If you are involved in a serious auto accident, emergency medical responders will most likely come to the scene, evaluate your injuries, and take you to the nearest hospital to receive the medical care that you need.
However, things may work a little differently if you’re involved in a less severe accident, such as a fender bender. You may not want to overreact, so after exchanging information with the other driver, you go back home without seeking medical attention.
This is a common mistake that many individuals make after being involved in minor collisions—and one that could be detrimental to your car accident claim. Here’s why you should always seek medical attention after a car collision, no matter how minor it appears to be at first glance.
Your immediate health and safety are the most important. While you may not immediately feel the symptoms of an injury after an accident, some injuries take hours, weeks or even days to manifest:
This occurs due to the forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck, causing neck pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. While some symptoms develop within 24 hours, others may take multiple days.
Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and skull fractures are some of the most severe injuries that the human body can withstand. Some of these are evident immediately due to bleeding or bruising. However, some head injuries have delayed symptoms such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, or amnesia.
Neck and Spinal Injuries
Not all neck and spinal injuries lead to extreme cases of paralysis. You might just believe you have back pain or a kink in your neck. However,these symptoms could mean damage to your spinal discs, neck muscles or ligaments, or even your vertebrae.
Medical Records As Evidence
Remember that you should never attempt to diagnose your symptoms at home. If you experience any pain or injury symptoms after an accident, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. This will protect your rights to compensation later on.
This statement applies to situations where you don’t believe that you were injured right after the accident. Sometimes, the adrenaline rush of the accident can make you completely unaware of an injury.
Medical records are one of the main pieces of evidence that your personal injury attorney will use to prove your claim. This information will be presented to show that your injuries were directly caused by the accident at hand, which in turn, was caused due to the negligence of the other driver.
Claims by the Insurance Company
We know from experience that insurance companies will do everything they can to deny paying out personal injury claims. This means that they will be scrutinizing each and every step you take after the accident to determine if you slip up anywhere. The insurance adjusters investigating your claim may say that:
You Did Not Seek Immediate Medical Attention.
If you don’t seek medical attention after the accident, the insurance company may try to use this to their advantage and claim that you did not actually sustain your injuries in the accident. Let’s say you wait a week before feeling pain and seeking medical attention. The insurance adjuster may say that there’s no way to prove that your pain was due to the accident the week prior, leaving you with medical bills that you may not be able to pay for alone.
You Did Not Follow the Doctor’s Orders.
After seeking medical attention, you are required to follow the doctor’s orders to help recover. Failing to do so could show that you did not take the steps necessary to heal, which means the insurance company may deny your claim. For instance, the adjuster may try to claim that you only sustained a minor injury, but since you did not follow the doctor’s orders, your injury was made much worse than it should have been.
You Did Not Continue Treatment.
Your doctor may have prescribed you long-term treatment for your injury, such as a torn ligament. You may have stopped treatment against the doctor’s orders. The insurance adjuster may try to claim that your lost wages and long-term injuries were due to the fact that you failed to continue the treatment you were supposed to complete. This may mean you could lose out on compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing medical treatment.
Don’t let this be the case with your injury. To avoid these scenarios, always seek medical treatment after an accident, no matter how big or small it seems to be. After this initial medical diagnosis, you will have a clear understanding of your injuries. You may need legal representation, in which case, our personal injury attorneys are here to fight for your financial recovery so that you can focus on healing.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you need a team of legal advocates to help ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of your rights. With over 140 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci are the skilled fighters you want on your side of the court. We will look at the details of your case to determine a personalized legal strategy and fight to help you obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries.
We are licensed to represent clients in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Contact our firm at (833) 600-0125 to schedule your free case review.