What Happens If I Wait to Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident?
Your body goes through a lot in a car accident. Even a minor crash can push your body to its limits, leaving you with aches and pains, headaches, and strained muscles. Like most victims, you might be wondering if you really need to go to the doctor. Medical care can be expensive, and many people worry about racking up bills they can’t afford.
However, both for your health and for your personal injury claim, you should make a point of going to the doctor after a crash. Find out what happens when you don’t, and when you are ready to move forward with your claim, call Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555.
It’s Harder to Prove the Source of Your Injuries
One of the big disadvantages of waiting too long to see a doctor is that doing so makes it far harder to prove what caused your injuries. If you get in an accident and get checked out within the day, it’s unlikely that something happened between the accident and the appointment that would cause your injuries. But if you wait a week or two, it’s largely just your word against the insurance company.
You may claim that your injuries happened in the accident, and they may point out that anything could have happened in the week or two you waited to seek treatment. They could even go one step further and say that if you had been injured in the crash, you wouldn’t have waited to seek treatment. Essentially, waiting to go to the doctor strengthens the insurance company’s case and weakens your own.
You May Delay Necessary Treatment
When it comes to your health, waiting to see a doctor is just not a wise choice. While some injuries heal with nothing but time and rest, others need prompt intervention if you want to make a full recovery. Waiting too long could cause you to lose precious time that could be spent recovering.
Consider this: the best outcome of a prompt doctor’s appointment is that nothing is wrong, and you walk away with peace of mind. But what if that doctor’s appointment uncovers traumatic brain injury or a severe muscle strain that requires immediate medical care? Going right away is truly the best choice for your health.
You Could Miss Out on Important Evidence
If you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim after your car accident, you should know that evidence is an essential component of your case. The medical care you receive is a big part of that.
The longer you wait to seek out a doctor’s opinion, the less evidence you have to turn in to your lawyer and use in your case. This, combined with the fact that insurance companies already cast doubt on delayed appointments, could be devastating for your personal injury claim. Get checked out right away, keep copies of all of the documentation you receive, and follow your doctor’s recommended care plan.
Insurance May Push Back on Your Claim
All in all, the most likely result of a delayed appointment is greater resistance from the at-fault party’s insurance company. They don’t want to pay a fair settlement for valid claims; if they have any reason to believe that your claim isn’t valid, they really don’t want to pay.
First, they will likely question whether or not your reported injuries are the result of the car accident. Second, they may claim that you caused further harm to yourself by waiting so long to seek medical care. As a victim, you have a responsibility to mitigate the damage of an accident. You must take appropriate steps to keep the situation from getting worse.
For example, you have to get your car out of the tow truck’s lot instead of letting it rack up hundreds of dollars in fees every day. If you’re injured, you have to seek treatment instead of letting your injury worsen. You cannot let your situation get worse, and therefore more expensive, and then ask for fair compensation.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Olmstead & Olmstead
Prompt medical care is a core part of your personal injury claim. So is talking to a personal injury attorney. The team at Olmstead & Olmstead is ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Just contact us online or call us at 703-361-1555.
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