After a motor vehicle accident, it's tempting to ignore seeing a doctor, especially when you don’t think you’re badly injured. However, there’s no reason to put off seeking medical treatment, even if you think your headache will go away when you drink water or your injuries will heal without stitches. Don’t wait for your cuts to get infected or your headache to worsen and become a dangerously untreated traumatic brain injury before seeing a doctor after a car accident.
Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident can lead to better health outcomes. Also, your detailed medical records can serve as valuable evidence when you decide to file a personal injury claim. So, after being involved in a motor vehicle crash, it’s essential to seek medical attention right away to protect your legal rights to financial compensation and protect your health. Most insurance companies require that policyholders seek medical attention within a certain amount of time before filing an insurance claim for monetary compensation.
There are many reasons why it's essential to seek medical care from a medical professional as soon as possible after an auto accident besides your own well-being.
The first is to make sure you adhere to your car insurance company’s personal injury protection (PIP) requirements. Some insurance policies have a limited amount of time you have to seek medical attention in order to receive fair compensation.
Most medical costs that arise from common injuries are covered under PIP. This is a type of insurance coverage offered in some car insurance policies. To know if you have PIP insurance, read through your auto insurance policy carefully.
Following a car accident, you may need to seek medical care within a certain amount of time for the resulting medical expenses to be eligible for PIP coverage. Failing to seek medical treatment within the required time limit can affect your legal rights to financial compensation.
Not all severe injuries that result from a motor vehicle accident are visible right away. Some car accident injuries appear late, with symptoms manifesting days or even weeks after the accident.
Two types of injuries that appear late include concussions and soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash. A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury that results from trauma sustained to the head.
During a motor vehicle collision, a concussion may occur even when your head hasn’t been directly injured. A concussion can occur from the head jerking forward abruptly.
Common symptoms of a concussion include:
Even though you don’t think you’re seriously injured and don't need urgent medical care, it’s essential to get checked out. Your doctor can check for internal injuries to prevent the onset of serious and late-appearing injuries.
After getting into a car crash, one of the first steps you should take is to seek medical treatment to be checked for accident-related injuries.
In the United States, over four million individuals are injured in car accidents every year, and they sustain severe injuries ranging from broken bones and bruising to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
Thus, it's imperative that car accident victims see a doctor after an accident to tend to these injuries or get checked for less visible physical injuries, such as concussions or internal injuries.
Another reason is to adhere to auto insurance requirements, which state that insurance policyholders have a limited amount of time to go seek medical treatment following an auto accident to receive PIP coverage. This time limit is referred to as a statute of limitation.
Statutes of limitations for motor vehicle accident injuries vary from state to state. And depending on where you live in the U.S., you may have anywhere from 72 hours to two weeks following a car crash to seek medical attention. Going to a doctor within the stipulated time frame ensures that you're eligible for insurance reimbursement.
After a minor car crash, you should still see a doctor because even in minor accidents; injuries are still common. And even in low-speed car accidents that cause minimal damage to the cars, injuries are still common. That's because accidents occur unexpectedly, resulting in no time to prepare and brace for impact.
So, it's essential to get checked by a professional physician or chiropractor after a motor vehicle collision to be sure that you don't have any underlying injuries that aren't presenting symptoms yet because of the release of adrenaline following the crash. Even if it's a minor car crash, it's a brilliant idea to be checked out by a medical professional to ensure that you don't have any hidden injuries.
If you plan to sue the negligent driver that caused the accident and have their insurance company pay for your medical bills and treatments, then you must have valid medical records documenting your physical injuries and the medical treatments you went through following the accident. Police reports, together with accident reports that were started at the actual scene of the accident can help your insurance claim process.
Thus, it's essential to note that medical records are required when filing a personal injury claim with the insurance company.
After two weeks, if you still have received no medical diagnosis or treatment, it's difficult to prove you suffered injuries in the accident.
Insurance adjusters will argue that your injuries were diagnosed too far after the crash occurred and that they must be from another cause, alleviating the insurance company from fault and requiring you to cover your medical treatment expenses.
Therefore, if you want to be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering and your medical bills, we can not stress enough the essence of visiting a doctor or personal injury chiropractor to treat your auto accident injuries and create a proper accident report, and documentation of medical records for the insurance adjuster to reference.
Filing an insurance claim after getting into an auto crash is a stressful and confusing process.
Although the law requires insurance companies to process personal injury claims fairly and in a timely manner, there are many insurance companies that operate in bad faith. Bad faith practices include providing false information or misleading information about their insurance policies or not explaining reasons for denying a car accident claim.
Often, auto insurance companies falsely claim that a person didn't seek medical attention soon enough. Also, the insurance company may claim that because you didn’t seek medical treatment right away, it's unclear if your injuries are directly linked to the accident.
At Marks Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping car accident victims navigate the insurance claims process and receive the maximum compensation they’re entitled to. Also, we can help you dispute a claim or file a bad faith claim against your insurance company to secure fair compensation.
Sustaining injuries in a car crash can lead to lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, and other financial losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help outline your legal options and work with you to take the steps to protect and preserve your constitutional rights.
The experienced Decatur automobile accident lawyers at Marks Law Group can help you navigate all aspects of your case. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our personal injury law firm today at 404-939-1485, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.