Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After an Auto Accident | Windsor CO
Being injured in an auto accident is a traumatic and frightening event. Anyone who is involved in an auto accident should seek medical attention. A person’s health should be the first and foremost consideration after an auto accident. Only a qualified physician can ascertain the severity of the victim’s injuries and, after a thorough examination, advise the person of treatment options. Delaying medical attention after an auto accident can severely impede the patent’s recovery in addition to being detrimental to the patient’s personal injury claim.
Accident Victims Who Do Not Need Emergency Medical Services
Victims of auto accidents who are severely injured require emergency medical assistance. In these cases, the injuries are obvious and there is no way to avoid receiving medical treatment. However, what happens in cases where the victim of a motor vehicle crash is not severely injured and he or she does not request immediate medical attention?
Most of the time, the person goes home believing any minor aches and pains will go away in a few days, but this is not always the case. When the pain becomes more severe and persistent or other symptoms present themselves, the person will go to see a doctor. Unfortunately, the decision to wait to seek medical attention after an auto accident is not in the accident victim’s best interest.
Anyone involved in an auto accident should seek medical attention immediately following the accident from emergency medical personnel or a personal physician. Waiting to seek medical attention after an accident can potentially harm the victim’s personal injury claim.
Always Follow Up with a Primary Physician for Additional Diagnostic Testing
In some auto accidents, EMS will transport the accident victims to the emergency room for treatment. Unless the injury is severe or life threatening, the emergency room will provide limited treatment and instruct the person to follow up with his or her primary physician. It is extremely important that the person see his or her primary physician as instructed. Missing appointments or not following instructions by physicians is just the information insurance companies are searching for to use against the person to lower the compensation paid for the accident claim.
Another reason follow up is very important is because there may be hard-to-diagnose, subtle injuries that may not present symptoms for several days following the accident. In many cases, accident victims will mistake these symptoms as being a less serious condition and ignore the symptoms. Instead, it is vital that the person follow up with a physician for additional diagnostic testing to diagnose the condition.
Some Common Injuries That May Take Longer to Diagnose Include but are Not Limited to:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Closed brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
By seeking medical attention, the accident victim allows the physician to detect hard-to-notice signs of more serious, life-altering injuries. In some cases, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of permanent disabilities.
How Can Seeking Medical Treatment After an Accident Help A Personal Injury Attorney?
In an auto accident, the accident victim can only receive compensation for damages actually incurred from the accident; therefore, the personal injury attorney must be able to prove that the victim has suffered damages. Having medical records as evidence of injuries is an important element of a personal injury claim. Without the medical evidence to substantiate a claim, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to prove damages in an auto accident.
In order for an insurance company or a jury to take an accident victim’s injuries seriously, the victim must take his or her injuries seriously by obtaining medical treatment and following doctor’s orders. A person’s health and well-being depend on that person receiving proper medical care just as the success of a personal injury claim depends on medical evidence to prove the claims.
Remember, the insurance nor the jury will take the word of an accident victim as to the severity of an injury — they want evidence to back up the accident victim’s claims. If the accident victim does not seek medical attention, there is no way for an insurance company or jury to know the extent of that person’s injuries.
Insurance Companies Look for Ways to Lower Settlement Claims
The insurance company for the liable party looks for any excuse to deny an injury claim or lower the value of an injury claim. When an accident victim delays medical treatment, the insurance company uses this as “evidence” that the injuries were either not sustained in the auto accident or the injuries became more severe due to the delay in treatment.
In either case, the insurance company will argue that it is not liable for the full extent of the accident victim’s injuries because the person contributed to the injury by delaying medical treatment. An accident victim who does not seek medical attention after an auto accident is giving the insurance company valid reasons for denying the claim or reducing the amount of compensation offered for the claim.
Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?
If you have been injured in an auto accident, protect your health and protect your right to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries by seeking medical attention. Your physicians and your personal injury attorney are protecting your best interest. Help them do this by doing your part to take care of yourself after and accident.