Should You Always See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael E. Trauscht with The Law Office Of Michael Trauscht.
Car accidents can be frightening and stressful experiences, regardless of the severity. However, in most cases it’s a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible after being directly involved in any kind of collision. There are several reasons for this, but the primary one is to prioritize your health. Some injuries may not be felt until days or even weeks after the injury, but it’s important to begin receiving treatment sooner rather than later before the injury can worsen.
While these types of injuries can be relatively minor, it’s important to note that even traumatic brain injuries can go unnoticed until weeks or even months after the fact when family and friends begin noticing changes in the accident victim’s mood or personality. It is very difficult to establish the true quality of a car accident victim’s health without the attention of a medical professional who knows what to look for. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, seek medical care and then contact a car accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
Waiting to seek medical care can have significant consequences.
As mentioned above, waiting to seek medical attention for an injury that seems minor or even nonexistent after an accident can result in the injury itself worsening. However, a car accident victim’s health is not the only thing affected by a delay in seeking treatment. If you decide to pursue recovery via a lawsuit in the future, the other party may argue that you could not have been severely injured if you were able to wait to seek care. Despite the somewhat broken logic of this assumption, it is common nevertheless.
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after being involved in a car accident ensures that an official record exists documenting any injuries that might have occurred in the accident. It is also important to attend any follow-up appointments requested by your doctor, and to participate in the treatments your doctor requests. If you do take your case to litigation in the future, this can help prove that your primary goal is a full physical recovery and return to normal daily life.
Your insurance might be able to help.
Depending on your car insurance policy, your insurance may cover the initial and potentially additional medical appointments if necessary. Every state has its own version of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payment (MedPay) included with most car insurance policies; while these protections can be waived, it is not recommended to do so. If the other party in the lawsuit is deemed to be at fault, it is possible that their insurance may cover your doctor’s visit. Both of these avenues of medical payment are possible regardless of whether you were in your car when the accident happened. For example, pedestrians and bicyclists who find themselves injured in a motor vehicle accident may be able to apply their car insurance to their expenses. If you would rather pay for these medical bills out of your health insurance, this is possible as well. For help maximizing the benefits of your health and vehicle insurance, talk to a car accident attorney.
If your injuries occurred in part or in total due to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
If you or your passengers suffered injuries in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, even if you were partially at fault, you may be eligible to file a car accident claim to seek compensation for your damages. Damages which can be won in a car accident claim may include past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The value of car accidents claims can vary widely from case to case, greatly influenced by the severity of the car accident victim’s injuries. However, even for injuries that are not catastrophic but result in significant financial loss and/or pain and suffering, recovery may be possible. The first step is seeking care from a qualified medical professional to identify any potential injuries and begin treatment.
To learn more about how to pay for medical bills after a car accident, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a car accident lawyer.