Why It’s Important to Seek Medical Care After an Accident
Being involved in an accident can be a stressful experience. As a rule of thumb, no matter how minor your accident may seem, it is always wise to see a doctor right away. Delays in seeking medical attention could have a negative effect on your health and legal claim.
As a personal injury attorney at The Fostel Law Firm, I have seen first-hand the devastating impact of injuries, even when they are not immediately apparent. I represent accident victims in Houston, Texas, and other parts of Texas and Southeast New Mexico, helping them pursue the compensation to which they are entitled.
Common Injuries After an Accident
Often, injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, which means they cannot always be prevented. According to Johns Hopkins University, the top three causes of unintentional injuries in the United States are motor vehicle accidents, poisoning, and falls.
Depending on the type and circumstances of the accident, you may sustain a wide range of injuries, including but not limited to:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Fractured or broken bones
Internal organ damage
Broken or bruised ribs
Knee or ankle injuries
Loss of limbs
Not all of these injuries are apparent right away, which is why many accident victims may not think they need medical attention after an accident when they actually do.
Reasons to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you were involved in an accident, seeking medical care without delays is important for the following reasons:
Your Injuries May Not Be Apparent Right Away
It is common for people who have been involved in an accident to assume that they are not injured if they do not feel any pain or discomfort right away. In many cases, injuries can take hours or days to manifest themselves and can even go undetected by a doctor if not properly diagnosed soon after the incident occurred.
Delaying Medical Care Could Negatively Affect Your Ability to Fully Recover
In addition to potentially missing out on a diagnosis of a serious injury, delaying medical care could also negatively affect your ability to fully recover from whatever injury you have. The sooner you receive treatment, the better off you will be in terms of healing completely and minimizing any long-term complications.
You Will Have Medical Records to Prove Your Injury
Having medical records is extremely helpful when seeking compensation for damages related to an accident. Without them, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) for you to prove that your injuries were caused by the incident in question and that they warrant compensation.
You Can Maximize Your Compensation
Finally, seeking immediate medical attention following an accident can help maximize your potential compensation amount due to the fact that having detailed records of all of your treatments will help demonstrate both the severity of your injury as well as how much money was spent on the treatment.
How Delays in Seeking Medical Attention Can Hurt Your Legal Claim
In any personal injury claim, medical evidence is integral to proving liability and damages. When you seek medical attention immediately after an accident, it helps create a clear record of when and how the injury occurred as well as what kind of treatment was necessary for recovery.
Without this evidence, proving liability can be difficult or even impossible—especially when there are no witnesses or other forms of proof. If there has been a long delay between your accident and when you received medical care, insurance companies may argue that other factors were responsible for causing or contributing to your injury rather than their insured party—which may give the insurer valid grounds to deny your claim.
In addition, if there is not sufficient documentation about the extent of your injuries sustained from the accident because of a delay in care, then calculating damages can become difficult as well. This means that even if liability is established, insurers may still argue over how much should be paid out for damages based on a lack of evidence regarding the severity or scope of injuries.
Understand Your Next Steps
If you were involved in an accident, seeking medical attention should always be the first step you take. Another important step to take is to contact an experienced attorney. As a personal injury attorney at The Fostel Law Firm, I can guide you through the claims process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Contact my office today to let me help you seek justice.