You are driving home from work, looking forward to getting home and relaxing, when suddenly through no fault of your own, you are involved in an accident. You feel dazed, your adrenaline is racing, and you definitely don’t feel quite right. You spend unplanned time at the accident scene. You deal with exchanging information, talking with the police, and probably with tow truck operators. You have finally completed everything that you can in terms of the accident. The last thing you want to do is spend the next hours in an emergency room or an urgent care facility after everything you have been through. You just want to go home and lie down. But that is probably not in your best interest.
If you have been in an accident and don’t feel quite right, it is very important that you get medical attention right away. Many people who are in accidents and don’t have injuries that are immediately and clearly apparent often take the “wait and see” approach. This approach is most likely not the best approach for several reasons.
First, and most importantly, your health is of utmost importance. Prompt medical attention gives you prompt care. By getting immediate medical attention after an accident your injury will be evaluated and treated quickly, so that the healing process can also begin quickly. Additionally, your health care provider can help you decide what activities you should and should not engage in after being injured in an accident, thus reducing the chances of making your injury worse. Some injuries that are not visually apparent, such as injuries to your muscles, are hard to identify for someone with no medical training. A medical specialist should be able to diagnose your injuries by your verbal descriptions, perhaps an x-ray, and an accompanying exam. They will also be able to suggest medications that will help the healing process as well.
Second, medical reports of your immediate complaints serve as documentation for any personal injury claim that you might be entitled to present. In order to be compensated for your injuries it is necessary that you be able to show what your injuries were and that they were caused by the accident. By getting immediate medical attention, the reports from those exam will provide proof that the injury was directly caused or aggravated by the car accident.
We have met with new clients who have gone weeks after an accident with no medical care. They lived with daily back pain but just assumed it would go away on its own. That scenario usually brings the same response from the insurance company:“Your client didn’t bother to get any medical attention for a month after the accident, she obviously wasn’t hurt” or “How do we know that your client didn’t hurt themselves some other way between the time of the accident and when they finally got in to the doctors?” A reluctance to seek prompt and immediate medical attention is almost always used by the insurance company as a way to attack your claim for injuries.
If you have been in an accident, and believe that you were injured, there really are no reasons to “wait and see”. Get yourself to a medical provider, you may have to “wait to be seen” but it will be in your best interest.