How Important is Medical Treatment After an Accident?
If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, one of two things has resulted. Either your injuries were sufficiently serious to require immediate medical treatment and attention, or they weren’t. In fact, after the incident, it’s easy to believe that any injuries you may have suffered are either minor or completely nonexistent. You may even think that seeing a doctor at this point would be overkill.
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Your body is not accustomed to be slammed around which happens when a hard hit occurs in an accident. Often these impacts are so heavy and happen so fast the occupant does not even realize how badly the ligaments in their body was stretched or torn. Signs of a herniated disk are also difficult to detect when the accident first occurs as the swelling, soreness and pain have not yet revealed themselves for a while. Another factor is an accident is a big adrenaline rush- your body running on adrenaline can also mask any pain you may be feeling.
After any accident, medical attention is vital not only to protect your health but also to ensure your chances for mounting a successful insurance claim or winning a possible lawsuit. While you may be tempted to just wait and see if the pain goes away or simply tough it out, that’s the worst decision you could make.
For one thing, it is entirely possible that you have suffered more serious harm than you realized at first. Many accidental injuries do not announce their presence immediately, especially when adrenaline and nervous excitement arise to mask the pain. It could take hours to realize the full extent of your injuries and to feel the pain. While you yourself may not recognize the problem, an experienced doctor will know immediately.
It is also important to realize that any insurance adjuster with whom you may have dealings is not really working for you. These individuals care only about protecting the bottom line of the companies for which they work. The same is true of the person responsible for having caused your accident and the lawyer who represents him. Although they may want you to think otherwise, their own financial health is their only true concern.
How Delaying a Medical Exam Will Cost You
After any accident, it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon after the accident as you possibly can and in no case longer than 72 hours after it has occurred. There are two main reasons for this. The first, of course, is to protect your own physical condition and speed your chances for a full recovery. The second, however, concerns your chances of obtaining a satisfactory insurance settlement or winning a personal injury lawsuit.
That’s because any delay in treatment will make it difficult to tie the physical problems from which you suffer to the accident that you know is responsible for having caused them. Insurance companies will be the first to insist that the troubles from which you were suffering one week later have nothing to do with the original accident.
In fact, many insurers now use software programs to help them arrive at what they believe to be an adequate settlement amount. The adjuster feeds all he knows about your case into the computer, including the length of time that elapsed between the accident itself and the date on which you visited a doctor.
The software is programmed to reduce the amount of your settlement, and it places great weight on any delay in seeking treatment. If you played it smart and visited a doctor within 72 hours following the incident, the results will skew in your favor. However, any delay in seeking treatment will have the opposite effect.
Where you go for medical treatment really makes no difference. You can visit your family doctor, a chiropractor, a walk-in clinic or your local emergency room. If your regular physician can’t see you immediately, then go to the hospital or an urgent care facility. Exactly where you go to get checked out is not that critical. The important thing is that you get there within 72 hours and then continue to treat consistently.
Remember to obtain all medical records related to your initial doctor visit and to all subsequent follow-ups. While police reports, witness statements and photographic evidence will all serve as vital documentation, your medical records will stand as your only proof of how badly you were injured.
Seeing a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident
After any car, truck or motorcycle accident, the immediate receipt of medical attention is imperative not only for protecting your health but also for safeguarding your legal and financial concerns. Any delay in obtaining treatment can cost you in several ways.
If you have any legal concerns following your accident, the personal injury lawyers at Lloyd Baker Powerhouse Injury Attorneys will provide you with the dynamic and conscientious representation you deserve and require. Contact our offices today for a complimentary review of your case. We can visit you at your home or hospital room if you are too injured to travel.