Getting into a car accident that causes injuries is always stressful and confusing. For some people, their injuries are minor and require little to no recovery time. For others, they are not so lucky. Some car accidents cause serious injuries, like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and crushing injuries. These injuries can leave victims with permanent disabilities and a lifetime of trauma.
Finding out that you’ve been severely injured because of a car accident can be scary. But it can be just as scary to be seriously injured and not know it. Some people question how it’s possible to be seriously injured from a car accident and not know it, but this happens all the time. Vehicle collisions are often sudden, jarring, and shocking. This leads to a massive amount of adrenaline being pumped to the brain that can easily mask all types of injuries. Of course, this shock eventually wears off and injuries are revealed. But it’s crucial to get medical treatment shortly after an accident for this very reason.
When Should I get Medical Treatment after a Car Accident?
According to Driver Knowledge, more than 90 people die in car accidents every single day. Additionally, some 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents. Of those, 2 million people experience permanent injuries because of their car accident. Serious injuries from car accidents are not rare. Millions of people experience it every year. And if it happens to you, you need to know what to do.
After you are involved in a serious car accident, getting medical attention should be your first priority. Personal injury attorneys recommend sticking around after your accident to collect evidence, but this only applies if you are able to. If you know or suspect that you are seriously injured, you should immediately go to the emergency room or to a primary care physician.
Make sure to tell the treating doctor that your injuries occurred because of a car accident so they can note this in your medical records. This is important for a multitude of reasons that involve insurance coverage and evidence for a potential car accident injury claim. Once you receive initial medical treatment, it is important to take your doctor’s advice and begin focusing on your health.
You Need to Take Care of Yourself and Your Health
Taking care of yourself should be your number one priority after your accident occurs. Car accidents can cause significant injuries, they may cause significant emotional damage, and they can lead to extensive medical treatment, lost income and huge medical bills.
With personal injuries, it is important that you make your health your main priority. Follow all your physician’s orders, like taking your medicines, getting bedrest, or attending physical therapy. Also, make sure that you are not rushing back into your daily routine and that you are taking the proper time to recover. This could mean following your doctor’s orders of not going back to work too soon.
Injuries from a car accident are already devastating enough. And failing to properly take care of yourself after the incident will only make things worse.
Avoid Giving Insurance Companies a Reason to Deny Your Claim
When you delay medical treatment after a personal injury incident, insurance companies may try to argue that your pain and injuries aren’t as valid since they weren’t severe enough for you to seek treatment right away. Because insurance companies want to settle your claim for the least amount of money as possible, they may use your delay in receiving treatment as an argument against your case.
For example, they might say you shouldn’t receive as much compensation because your injuries weren’t severe enough to warrant an immediate trip to the emergency room. Or they may use the argument that if you really had a severe injury, you would have known immediately. As we know, there are many reasons someone may delay their treatment or not notice an injury, but no matter how valid the reason is, the insurance companies will likely try to use it against you.
Delaying Treatment May Make It More Difficult to Link your Accident to Your Injuries
An insurance company may use your delay in treatment as an excuse to offer you a low settlement. They may attempt to push the narrative that there is a disconnect between your accident and your injuries.
Let’s consider if you were injured and then waited a week to receive medical treatment. In certain cases, this could make it more difficult to prove that the injury you are claiming occurred because of the car accident. If you delay treatment, insurance companies may try to cast doubt on your injuries by proposing that your injuries may have been caused by some other event that happened after the accident. This can be argued against by an experienced attorney using evidence like property damage photos and police reports. But if your injuries are internal or not clearly visible, it may become more challenging to argue. Seeking medical treatment as soon as practicable after an accident helps rule out any possibility of a “delay” being used against you.
Medical Treatment Establishes Critical Evidence for a Lawsuit
Thinking about how you are going to handle your potential injury claim isn’t usually at the forefront of a person’s mind immediately after an accident. But knowing what steps to take to protect your claim before the accident ever happens is important in making sure you can establish a strong case if and when an injury occurs. One of the elements that helps your claim is documentation of your injuries through medical treatment right after the accident. Medical treatment means medical records, which are an important piece of evidence later. Everything that happens to you medically–whether it be conversations with a specialist, physical therapy appointments, surgery, or a diagnosis–will all be documented in your medical records. These records will likely also include diagnostic imaging, doctor’s notes, treatments, prognosis, medications, and more.
This medical documentation will provide lots of evidence to support your injury claim. And it will make it much easier to create a timeline of your injuries.
Making Sure to Follow Up with Treatment Ensures Your Long-term Recovery
Not only is immediate medical attention incredibly important, but so is receiving necessary follow-up care. You should listen to any advice that your doctors give you and meet with any specialists they suggest. If your doctor asks you to return for follow-up treatment or a check-up, you should make it a priority not to miss these appointments. Not listening to their advice or not following up with your care might make insurance companies suspicious that your injury wasn’t as serious as you claim it to be. Of course, this follow-up care also helps to ensure that you have a smooth recovery.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Immediately After a Car Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. After you receive ER or immediate care medical treatment, and before you file an insurance claim, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights and options. The lawyers at Abels & Annes have years of experience working on personal injury cases that result in catastrophic injuries. Further, we are ready to put that experience to work for you. For more information or for a free case evaluation, please contact us online, by using the chat feature below, or by calling 312-924-7575.