. In a car accident claim, where you want to get the other party to cover your medical costs and pain and suffering, an important thing any lawyer will tell you is that you need to follow the doctor’s orders to the letter. If not, the insurance company may argue you are faking your symptoms or risking your own health, in which case they should not be held responsible.

What It Means When You Refuse Opioids

There is a difference between talking to your doctor about your concerns about taking opioids and just not taking them even if they are prescribed. For example, most doctors will likely prescribe an alternative medication for pain if you tell them you don’t want to take opioids for the following reasons:

  • You are a recovering addict.
  • You have a history/family history of substance abuse
  • You are worried the dosages or length of treatment increase your risks of addiction

On the other hand, if you do not have this conversation with your doctor, it gives the insurance company ammunition to fight your Uber car accident claim. Opioids are strong, and doctors should generally only consider prescribing them when intense pain is involved. If you don’t take the prescribed opioids, the insurance company may think you are lying about how much pain you feel – after all if the pain level was high, wouldn’t you want the strongest meds?

Why Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Attorney?

Declining medication could potentially make for a difficult case. It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer, especially if you’re going up against a company like Uber.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: July 16, 2023