When should I go to a doctor after an auto accident?

See a doctor after a car crashOne of the biggest mistakes that car accident victims make is waiting too long to see a doctor. Sometimes adrenaline and the shock of the crash may mask the symptoms, or the person could try to “tough it out.” However, failing to obtain prompt medical care can not only jeopardize your health, but also hurt your ability to obtain the full value of your claim.

Why Seeing a Doctor Right Away Is Important in Your Auto Collision Claim

If you suffered obvious injuries in the accident, you should seek immediate medical care either by being transported to the hospital in an ambulance or by going to the emergency room. Your health should be your primary concern. Even if you are not certain that you are injured or suffered “minor” aches and pains, you want to schedule an appointment to be checked out by your doctor within approximately 72 hours. If you cannot get an appointment with your physician that quickly, you should see a doctor at a walk-in clinic.

The reason you want to have a doctor examine you no matter how minor your injuries are is that some symptoms of what turns out to be serious medical conditions do not develop for days or weeks after the crash. Traumatic brain injury, back, spinal and neck injuries, and internal organ damage are just a few of the conditions where you may not realize that you are hurt right away. When you see your doctor, he may order diagnostic tests that could help him diagnose these conditions so that you receive prompt treatment. In addition, you avoid the danger of the symptoms becoming more severe or life-threatening when you do start experiencing them.

Seeking prompt medical care is also important if you later discover that you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. When you delay seeing a doctor, you are giving the insurance company ammunition that they can use to deny or reduce your claim. Common arguments that the insurance adjuster could make if you do not seek medical care right away include:

  • The injury must not have been that serious or you would have sought medical treatment earlier.
  • The injury was caused by something other than the automobile accident.

Another mistake that you do not want to make is to fail to follow-up with the medical treatments your doctor recommends. The negligent driver’s insurance adjuster can make similar arguments against paying your claim as if you did not seek prompt treatment when you fail to continue to receive the medical care you need for your injuries.

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney is another important first step you should take. He can guide you through the process of filing your claim, give you advice so that you do not make inadvertent mistakes, and settle your claim for you. Call our office today to schedule a case evaluation with a member of the car accident legal team at Tavss Fletcher.