Someone bumps your car on the roadway. Maybe they did not stop soon enough and rear-ended you. Or perhaps they turned too sharply and nicked your front bumper. You look at your car and don’t see any damage. Does that mean it is okay?
Even when there is no visible damage, your car might now be misaligned. The contact could have punctured something that is now leaking. Your wiring could have been compromised or your car’s computer could begin to malfunction. Damage to your car, like damage to your body, is not always obvious right away.
You would be wise to have your car checked out by a mechanic. You would also be wise to have yourself checked out by a doctor.
As a personal injury attorney, I have seen clients suffer more than necessary from injuries caused by someone else because they decided to not seek medical attention right after an accident. As a result, their health and livelihoods suffer, as does their personal injury claim against the negligent party responsible for their injuries. If you have been injured in Lake Wales, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Davenport, or Haines City, Florida, Tonya Stewart Law can help.
What Injuries Are Common After an Accident?
The force of impact on a 130-pound person at five miles per hour is more than 165 pounds. At 10 miles per hour, it’s more than 660 pounds. Either of those can render injuries, and both will cause a rush of adrenaline that could mask those injuries.
Many car accident injuries can be somewhat predictable, based on factors such as the speed at impact, location of impact, and whether you were wearing a seatbelt or airbags deployed. Emergency room physicians know where to look, even when you don’t think you are injured.
Common injuries that may not be immediately felt include soft tissue injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, including whiplash, hairline fractures of bones, and concussions or other traumatic brain injuries. The fact that these injuries are not felt right away does not mean they are minor.
Why Should I Seek Immediate Medical Attention?
You should seek medical care immediately after an accident for the sake of your health and well-being. Emergency personnel, ER, and urgent care physicians know what to look for and how to treat injuries right away. Some injuries may not be apparent to you for hours, days, weeks, or even months. Early intervention is critical to your ability to recover. Delay treatment and you may never be able to reverse the damage.
If you file an insurance claim, you will need to have documentation of a medical diagnosis that relates the cause of your injury to the accident. You will need the documentation to claim benefits for medical expenses and lost wages under your auto policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If your injuries end up rising to the level that allows you to file a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy, you will also need medical records documenting the cause and extent of your injuries and the cost of treatment.
Insurance companies, whether yours or the other driver’s, have incentives to deny claims. The less money they pay out, the more profitable they are. They will use any reason they can find to deny your claim. If there is a space of time between the accident and the initiation of medical treatment, this gives them a reason for denial. An insurance company may assert that an injury not diagnosed for days or weeks after the crash may have been caused by any number of unrelated incidents.
Is There a Reason to Complete a Treatment Plan Even Though I Feel Better?
Following through with the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor is crucial to your health and to a personal injury claim. It is similar to being prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis. If you stop taking them as soon as you feel better, instead of completing the entire course, you may not actually kill the infection and you can relapse. For the sake of your own recovery, you should adhere to and complete the treatment plan.
Furthermore, failure to comply with the plan gives the insurance company another reason to question the value of your claim for damages. The company will attempt to blame any long-term or permanent health issues on your lack of compliance with the recommended treatment plan.
Experienced Legal Guidance You Can Trust
It is not impossible to assert a personal injury claim in cases where the victim did not seek immediate medical attention. It does, however, make the claim more challenging than it needed to be. At Tonya Stewart Law, I am always up to the challenges my clients face when fighting for fair compensation for their injuries and other damages. I have demonstrated to my clients again and again that I have the knowledge and experience to seek and garner results.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Lake Wales, Lakeland, or any of the surrounding communities in Florida, call my office to schedule a free case consultation. Even if you delayed medical treatment, do not delay reaching out to me.