You were driving down the highway, minding your own business, when out of nowhere another vehicle slammed into you. Your car is totaled, you have whiplash and pain in your neck and back. In the chaos and confusion after the crash, you consider not going to see a doctor. After all, the pain isn't that bad, and the other driver's insurance will have to pay for the damage to your vehicle. Why deal with the hassle of doctors and medical bills?
This line of thinking could end up costing you dearly. Not seeking proper medical attention after a car accident, no matter how minor it may seem, is never a good idea. Failure to get checked out by a doctor can negatively impact your health, your legal claim, and your settlement. Talk with an Austin Car Accident Lawyer for help understanding your claim. You may feel fine now due to adrenaline, but injuries like whiplash or back strain often don't appear until the day after an accident. And without an official diagnosis and treatment, the other driver's insurance is less likely to provide fair compensation.
Your health and your legal rights should be top priorities after an auto accident. Don't make the mistake of skipping the doctor. Get checked out, get treatment, and get the evidence you need to recover damages from insurance companies. Your future self will thank you.
You Still Have a Case Even Without Immediate Medical Attention
Even if you did not seek immediate medical attention after a car accident, you may still have a viable personal injury claim. Not getting checked out right away does not necessarily mean you were not hurt or that you gave up your right to compensation.
Delayed Symptoms Are Common
It is not unusual for symptoms from injuries like whiplash or a concussion to appear gradually over hours or even days following a collision. The adrenaline rush during and after an accident often masks pain, and the full extent of damage may not be readily apparent. Seeking medical care as soon as symptoms manifest will help support your case.
Get Examined As Soon As Possible
While prompt medical attention is ideal, get examined by a doctor as soon as you start experiencing symptoms, even if it's been a few days. Be transparent with the physician about the timing of your symptoms and accident. They can evaluate your condition, determine if it is consistent with injuries sustained in a crash, and provide documentation for your claim.
Explain Any Delays
When pursuing a claim, be upfront with your insurance provider and personal injury lawyer about any gaps between the accident and seeking treatment. Provide justifiable explanations for delays, which may strengthen your credibility and case. While lack of immediate medical care could raise some questions, your health and safety should ultimately take precedence. With the right documentation and legal counsel, you can still build a compelling claim.
Seeking Medical Care Soon After an Accident Is Best
Seeking medical care promptly after a car accident is critical for your health and any potential personal injury claim. Delaying medical treatment, even if you feel fine initially, can have serious consequences.
Traumatic injuries from car accidents are not always immediately apparent. Whiplash, internal bleeding, and spinal injuries can manifest days or even weeks after a collision. By the time symptoms arise, untreated injuries may have become far more severe. Sometimes your injuries may be less or more severe than your passenger in a car accident. To properly diagnose and treat any injuries, you need to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible following an accident.
Impact on Insurance Claims
Failing to seek medical care in a timely manner can also jeopardize any insurance claims related to your accident. Insurance companies may argue that delayed treatment suggests your injuries were not severe or accident-related. This can make it difficult to recover costs for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Other factors included are questions such as whether there was a drug test after the car accident. Promptly reporting your accident to the police and being evaluated by a doctor helps establish a clear link between your injuries and the collision.
Peace of Mind
Finally, receiving a medical evaluation right away can help put your mind at ease. Even if no major issues are detected during your initial exam, a doctor can determine if any follow-up care or testing is needed to catch delayed symptoms. Your health and safety should be the top priority after an accident. Seeking medical care promptly is the best way to ensure any injuries are properly addressed and you have the best chance of making a full recovery.
Doctors Have Records to Support Your Injuries
Doctors meticulously document your condition following an accident to create medical records. These records serve as evidence to support your injury claims. Without seeing a doctor, you have no official documentation of your injuries and pain.
Medical Records Provide Evidence
Seeking medical attention immediately following a collision establishes an official timeline of events. Doctors can note your symptoms, run tests to determine the cause and severity, and prescribe treatment. Medical records from emergency responders, doctors, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals involved in your care become evidence of your injuries. These records, and the notes include, are of particular importance if you seek to claim that your injuries are permanent.
Your medical records may include:
- Emergency room visit and discharge paperwork
- Diagnostic test results like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Prescription records
- Physical therapy notes
- Follow-up visit notes
Without these records, the insurance company has no obligation to believe your injuries are accident-related or even real. Lack of medical evidence severely damages your ability to recover costs and damages related to your injuries through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Seeking medical care also allows doctors to properly diagnose and treat your injuries before symptoms worsen or become chronic. If you are still having pain and dizziness from a car accident, you will need to consider some follow up care. While legal claims can recover costs retroactively, no amount of compensation can undo permanent damage from injuries left untreated. Your health and recovery should be the top priority following an accident.
