Unfortunately, many people refuse to go to the hospital after a car accident. Later, they come to find that they sustained a serious injury. After a car accident, it is always important to have emergency responders check you out.
However, they often face limitations. In the midst of a chaotic scene without full diagnostic equipment, they can’t offer a full evaluation. To determine the true extent of your injuries, it’s a good idea to get a complete checkup at an emergency room.
There, they offer a more thorough evaluation, including searching for internal injuries. Moreover, some injuries take time to develop or show symptoms. That’s why a thorough evaluation is so important.
When you know what you’re dealing with, you know how to respond. Additionally, your personal injury lawyer has more leverage for your settlement claim.
Can I Wait to Seek Medical Care?
When you put off medical care after a car accident, you risk your health and financial future. From a medical standpoint, you might find out that you have a severe injury that would have been easier to treat earlier.
Financially, the longer you wait, the more opportunity you give an insurance company to deny your claim. Then, they claim that you were fine because you refused immediate medical treatment.
When you want to maximize your settlement, it’s always a good idea to go to the hospital after a car accident. If you put it off, you give the insurance company a reason to offer you a lower settlement. When this happens, it often leaves you without the money necessary to cover your medical expenses.
This is especially true for injuries that require long-term care or lead to permanent disabilities. Additionally, many people do not realize that they have an injury. Often, the adrenaline people experience after an accident masks symptoms.
For other victims, the symptoms simply do not manifest for a few hours or even a few days.
When you visit a hospital after a car accident, the doctors work to determine the true extent of your injuries. However, if you visit an emergency room, be clear to the staff that you were in a car accident. Tell them that you need a thorough checkup.
This is an important thing to make clear because they don’t always check for internal injuries or brain injuries.
What Types of Injuries Appear Later?
After a motor vehicle accident, it’s possible for certain injuries to show symptoms later. Here are a couple of key examples.
Sprains & Strains
Sometimes, people feel a soreness in their arms and have to stop to think about why. In some cases, you have to look back days into the past to determine a potential cause. This is also true for some auto accident victims.
When you strain or sprain a muscle in a collision, it doesn’t always feel sore immediately. However, with a thorough exam, your doctors communicate what you can expect.
Concussions & Brain Injuries
Generally, doctors refer to a mild concussion as a form of traumatic brain injury. This is because a TBI is a serious injury. Even when there’s no direct contact between your head and an object, whiplash can lead to concussions.
Moreover, many people don’t notice the symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks. Symptoms of a concussion include clouded thinking, nausea, and problems with balance.
When you go to the hospital after a car accident, doctors check for sprains, concussions, and other types of injuries. Then, they help you start on the road to recovery. In many cases, they have the power to help you before you show symptoms.
Additionally, it’s possible for some injuries to lead to disabilities down the line. For instance, if you sustain multiple concussions, you increase your odds of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
With medical records from treatment, you have a chance to track your injuries. This keeps insurance companies from offering you a low-ball settlement offer. Moreover, it helps your doctors make a better diagnosis for injuries caused by accidents and potential long-term effects.
I Can’t Afford a Trip to the Hospital…
When the other driver bears liability for your accident, your health and auto insurance help to cover the cost of your hospital visit. Moreover, when someone else’s negligence causes your injuries, you have the opportunity to gain a settlement award or a trial award.
If you win a settlement, your own insurance may request a reimbursement from the settlement amount. However, if you do not win your claim, they maintain your coverage with no reimbursement.
Again, it’s a good idea to visit a hospital after a car accident. Generally speaking, you receive better care because the doctors have the equipment needed to make a proper diagnosis.
Gathering Evidence From the Hospital After a Car Accident
When you seek medical care after a car accident, you take an important step in your personal injury claim. This is because you establish medical records that link your injuries to the accident. Your lawyers follow these records and your treatment, and the insurance company follows them as well.
With initial medical expenses, you build a paper trail that shows how a minor injury proves to be a severe injury. For instance, when an auto accident causes emotional trauma despite only leading to minor physical injuries, it may point to PTSD.
This happens to many parents who fall victim to someone’s negligence while their child is in the car. While the child might only sustain a mild injury, your worry builds as you consider the possibilities of life-changing injuries. That’s traumatic for any parent.
Medical records work alongside other evidence to support a diagnosis of your physical and emotional condition. When you sustain a mild concussion but the symptoms continue, doctors may later determine there’s a more severe issue. With your medical records, the evidence links those injuries to the accident.
Oftentimes, this proves extremely valuable when you choose to pursue legal action.
Personal Injury Claims and Evaluations
Today, insurance companies utilize software to generate settlement offers. Typically, this means they enter the damages of your accident.
- Medical expenses
- Property damage costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other factors
Part of this determination involves the amount of time before you sought medical treatment. When you visit a hospital after a car accident, it keeps more in their calculation. However, the longer you put off medical care, the more they shave off the amount that the software recommends.
Without immediate medical care, insurance companies tend to claim your injuries are less severe. Unfortunately, this is also true of alternative treatments, such as a chiropractor.
When you go to a hospital immediately after an accident, it proves that you suffered injuries. This makes it more difficult for the adjusters to refute your car accident claim.
Medical Claims Are Complex
Oftentimes, medical claims become complex matters in your personal injury claim. Even when doctors expect an injury to heal in months, it’s impossible to predict accurately. Perhaps you tore a muscle, and it requires surgery followed by physical therapy.
Some insurance companies question the need for physical therapy.
Alternatively, your doctor might expect an injury to lead to a permanent disability. Often, such injuries require long-term care or therapy. Additionally, the trauma of the accident may mean you need the help of a therapist.
When the insurance company refuses to cover the care you need, your personal injury attorney fights for your future. That’s why it is essential to work with an attorney who knows how to maximize your settlement.
When you sustain injuries or lose a loved one in an auto accident, it is vital to seek out professional, experienced legal representation. Contact a car accident attorney Houston trusts and schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.