After being involved in a car accident that was not your fault, it is critical that you seek medical attention. This does not mean waiting a week and then deciding that pain in your shoulder is worth consulting a physician for, this means seeking immediate medical care following your accident.
Many people make the mistakes of thinking since they do not have any broken bones or obvious external issues that they are good to go on. However, many of the most severe injuries do not show symptoms right away. This includes internal bleeding and even some of the most serious traumatic brain injuries. Whether you feel injured or not, seek medical care to ensure you have not suffered an internal injury.
Not only is this important to preserve your health, this will also help to show the severity of circumstances if you do choose to file a car accident claim or injury claim against the other driver in the future.
Working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you to navigate the process of filing a claim. Reach out to our team after seeking medical treatment for your car accident injuries to learn more about how we can help you through this process.
If you end up filing an injury-related insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need evidence to back up your assertions. Not only will the other side (the person at fault for the accident, and/or their insurer or lawyer) want more than your word as to the nature and extent of your injuries, but until you see a medical professional, you don’t have a complete picture of your harm.
Perhaps your shoulder hurts when you lift your arm. But is it a strain or sprain, or is there a tear in your rotator cuff? And even if you somehow knew the answer without seeing a doctor, you’d still need to see a doctor to get medical documentation and determine what the proper course of treatment would be. The documentation is particularly important because without it, it’s very difficult to obtain compensation for your personal injuries.
Medical Attention May Be Required Under Your Insurance Coverage
If you were injured in a car accident, keep in mind that some states require that you see a doctor before certain kinds of car insurance coverage can take effect. Specifically, some no-fault car insurance states require individuals to see a qualified medical professional within a certain amount of time following the accident. In Florida, for example, drivers have 14 days to get medical care for accident injuries if they want those medical costs reimbursed by their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Medical Treatment Can Help Establish Causation
The longer you wait to see a doctor after an accident, the easier it is for someone else (like the insurance adjuster) to argue that your injury wasn’t caused by the accident.
Let’s say you work as a delivery driver and are in perfect health. But one day, you get rear-ended by another driver on your way home from work. Your lower back is sore, but the pain isn’t that bad, so you decide not to go see a doctor right away. More than a week later, the pain gets worse, which finally convinces you to get it checked out.
If you try to sue the driver that hit you, or ask an insurance company to pay your medical bills, either might argue that something you did at work caused your back injury. Perhaps they’ll say you lifted something the wrong way. You know this isn’t true, but by waiting more than a week to get medical treatment, you’ve given the other side ammunition to dispute whether they actually caused your injuries.
Waiting Can Make Your Injury Seem Less Severe
Forget the law for a second. Imagine someone comes to you and says they suffered a bad injury in a slip and fall. But they also admit they didn’t see a doctor about it until three weeks after falling. Now think about a different person claiming the same thing, but they went to the emergency room just a few hours after they fell.
Who are you likely to believe has the more severe injury? Juries, judges, and insurance claims adjusters think the same way. By waiting to see a doctor, you are inviting questions about the seriousness of your injuries.
Waiting Can Reduce Your Settlement
Insurance claims adjusters like to settle claims as quickly as possible. It makes them look good for their bosses. Insurance supervisors love adjusters who can process claims quickly.
But another reason insurance companies want to settle claims quickly is because it usually means they pay out less money. It’s a lot easier for you to accept your insurance company’s personal injury settlement offer if you haven’t seen the doctor yet.
Without knowing the full extent of your injuries or what the medical costs will be to treat them, a settlement check might seem more generous than it really is. An offer of $5,000 for your sore back may seem more than fair, until you get a diagnosis from your doctor saying that “minor” back pain you’ve had since the accident is a lumbar spine fracture that will require surgery and physical therapy. But once you accept a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more later.
Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
Personal Injury Law Office in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!