Does It Hurt My Personal Injury Case If I Delay Seeing A Doctor After My Accident?

in Legal Info

Many different things happen during a car accident. These things can be external and internal, as well as mental and emotional. If you have ever been involved in an accident, you may understand the feeling that is being described. You don’t feel like you are there. Instead, you are an audience member watching as everything unfolds. When the emergency medical personnel arrive at the scene, you may decline to have them check you over for injuries because you feel fine. Don’t worry; this is a common mistake that is made by many who are involved in an accident. A car accident lawyer will always advise their clients to be examined at the scene of an accident.

Immediately After an Accident

In the moments following an accident, many different things happen. Depending on the severity of injuries, you may want to try to gather as much information and evidence as you can regarding the accident. The police should be called to have a report filed about the accident. If there are injuries, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should also be dispatched to the scene.

If you can do so, you should take photographs of the scene before vehicles are moved, and any evidence is removed from the scene. Getting photographs from every angle can help reconstruct what happened during the accident. 

Seek out witnesses who saw the accident occur. If you do not have the time or ability to take their statements, gather their contact information so that you or a lawyer can reach them later if necessary. Make sure you have all the information from the other driver as well. Just because a police report is filled out, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need the information.

Why Shouldn’t I Deny Being Looked Over By EMS?

When EMS is called to the scene of a car accident, they are there in case there are any injuries. They are often dispatched when the police are called to the scene of an accident. Injuries aren’t always visible right after an accident, and the medical staff knows what to look for, and when extra tests may be required to uncover injuries.

During an accident, your emotions are going to be all over the place. You will get a burst of adrenaline from the situation, which can hinder how you feel injuries and other emotions. Adrenaline is a hormone that is produced inside your body that is also commonly referred to as epinephrine. This hormone is what causes your body to switch into a fight-or-flight mode when an overly stressful situation occurs. Adrenaline can cover up potential injuries that may have been sustained in the car accident.

Delaying Medical Treatment Can Be Detrimental

By refusing medical examination at the scene of the accident, it is presumed that you were free of injury from the car accident. The defense will use this assumption if you file an accident claim. Even if you go to the doctor after the accident, you may have injuries you weren’t aware of. Your injuries may require you to seek compensation.

The defense may try to say that your injuries were not a result of the accident. Because you waited to go to the doctor, the injuries that occurred were a result of something that happened between the time the accident occurred and the medical visit occurred. It will be up to you and your legal counsel to prove otherwise.

If you don’t have the documentation of injury from the scene of the accident, and you don’t go to the doctor until later, you will have to prove that the injuries you are being treated for were a result of the accident. Because proving the relationship after the fact is not guaranteed, a car accident lawyer will always advocate that clients should seek medical attention immediately following an accident.

Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

Car accident injuries can range from mild to fatal, depending on the circumstances that are surrounding the accident. Different factors determine the intensity of an injury. Factors including the impact point on the vehicle, the rate of speed at the time of the accident, seatbelt usage, airbag deployment, and many other factors are possible. 

Some of the most common injuries that medical personnel sees after a car accident are:

  • Whiplash
    • The term “whiplash” is used to describe muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries that can happen as a result of a car accident. When your body reacts during an accident, the movement between the body and the muscles can cause trauma. The trauma can cause strain on your muscles and other soft tissues without causing any injury to the bones. Depending on the amount of strain, whiplash can be painful and take a decent time to heal. There is not a set time for the onset of whiplash. Whiplash can occur instantly or can take up to 24 hours after the accident to present symptoms.
  • Cuts, Scrapes, Skin Lacerations
    • Car accident victims often present with cuts, scrapes, and even skin lacerations after an accident. The more intense the accident, the higher the likelihood of severe skin lacerations. Even the most superficial of cuts and scrapes carry the potential of causing severe problems if infection sets in them. If a skin laceration is deep enough, muscle trauma can occur and blood loss.
  • Head Injuries
    • Injuries to the head can cause long-term disabilities, especially if a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs. Injuries to the head can cause problems with the brain, including swelling and bleeding. If these are not taken care of quickly, they can cause permanent damages.
    • A common injury in car accidents is a concussion. A concussion is a type of TBI that is caused by a jolt, bump, or sudden blow to the head in a situation where the body and head move back and forth rapidly. The sudden movements cause the brain to move within the skull, which can cause changes in the brain’s chemicals or even damage the brain cells.
  • Broken or Fractured Bones
    • When trauma occurs to the body, sometimes our bones cannot withstand the pressure and break or fracture. Some of the most fragile bones in your body are your ribs. The airbag deployment has the potential of breaking your ribs and even other bones, like the arms or collarbone. Front-end collisions can even cause severe breaks to the legs.
  • Internal Bleeding
    • Even though cuts are common in an accident, there is potential for internal bleeding to occur. If internal bleeds are not taken care of quickly, they can be fatal. Signs of internal bleeding can be a sign of a much more severe injury.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Not all injuries sustained in a car accident are visible. Traumatic events have a way of leaving an impact without physical proof. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause long or short-term mental problems from being involved in a car accident. You may be too nervous to ride in a car or drive one. You may even have anxiety attacks when faced with being near a vehicle.

Compensation From Car Accident Injury Claims

When injuries occur after a car accident and an injury claim is filed, you will most likely be going up against the insurance company for the person at fault for the accident. Most policies have maximum coverage amounts that they are willing to pay if an accident occurs, and their policyholder is at fault. You may be faced with filing a separate lawsuit against the driver if the amount sought is more than the insurance will payout.

The most sought after damages in a car accident lawsuit are:

  • Medical expenses
    • Medical bills add up after injuries are sustained in a car accident. Medical bills can range from the ambulance ride, the emergency room bill, any treatment you received, surgery if it was necessary, physical therapy appointments, and follow-up doctor visits during the healing process. In most cases, if you are still being treated during the lawsuit, there are calculations that can be done to estimate future amounts that will be needed.
  • Loss of income
    • After being injured in an accident, you will likely be unable to work. If you are the breadwinner of the household, this can put your family in a tight situation. Your lawyer will use past paystubs to determine the amount you are losing as well as future amounts if you will be off work for an extended period of time.
  • Pain and suffering
    • Pain and suffering is not always a visible injury. Medications are a good indicator that a car accident victim is having problems with pain from an accident. Medical records will reflect this and will most likely be used in the amount presented by your lawyer.
  • Punitive damages
    • Punitive damages are less common in car accident injury cases than in other personal injury cases. These damages are often awarded in car accidents where the driver’s actions were deemed irresponsible, and the courts are trying to deter them from future bad behavior.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Near You

When you are in a car accident and you suffer severe injuries, you need a car accident lawyer that knows how to get you the compensation that you deserve. The experienced car accident lawyers in the offices of TorkLaw know what it takes to get you compensated for your car accident injuries. TorkLaw has offices across the United States, offering clients across the company access to expert legal help.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered injuries, contact TorkLaw at 888-845-9696 or fill out our online contact form for your free case consultation today!

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