Being in a car accident can be overwhelming. Between dealing with the insurance company and getting repairs on your vehicle, medical care may be one of the last things on your mind. Despite how you feel immediately following an accident, you need to make a visit with car accident doctors a priority.
Why Go to a Doctor After a Car Accident?
Going to a doctor after a car accident should be something you do within the first 24 hours following the accident.
1. Identify Life-Threatening Injuries
Many people mistake forgoing medical care following an accident because they claim that they feel fine. Adrenaline floods the body following a car accident, masking some of the injuries you may experience, even life-threatening ones. It can take hours, sometimes even days, for the symptoms of a concussion or internal bleeding to show up.
Foregoing a doctor’s visit delays treatment that may be necessary, often worsening your condition and making connecting your injury to the accident more difficult.
If you experience symptoms a few days later and seek medical care, the insurance company may question whether the car accident led to the symptoms. Car accidents can lead to many injuries, including broken bones, internal bleeding, back and neck injuries, and concussions. Specific injuries, such as concussions and whiplash, may not have symptoms that show up for days. Certain medical conditions have the best recovery options when you receive treatment early.
2. Speed Up Your Insurance Claim
The process of filing an insurance claim following an accident can be overwhelming. Your insurance adjuster collects information about the accident before processing your claim. The insurance adjuster may collect information from the police report, witness statements, evidence from the accident scene, and any medical reports. Medical records that discuss the injuries you sustain following an accident can help to provide the insurance company with the evidence needed to speed up your claim.
If the insurance adjuster doubts that your injuries, and need for medical care, aren’t related to the accident, this uncertainty can delay your claim. The longer that your insurance company spends as it evaluates your claim, the longer it takes for you to receive compensation. A car accident injury can prevent you from returning to work, and you may likely have vehicle repairs. Receiving timely compensation is essential following an accident.
3. Begin Your Recovery
Being involved in a serious car accident can be life-changing, both financially and emotionally. Understanding your medical condition following a car accident is one of the first steps to moving on after the accident. Even if you feel OK, it’s best to receive a complete medical evaluation from a doctor after a car accident to find out whether you can expect symptoms later.
If you wait to receive care, your doctor may not be able to tell whether your aches and pains are from the car accident. Waiting to receive treatment can make it more challenging for your doctor to develop a treatment plan without knowing the cause of your symptoms. After a car accident, the doctor may order treatments such as physical therapy or rehabilitation if you see a doctor. The sooner you begin these treatments, the sooner you can start your path to recovery.
4. Ensure your medical care is covered
If you receive medical care immediately following a car accident, you stand a good chance that your insurance provider will cover your medical expenses. It’s easier for the insurance company to understand your reason for medical care if you have just been involved in an accident. Otherwise, if you wait a few days to receive care, the insurance company may question your reason for a medical evaluation, leading to a lack of coverage.
Car accident doctors are typically familiar with the processes and paperwork necessary to file a claim with your insurance provider. However, if you don’t see a doctor right after the car accident, the doctor may wonder whether the car accident is indeed the cause of your symptoms. Additionally, if your insurance company doesn’t cover the total cost of your medical care, you may decide to seek compensation through a third-party personal injury claim. Receiving medical care following the accident makes it easier to support the legal claim with evidence about your injuries.
5. Protect Your Legal Rights
If you’ve received injuries in an accident where someone else is at fault, you may have a legal case. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver may be necessary to collect the compensation you need to deal with the accident. Car repairs and medical bills can be expensive. Without evidence of a medical injury, the defendant’s legal representation may question if you were injured.
A statute of limitations refers to how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. After an accident occurs. Texas has a two-year statute of limitation, which begins on the day of the accident or injury. Even if your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer negotiate and settle the case outside of court, your medical condition will play an essential role in the amount you receive. If you don’t visit a doctor after a car accident immediately, the defense’s legal representation will likely question whether or not your injuries are the defendant’s responsibility.
Common Injuries Following a Car Accident
It’s not uncommon to experience medical injuries following a car accident. Some injuries may be minor, including cuts or bruises, and require no medical care. Others, however, are more severe and require the professional care of a medical provider. Following a car accident, common injuries you may experience include broken bones, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, or headaches.
Some injuries may not be physical ones but can be as damaging to your daily life. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to vivid memories or recollections of the accident. PTSD can affect many areas of life, including your ability to sleep or drive a vehicle again. Visiting a doctor after a car accident can help you identify emotional concerns like PTSD.
A child may have different symptoms than an adult after being in a car accident. However, it’s just as important to take your child to a doctor after a car accident.
How to Receive Medical Care Following a Car Accident
If you’re involved in a car accident, you can seek medical care from any medical provider. If you have serious injuries, it’s best to immediately go to the nearest hospital. If your injuries are less severe or feel OK, you should still seek immediate medical care, but you can go to an urgent care center or car accident doctor.
Regardless of where you decide to receive medical care, an evaluation with a doctor after a car accident is an important step. To ensure you prioritize your safety and protect your legal rights, be sure to complete the following steps:
- Choose the appropriate medical treatment center: For emergencies, go to the nearest hospital for medical care. Otherwise, choose an urgent care center or car accident clinic near you.
- Notify the doctor you were in an accident: It’s also a good idea to notify the doctor or medical care team member that you were in an accident. This notification ensures the doctors order the right tests.
- Inform your doctor about your medical history: Informing your doctor of your medical history can help your health care professional provide you with the best care. Depending on specific medical conditions, the individual may adjust treatment.
- Be honest with your symptoms: Be as honest as possible with the symptoms you’re experiencing from the accident. Your direct report of your symptoms helps a doctor decide what conditions to monitor.
- Ask questions: Be sure to ask questions when receiving medical care from a doctor once you have been involved in a car accident. Find out what symptoms you should monitor and when you may need to return for more care.
- Make sure you understand your doctor’s orders before leaving a car accident clinic. If your symptoms worsen or you experience any new ones, make sure you go back to the clinic or hospital for care.
Document Your Doctor Visits Following an Accident
Another important reason for visiting a doctor is for the documentation. Whether you’re filing a claim with your insurance company or are pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need copies of your medical records. Request copies of all medical records from your initial visit and any follow-up visits with a car accident doctor. Materials you should request include doctor’s notes, invoices, paid bills, imaging, and lab results.
Protect yourself and your legal rights by going to a health care professional following a car accident. Whether your injuries are minimal or severe, medical care should always be a priority following an accident.
5 Reasons You Need to See a Doctor After a Car Accident | City Wide Injury & Accident – Houston, TX