In summary, medical records serve as crucial evidence to support your personal injury claim. Seeking prompt medical attention following an auto collision, no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be, preserves your legal rights to recovery while also safeguarding your health. No legal case or insurance settlement is worth risking your long term well-being.
Speaking to a Lawyer Can Help Determine if You Have a Valid Claim
Speaking with a personal injury lawyer is highly advisable after any car accident, even if injuries do not seem immediately apparent. A lawyer can evaluate the unique details of your accident and determine if you may have grounds for a claim.
Reviewing the Details
Describing the events leading up to and surrounding the collision in detail to an attorney allows them to assess factors like fault, liability, and negligence. Case specific issues such as if you were pregnant at the time of the car accident must all be considered. Details such as the location, time of day, traffic and weather conditions, and actions of all involved drivers are important in determining who is responsible for causing the accident.
Providing a copy of the official police report of the incident, as well as any photos, witness contact information, insurance data, and medical records related to the crash will allow your lawyer to review the particulars of your unique situation. They can then advise you on the merits of pursuing an injury claim.
Some injuries resulting from car accidents may not manifest or become apparent for hours, days or even weeks after the crash. Speaking with a doctor, even if you feel fine, is important for properly documenting your condition immediately following the accident. A lawyer can help determine if those injuries, however minor, warrant filing a claim.
While it may seem easier to not seek counsel or medical care after a car accident, doing so could jeopardize your ability to recover damages. Speaking with professionals in the legal and medical fields as soon as possible after any collision is the best way to protect your health and your rights. A personal injury lawyer can review the details of your accident, determine fault and liability, identify any injuries, and advise you on pursuing fair compensation.
Evidence Needed For Your Injury Claim
To pursue an injury claim after a car accident, certain evidence will need to be provided to support your case.
One of the most important pieces of evidence in a personal injury claim are your medical records. These records prove you sought treatment for injuries related to the accident. They document the diagnosis from a doctor, the type of treatments prescribed, referrals to specialists, and prognosis. Medical records that show the cause of your injuries as directly relating to the car accident will strengthen your case.
Written statements from eyewitnesses to the accident provide valuable evidence to validate your claim. Eyewitnesses can attest to circumstances like weather conditions at the time of the accident, the actions of the drivers involved, the force of impact, and any injuries that were noticeable at the scene. In certain cases involving disputes of fault, in left hand turn car accidents for example, eye witness statements can be critical. Their observations and accounts of events may differ from what is in the official police report, providing you with additional evidence to support your claim.
Accident and Police Reports
The official accident and police reports detail important information about the circumstances surrounding the incident, including diagrams mapping the location and sequence of events. Police reports often contain observations from officers at the scene regarding factors that may have contributed to the accident like unsafe road conditions, impairment, or reckless behavior. These reports can be useful for identifying potentially liable parties in your claim.
Photographs taken at the accident scene and of your vehicle's damage provide visual documentation to support your claim. Photos of your injuries as they heal can also be compelling evidence, especially if severe or long-lasting harm was incurred. It is best to take high-quality, time-stamped photos as soon as possible after the accident and continue documenting the progression of your injuries.
Presenting a combination of medical records, witness statements, official reports, and photographs will provide solid evidence for your injury claim after a car accident. Failure to obtain proper evidence risks damaging your ability to recover deserved compensation.
Call Fletcher Law For Help With Your Car Accident Case
If you were involved in a car accident and did not seek medical attention, it could negatively impact any personal injury claim you may have. Not getting properly diagnosed and treated means you likely do not have medical records documenting your injuries from the accident. This makes it difficult to prove the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.
You should call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident if you did not go to the doctor right away. An attorney can advise you on the best steps to take to help strengthen your claim, even after the fact. This may involve:
- Seeing a doctor for an exam and diagnosis of any injuries from the accident. While delayed, medical records can still provide important evidence of the injuries you sustained.
-Exploring whether any witnesses observed you showing signs of injury at the accident scene. Their statements can help support that your injuries were caused by the crash.
-Reviewing the details of the accident to determine if the circumstances also help prove your injuries were a result of the other driver’s negligence. Severe damage to the vehicles or the force of the impact may make it clear your injuries could only have come from the crash.
-Investigating other forms of evidence like photos from the accident scene. Pictures of the vehicles, your condition at the scene, and the area where the crash occurred can all be useful in demonstrating the severity of the accident and your resulting injuries.
The attorneys at Fletcher Law have years of experience helping car accident victims with delayed diagnosis or treatment. We understand how to conduct a thorough investigation into the facts of your case in order to obtain fair compensation for your injuries, even without immediate medical records. Please call our office for a free consultation on your case.