Accidents are an unfortunate part of life. They leave us feeling vulnerable, confused, angry, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to proceed. After an accident, whether it’s a car crash, a workplace injury, a slip and fall, or any other unfortunate incident, many people try to tough it out and hope the pain will go away on its own. Needless to say, this can have potential adverse effects that can be easily averted by seeking medical treatment, even if you’re only experiencing mild pain. So before you skip the emergency room visit, take a few minutes to read this article and see why seeking medical attention should always be your first move in the aftermath of an accident.
Postponing Medical Treatment Could Jeopardize Your Health
The severity of your injuries will depend on how serious the accident is. If you’re lucky enough, you might get away with just a few minor injuries, cuts, bruises, or scrapes that will probably heal on their own over time. However, more severe injuries, like burns, deep wounds, fractures, and spine and neck injuries, require immediate medical attention. If you delay seeking medical treatment because you think you can get to it later, you will likely suffer very unpleasant consequences, from potentially aggravating the injury to prolonging your recovery period. You may even increase the chances of re-injury. The bottom line is, the sooner you seek treatment, the quicker and better you will heal.
It Gives Insurance Companies an Excuse to Deny Your Claim
Medical bills can pile up after an accident, and you’ll have to pay those costs out of your pocket if you don’t claim compensation for the injuries you sustained. Seeking medical attention after an accident ensures detailed documentation of your injuries, which will come in handy when the insurance company is examining your claim and deciding how much they owe you. Your case will be much stronger if you receive medical treatment as soon as possible, or at most within 72 hours of the accident.
Insurance companies always want to settle personal injury cases as quickly and cheaply as possible, and they’ll do whatever they can to claim that your injuries weren’t severe enough to warrant immediate attention. Sometimes the at-fault party will even claim that your injuries were the result of a subsequent incident, not the accident. That way, they can reject your claim and avoid having to pay you. This is plain bullying, and it’s extremely unfair to those who’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. Nonetheless, it’s a commonly used tactic, which is why you need to seek immediate medical treatment to obtain irrefutable proof of the specific injuries you sustained and the treatment you needed.
Right after you seek medical treatment, you should book an appointment with a specialized attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and navigate the insurance claims system. That is especially important if you live in Nova Scotia, Texas, or anywhere where personal injury claims are known to be hard to win. If you don’t already have a lawyer, a quick Google search will lead you to a reliable firm’s website where you can get in touch with an experienced attorney, and start working on your insurance claim. The medical records you obtain by getting a checkup after the accident will help ensure your attorney has everything they need to build a strong case if you decide to file a lawsuit to claim compensation for your injury and suffering. Without these records, it would be much harder to prove that you’ve suffered as much as you say you have in the eyes of a court.
Emotional Distress Is No Joking Matter
Accidents take a toll on your psyche as well as your body. The mental and emotional damages that traumatic accidents cause can be just as devastating as physical injuries, and just like bodily injury, emotional distress can be quite dangerous if left untreated. It’s not unusual for those who were involved in an accident to experience stress, anxiety, insomnia, or PTSD. They may even develop a crippling fear that keeps them from going back to the location where the accident took place. Plus, in the aftermath of car accidents, most victims find themselves too scared to drive or even ride in a car for some time. When you seek treatment following a traumatic incident, a medical professional can recommend the appropriate treatment for your emotional anguish and help you lead a normal life sooner rather than later.
Some Injuries May Not Be Immediately Obvious
If you bruise your knee or break your arm, you’ll easily be able to tell that you‘re injured, but what about the injuries that aren’t as readily apparent? Latent injuries like whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding are not always immediately obvious, and they may not begin presenting signs or symptoms for hours, and sometimes even days, after an accident. For example, victims usually attribute the confusion and disorientation they experience following a horrific incident as simple emotional distress. However, fluster and perplexity could also be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, which is one of the most common injuries in many types of accidents, and it requires diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment.
Even if you don’t have obvious symptoms, seeking immediate medical attention will allow the doctors to treat any damage or injury that you may have unknowingly sustained. Tissue damage, hairline fractures, and other injuries that may not present serious symptoms can become more dangerous— and more costly— the longer you wait to seek treatment.
It’s always wise to go on the side of caution and seek medical attention after being involved in any type of accident, even if you don’t think it’s necessary. That should be your first step. Your second move should be to hire a skilled attorney who can help navigate the challenges that come with filing a claim and dealing with insurance companies. Whether the liable party forces you to file a lawsuit or if they choose to settle, you’ll be thankful you have the medical documents that can back up your case from that checkup you had after the accident.
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