Do I Need To See A Doctor After An Accident?

Do I Need To See A Doctor After An Accident?
Calendar icon April 28, 2023

Car accidents, slip and falls, and even workplace accidents are unfortunate parts of life that many of us will experience at least once. In fact, over 62 million injuries occurred in 2021 across the United States, with only about 1 of every 5 injured people seeking medical attention after their accident.

So, if you’ve been involved in an accident – even if it’s minor – you may be asking yourself “do I need to see a doctor?” Here’s why it’s so important to seek medical attention after an accident, big or small.

A Medical Professional May Be Able To Diagnose An Injury Before It Worsens

Even after a minor accident, it’s recommended that you visit your primary care physician or urgent care facility for an examination. Bumps, bruises, headaches, and otherwise seemingly innocuous injuries could be signs of a more serious injury that may not be identifiable immediately after the accident.

A timely medical examination can help to identify any skeletal or soft tissue injuries – such as whiplash, sprains, fractures, or internal bleeding – all of which can worsen and result in a long-term injury over time, if left untreated.

Documented Medical Visits Are Important For Your Insurance Claim

Important factors that insurance companies use when processing your claim are whether or not you sought medical attention and how long after the accident it took for you to do so. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to injuries and treatment, but it is important to seek treatment within a reasonable time frame after your accident, as failure to do so undermines your claim that you were injured as a result of the accident (and can therefore result in a serious reduction in the compensation you receive).

If you were involved in a car crash, your own no-fault insurance may cover up to $50,000 of any necessary medical expenses that relate to injuries sustained from your accident. If your medical expenses exceed your no-fault limit, or if you were involved in an accident not involving a vehicle, you likely will want to open a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover payment for medical expenses. Ideally, you will seek the help of an attorney immediately after your accident, so that can assist you in making a claim.

Completing Recommended Medical Treatments Is Important If Filing A Lawsuit

If your accident was caused by a negligent party, and you were injured as a result, you may be within your right to file a personal injury lawsuit in an attempt to recover your losses from the negligent party’s insurance company. Just like filing a claim through your own insurance, having a paper trail of all of your medical visits, expenses, and follow-up treatments can be vital in recovering a fair amount of compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier.

It’s common practice for insurance adjusters to do whatever they can to diminish the value of your claim, and lack of timely medical treatments after an accident can allow them to do just that. A favorite tactic of insurance companies is to argue that your injuries were pre-existing, not a result of the accident with their insured.

If you are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement with the at-fault party’s insurance company or the insurance company denies your claim, filing a lawsuit may be your best chance at reclaiming your losses. At this point, many injury victims will opt to seek the help of an attorney if they have not already (although in an ideal world, clients would seek legal assistance even before deciding to file a lawsuit, since an attorney can assist in filing a claim, and ensure you do not do anything to hurt your potential lawsuit while pursuing an insurance claim). One of the first pieces of evidence that your attorney may ask for is a list of medical providers/treatment, so that he or she can work to obtain your medical records, and a list of any expenses relating to treatment of your injury.

If you have failed to seek medical advice or have not completed any recommended treatments, you can reasonably anticipate limited financial recovery since you have less evidence to support your claims.

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help If You’re Injured In An Accident

If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident where another party is primarily responsible, your best course of action is to seek legal counsel to assist you in determining your options for filing a claim or lawsuit.

During your initial consultation with an attorney, they may ask if you sought medical treatment after your accident and what treatment plans you are currently following. If you can supply your attorney with your medical records or a list of medical providers/places of treatment, your attorney will be able to assess your claim and give you a better idea of what to expect during the process. If you don’t have access to your medical records, your attorney can request them on your behalf. Once an attorney is working on your case, he or she can evaluate your medical records and engage any necessary experts to demonstrate to the insurance carrier, or even a jury, how you were injured in the accident and how it has impacted you.

The attorneys at Cellino Law will work with you on your claim to help retrieve all of the correct medical records and files necessary to successfully recover damages for you. If you have been injured, don’t wait to contact us. For a free consultation, contact Cellino Law at 888-888-8888.

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