Many times, people who were in car accidents tend to forgo medical treatment for several reasons. The main reason is they feel fine and think that going to the doctor would be a waste of time. It is also possible they feel the rush of adrenaline and do not feel any pain yet. They may want to see whether their car has been damaged and what they need to do to have it repaired.
However, a car accident lawyer at The Pendergrass Law Firm would tell you that it is important to seek medical treatment after an accident, regardless of how you feel. Many people disregard their health only to discover later that they suffered injuries for which they cannot file a claim. Make a note of this fact and see a doctor as soon as possible after being in a car accident.
What to Do After Going to the Doctor
After going to the doctor and receiving a complete checkup, consider talking to a car accident attorney. They can help you determine your damages, identify the parties who might be at fault, and pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf. There is also no risk of speaking to a lawyer. You will find that most car accident attorneys offer you a no-obligation initial consultation to talk about your case.
Why Are Injuries After a Car Accident Not Always Obvious?
It is common for people to feel fine immediately after being in a car accident. However, it is also common for injuries not to be immediately apparent. Some injuries may be internal, and others may take hours or days before you experience any symptoms.
People may be in shock after an accident, masking any pain or undetected injury. Surprisingly, this state of shock has been known to last days or weeks. During this time, your injuries may worsen without your knowledge.
What you should know is that if you take your time going to a doctor, it may be difficult to link your injuries to the accident. By making an appointment with a healthcare provider and advising them that you have recently been in a car accident, you can learn what to expect in the following weeks and be on the lookout for any possible consequences of the accident.
Documenting Your Injuries Is Invaluable in Court
If you file a personal injury claim and the case ends up in court, failing to promptly seek medical care after the car accident may ruin your chances of proving your case. In some cases, it may be impossible to get medical attention right away, but you should do so within 48 to 72 hours of the car crash.
If you do not act quickly to ensure your health, you suggest to the other party and the insurance companies that you are not too concerned about your injuries. The insurance adjuster may conclude that your injuries cannot be serious. When deciding how much your claim is worth, not seeking medical attention after the accident can be used as evidence that you are either not hurt at all or that your injuries are insignificant, regardless of how severe the diagnosis turns out to be later on.
In short, by not seeking prompt medical treatment, you have given the insurance adjuster or the defense attorney an argument to use against you. This places them in a strong position that allows them to offer you very little for your claim, or they may deny it outright.
Don’t deny medical treatment if it is offered to you at the scene of the accident and never put off seeking it on your own if it isn’t.
Take Care of Your Health
Leaving the legal aspect of the accident aside, you should always be concerned about your health. Keep in mind that not all injuries can be treated if you wait too long to get a diagnosis. What might have started as a light headache from hitting your head on the steering wheel may later turn out to be a traumatic brain injury. You don’t want to discover later that the injury has become permanent because it was not treated during its early stages.