If you’re involved in a major car accident, heading to the hospital is probably an easy decision. You’ll likely be a bit banged up, and won’t want to take any risks with your health. But what about a minor fender bender? Do you really want to go to the doctor when you feel okay, and only have superficial injuries? The fact of the matter is, it’s always best to see a doctor after you’ve been in a car accident, regardless of how minor you think your injuries might be. Keep reading to find out why.
Some Injuries Manifest Later
You might think that you just have a sore neck from whiplash, but you might actually have a serious neck injury that will worsen in the days following your accident. Car accident injuries can often manifest later, and won’t be easily apparent immediately following the collision. A doctor can detect these issues and keep a record regarding the cause of the injury and when it occurred; this also means that you can start receiving treatment sooner to ensure that any injuries you do sustain don’t worsen, causing you additional pain and suffering that you might have otherwise avoided.
Records for Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your injuries end up being severe enough that you wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important that you have a detailed record of your injuries. As we stated above, a doctor will keep a record of your injuries that clearly states when the injury occurred and what caused it; this is essential evidence in your case. If you wait a week or two to see a doctor, this will be evident in your medical records, and opposing council can use that time gap to claim that the injuries weren’t actually caused by the accident itself.
Additionally, as state above, untreated injuries can often worsen over time. If you don’t receive immediate medical treatment, the defense may argue that, even though the injuries were caused by the accident, your failure to seek medical attention worsened your situation. This can reduce your settlement amount significantly, since your pain and suffering could arguably be a result of lack of treatment, rather than a direct result of the accident itself.
Clearly Recall Details of Your Injuries
Often in a personal injury case, the little details can matter a great deal. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to record your memories of the accident, the more likely they are to become fuzzy and unclear. Even if you gave a detailed report to the police at the accident scene, they likely didn’t ask you to catalogue all of your injuries and the exact causes of them. Going to a doctor gives you an opportunity to do just this.
At your examination, you can provide your doctor with details regarding what you remember of the accident and how it correlates to your injuries. Is the cut on your forehead from the airbag deploying or from flying glass? Was your arm broken from the car striking your side of the car, or from you trying to brace yourself on the dash as the car flipped over? While you may not think that these kinds of details will matter when it comes to your case—after all, they were all caused by the accident—having more details is always better for your lawsuit.
Use Appropriate Medical Terminology
Even if you don’t take your case to court, you may choose to simply pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance. Regardless of which route you take, it’s important that you can discuss the extent of your injuries in a clear, detailed, and professional manner. This can be difficult to do if you haven’t heard the proper medical terminology for your injuries. “I hit my head” is very different from “I suffered a mild concussion.”
Insurance companies and opposing council will look for every opportunity to downplay your injuries and minimize the settlement that you deserve for your injuries. So, by meeting with a doctor right away, you’ll not only be arming yourself with medical documentation, but the appropriate terminology to discuss your injuries and state your case when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Work with Our Car Accident Attorneys
Regardless of whether you’re taking your case to court or simply looking for experienced council when negotiating with insurance companies, we invite you to reach out to The Harr Law Firm today. Our car accident attorneys can provide you with the guidance you need to build a strong case and receive the compensation you deserve. Call now to schedule a consultation.