It is important to seek medical attention immediately following a car accident. Even if it seems like you have no injuries, it is still advised to visit a doctor. Oftentimes, after an accident, treatment is necessary to file a claim for compensation. There are a variety of potential injuries that may occur from a crash. The longer that you wait for treatment after an accident, not only will you be putting your health at risk, it will be harder to prove that your injuries are related to the accident. While you wait to see a doctor, it is recommended to take pictures of visible injuries and to document your pain. After you have yourself checked, the next step is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. This professional will guide you through the process of recovering compensation.
Are There Limitations on the Time Allowed to Seek Medical Attention After an Accident?
To repeat, the first thing to do after an accident, is to receive medical attention. In this country, over 4 million people are harmed in vehicle accidents every year. Sometimes, injuries are mild. You may be lucky to escape with bruises and minor scrapes. Others are not that fortunate. It is common to experience broken bones. In worst cases, individuals are affected by severe brain injuries, internal injuries, or paralysis.
Besides receiving after accident treatment for injuries, it is essential to receive medical attention so that you are compliant with auto insurance requirements. Many policies have a set window of time that a person has to visit a doctor. If this is not met, the person forfeits rights to receive personal injury coverage. Each state has a different amount of time. Usually, a person has between 72 hours and two weeks to seek medical attention following an accident.
Kinds of Medical Services Covered by Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection is coverage that insures drivers for any medically-related expenses expierenced after a car accident. Certain states make this coverage mandatory. As long as an individual seeks attention from an approved provider within a predetermined period of time, coverage is available for a variety of services.
- ER Care
- Ambulance Transfer
- Primary Care Doctor Visits
- Dental Services
In fact, many auto accidents are serious and result in devastating injuries. However, not all accidents are so scary. Minor fender benders may make you believe that seeking medical attention is not necessary. Unfortunately, some injuries are not evident. There are a number of problems that may develop over time.
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your neck is jolted back-and-forth. This is common during a rear end accident. As a result, you feel pain in your neck. Also, you may lose your range of motion. It may take a few days for these symptoms to develop.
- Head Injuries. Concussions, brain injuries, and head fractures result from car accidents. These problems can’t be seen with the naked eye. However, you may have difficulty concentrating or may experience headaches, mood swings, or forgetfulness.
- Neck/Spinal Injuries. Even though neck and spinal injuries can be painful and dangerous, not all damages may be immediately evident. Although you may not be paralyzed, you may have damage to your discs, ligaments, vertebrae, or neck muscles.
Evidence is Key
It is wise to document your external injuries with pictures and to keep a journal of any pain or symptoms that result from your accident. However, the best evidence of harm comes from your medical records. Seeking medical attention immediately after a crash provides files from a doctor that contain the official diagnosis of your problems.
At the scene of an accident, you may be shaken or may have a rush of adrenaline that masks your pain. Having medical records that document your injuries will help a California PI lawyer support your claim. This information will give direct proof that your injuries are tied to the accident. It is the best way to receive compensation from the other driver who was responsible. Never try to settle your case without a qualified attorney on your side. It is always smart to wait and to be evaluated by your doctor so that there is time for any long-term injuries to manifest.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Obviously, the worst part of getting in a car accident is dealing with insurance companies. These large entities do anything possible to make sure that they can deny claims. This is why it is vital to seek medical attention and to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. You will have proof of your injuries and will be working with a professional who understands the best way to fight these companies. There are certain reasons why an insurance provider may deny your claim.
- You Never Received Immediate Medical Attention. Without proof that you sustained injuries following your car accident, the insurance company does not have to legally cover medical expenses. For example, if you wait more than a few weeks after an accident to visit your doctor, an insurance adjuster may claim that your pain is not related to your crash. In the end, this may be costly for you. Without an insurance company approving your claim, you are responsible for out-of-pocket medical bills.
- Not Following Doctor’s Orders. Even if you do seek immediate medical attention, you must follow through and obey all of the doctor’s orders. For example, if your doctor told you to remain resting at home, but you go to work, an adjuster may pull your claim. By not following the doctor’s orders, you may worsen your injuries as well.
- Not Continuing Treatment. In certain cases, some individuals are prescribed a long-term plan of treatment for injuries sustained from a car accident. For example, if you tore a ligament or sprained a muscle in your back, you may be required to attend physical therapy sessions for a set period of time. If you fail to continue treatment, you may lose all of your compensation for lost wages and other related medical bills.
Working with a California PI Lawyer Will Help Your Case
Filing an auto insurance claim may be confusing and stressful, especially if you have been hurt from the crash. After seeking medical attention, it is wise to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. You will be guided through the process and will have someone shouldering your burdens as you recover. A personal injury lawyer knows how to use your medical records to prove your case. It may be possible to settle your claim outside of court or to fight the guilty party who was responsible for the accident. Since not all injuries show up immediately, it is important to have your physical condition examined and documented. You want to make sure that you heal correctly and that your medical bills and related costs are covered. A team of personal injury lawyers will be your advocates and will make sure that you receive the justice that you deserve. However, it all starts with medical attention. Do not let a careless driver affect the rest of your life. Whether your accident is small or large, it is always best to get yourself checked and to seek legal counsel. In the end, you will be thankful.
We here at JT Legal operate under hundreds of different practice areas and we will be the best personal injury attorney to fight tirelessly for your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation.