One question we often hear from car accident victims is “should I seek medical treatment?” – and the answer is unequivocally, yes! Not only can car crashes result in severe physical trauma but they can be emotionally damaging as well. The only way you are going to determine the extent of your injuries and trauma is to seek evaluation by a medical professional.
After an accident has occurred there will undoubtedly be a lot going through your mind which can make it difficult to process your injuries, especially if you are in shock. Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial that you allow a doctor to examine you. Doing so is not only vital to your health and ensuring your safety, but it is an important aspect of pursuing a personal injury case should you choose to do so. Even if all of the tests come back negative, you will have peace of mind that all is well and that you can return home without fear that something was missed.
Common Injuries Sustained from Car Accidents
If you manage to come out of a car accident unscathed, consider yourself lucky. Car accidents can not only lead to brutal injuries but are one of the leading causes of death in the country as well. Some of the most common injuries seen after car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Disfiguring scars and amputations
- Neck injuries (especially whiplash)
- Severe bruising and “road rash”
- Crushed limbs
It’s important to note that in addition to physical injuries, many victims of car crashes also suffer some form of emotional anguish or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well. Seeking immediate medical treatment will not only help you identify any physical injuries but your doctor may suggest therapy or a psych evaluation as well if they suspect PTSD.
Medical Exams Play a Big Part in Personal Injury Cases
While seeking medical care is vital for the obvious reasons – to treat any injuries – there is another reason it is crucial after a car accident as well. If you intend to pursue liability to receive compensation, the medical exam will play an important role. When pursuing a personal injury case it is common for victims to receive less money than they deserve. This is because insurance companies will do whatever they can to fight your case. They will use whatever means necessary to disprove the fault of the guilty party or try to downplay your injuries in an attempt to lessen the claim amount. If you reject medical treatment altogether or wait too long to seek treatment, it can significantly reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Risks of Delayed Treatment
If you decline being taken to the hospital after an accident or if you decide to go at a later date, it is not only potentially detrimental to your health but the success of your personal injury case as well. Delaying medical treatment after an accident can result in:
- Insurance denials: If you refuse care altogether or wait too long to seek treatment, insurance companies will often deny compensation due to lack of evidence. If you wait too long, they may try to claim that the injuries are from something other than the accident or they may simply have a time limit built into their policies.
- Injury complications: An injury that seems minor at the time of the accident could become exacerbated over time. If you don’t seek immediate medical care you could wind up suffering from an infection or an injury that gets worse without proper treatment. Some injuries are not even apparent right away, such as head injuries, brain injuries, or internal bleeding. If not treated immediately, you could become very ill and in some cases, these injuries can lead to death.
- Reduced compensation: If you eventually see a doctor, you may still be able to prove that you sustained injuries from the accident, but the amount the insurance company pays you may be much lower. Insurers will do whatever they can to minimize the amount owed to you. To receive a fair payout you should seek medical care right away to prove the full extent of your injuries.
What if I Can’t Afford the Medical Expenses?
In cases where victims are denied medical treatment or delayed seeking treatment, it is most often because of a lack of funds or insurance coverage. It is entirely understandable that you may want to avoid seeking help if you fear the medical bills that you will be saddled with after. Medical expenses are no joke and paying for them can be debilitating. This is why seeking treatment right away is so crucial so that you can receive thorough compensation when pursuing a personal injury case.
If you decide to pursue liability, there are a few ways you will be able to receive compensation to help cover your medical expenses. The guilty party or their insurance provider may be required to pay for damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Property damage (such as damage to your car)
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of wages
- Punitive damages (compensation sought as a form of punishment for the guilty party hitting you, especially if it was done so with malicious intent)
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Insurance companies are a pain to deal with. There are several ways they will try to fight your claim to reduce the amount of money they have to pay you. They may even use any statements you give to turn the tables against you. It’s not uncommon for insurers to try to prove that you are fully or partially to blame as opposed to the actual guilty party. This is when having an experienced attorney by your side can be incredibly beneficial. A personal injury attorney will know how to prove the fault of the guilty party to help you receive the compensation that you are owed.
When you’ve been injured in an accident, the team at Crossen Law Firm understands that focusing on your recovery comes first. No one wants to deal with a messy case when they’ve been seriously injured and traumatized by an accident. Our team has over 20 years of experience to help you win your case and receive the full compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation. (317) 401-8626
Video Transcript (blog version):
One of the most common questions I get as an attorney is whether I should seek medical treatment after any type of an accident. The answer to that question is unequivocally, yes. The reason why you should seek medical treatment immediately after an accident is there’s no downside to getting treatment. Say for example, you’re in a car accident and you’re treated at the scene by the ambulance personnel, and you’re taken to the hospital, you’re probably under a lot of shock, probably a lot of stress, your heart might be racing. So there might be a lot of things that are going through your mind that you aren’t thinking about in terms of an injury. If you get checked out at the emergency room and they tell you that nothing is wrong with you and all the x-rays and MRIs and tests come back negative, that’s a positive thing because you had the peace of mind knowing that you were not injured in this accident.
Conversely, you have so much going on in your mind that it’s helpful to be surrounded by emergency personnel so that if you are experiencing severe pain or severe trauma, that the emergency personnel can treat you, can give you the right medications, can give you the right diagnostic testing, and recommend that you follow up with your primary care provider or maybe even a specialist.
So whether you check out a-okay at the emergency room, or you’re seriously injured and need to get further treatment, it’s a win-win situation by you getting checked out by emergency personnel.