Should I see a doctor after my car accident? The short answer is: YES, IMMEDIATELY.
But it’s important to understand why you need to see a doctor, even if you “feel fine.” Because you may be injured more than you think.
Have you ever overextended yourself, done a more strenuous workout that you’ve never done before, or tried a new piece of exercise equipment? If so, you’ve probably said to yourself, “I’m really going to feel this tomorrow.” The exact same thing can happen after an accident.
After a car crash, the adrenaline and emotional rush coupled with confusion can mask injuries. You may not feel anything for quite a while. But a day, a few days, a week, or even longer, you’ll start to feel the full force of your injuries. Depending on the type of injury, you may not feel anything for quite some time. Without a prompt medical exam, you may not know how badly you’re injured.
Serious injuries can happen during even minor car accidents. Whiplash, internal injuries bleeding, and other wounds may not be obvious right away. For example: after the accident, you go home instead of to the ER. A few days later, you begin having trouble breathing. It’s painful and difficult to breathe, and you’re not sure why. This may indicate rib fractures, which are causing pain with inhaling. That’s why an immediate medical exam is vital after an accident.
Preserve The Evidence
Another benefit to a prompt medical exam is to preserve all medical evidence related to your accident.
Whether you visit an emergency room, urgent care facility, or your doctor’s office right after the accident, the facility will perform several medical tests. This could include MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays. These test results are valuable evidence for your accident claim. They demonstrate your current post-crash medical condition and provide important evidence for your injuries. Additional evidence can include receipts for these tests, doctor visits, prescriptions, and co-payments.
Too many people decline to receive medical care after they’ve been involved in an accident, believing they aren’t injured. The thinking is that they can “always go to the hospital if something gets worse.” Unfortunately, that’s not the best idea. If you go to the hospital immediately, it establishes a baseline for your injuries, as well as the accident. If you return to the hospital, your symptoms could have worsened. The first visit establishes a baseline and lays the foundation for future accident-related treatment.
The adrenaline rush after a car accident makes clear-headed thinking difficult. But it’s important to stay calm to assess the condition of yourself and any of your passengers and seek assistance.
Making Your Case
Without an immediate medical exam, your insurance company or that of the other party can offer the defense that you were not seriously injured because you did not see a doctor right away.
Following the accident, seeing a doctor, visiting an emergency room, or subsequent doctors’ appointments right away can save your life or at a minimum begin treatment of injuries. You’ll also create a “paper trail” to show that you were injured. You’re more likely to receive a fair settlement to compensate you for your expenses with the proper proof.
Maybe you really aren’t injured after the accident, but you won’t know that until you see a doctor. Injuries that don’t manifest until a few days or weeks later can damage your chances of getting full compensation.
Once you have seen a doctor and gathered up the evidence you have, the next step is to seek the services of a good car accident attorney. It’s important to find one who can help you navigate through the next days, weeks, and months.
Remember always refer accident-related calls to your attorney. Speaking to an insurance company representative on your own can lose your case for you before you’ve even had a chance to present your evidence. You should not be talking with your own insurance company, or haggling with the other parties yourself. By seeing your doctor after your accident, you will have good information to share with your attorney. An experienced accident attorney understands the process and can ensure that you are adequately represented and receive a fair settlement.
Charleston’s Accident Attorney
An accident of any kind can happen anytime, anywhere, with car accidents being all too common. Once the initial shock is over and you move into recovery mode, you have more details to handle. Get help from an experienced attorney to guide you through the process, make sure you’re treated fairly, and get the compensation you need.
The Love Law Firm is ready to help. Call us today at 304-344-5683 or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in an accident settlement. Our contingency fee arrangement means that if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a fee.