Q When should I see a doctor after an auto crash, and do I need to go if I don’t think I’m hurt?
One of your first steps after an auto accident caused by another driver is to seek medical care. This is important even if you don't think you're injured. Unfortunately, many accident victims make the mistake delaying medical attention. Here’s how that decision could hurt your claim for compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Reasons to See Your Doctor Soon After Your Crash
There are important legal and medical reasons you want to see a doctor within a few hours to a day after your crash. This is true even if you honestly believe you aren't injured. Here are two primary reasons to seek care from a health professional:
- Medical issues. In reality, you may have been injured in the accident, even if it doesn't appear that way, as adrenaline can mask pain. In addition, you may not experience any symptoms of some injuries for days or longer after your wreck. During that time, injuries such as back and neck issues, traumatic brain damage, and internal organ damage and bleeding may be revealed. Some conditions can quickly turn into a life-threatening emergency if not treated promptly. By seeing a physician right away, you avoid jeopardizing your health.
- Legal issues. If you delay seeking medical treatment, you're giving the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver ammunition to deny or reduce your claim. Adjusters may state that your injuries weren't caused by the crash or that they weren't as serious as you say. Even if you don't believe you're injured, seeing a doctor as soon as possible after the accident documents your concern about possible medical problems due to the collision.
Waiting a few days after your accident to see a doctor won't ruin your chances for rightful injury compensation. However, if you wait weeks or months to seek treatment, this could make settling a claim much more challenging. Also make sure that, if medical treatment is needed, you continue with the medical tests and treatments your doctor recommends. If you don't, this can also make your attorney’s ability to negotiate a fair settlement for you more difficult.
If you were hurt in a car crash caused by a negligent party, don't delay hiring an experienced car accident attorney right away. Start an online chat today to schedule your free consultation to learn how I can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.