The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Even if you aren’t sure whether you have been injured in a car accident, you should seek medical attention right away. Any future insurance claim you might try to make may depend on it.
In 2020, there were nearly 475,000 auto crashes across the State of Texas. More than 62,000 people reported having non-incapacitating injuries. Another 128,000 people were recorded as having “possible injuries” and 671,000 people as having none. That is nearly 800,000 people who might have experienced difficulty asserting a personal injury claim if they discovered they had been injured later.
Insurance companies like that. We should know.
We started our legal career representing insurance companies. After five years, and more than 40 years ago, The Law Office of Steve Brannan was founded to represent victims of negligence. We have represented hundreds of injured clients in Odessa, Texas, as well as Midland, Big Spring, Pecos, Andrews, and throughout West Texas.
What Are Common Accident Injuries?
Injuries resulting from car accidents vary from minor to deadly. Some are obvious enough to prompt you to seek medical attention. Others are either inconspicuous or masked by adrenaline. Those are the ones you need to be careful with. Something that seems relatively minor, such as a headache, could be something much worse.
Bone fractures and dislocations, sprains and strains, torn tendons and muscles, soft tissue, whiplash, closed head injuries, cuts, and bruises are typical. The point of impact and the speed will determine likely injuries; however, even collisions at very slow speeds can do damage to you, even if they don’t show much on your vehicle.
Why Should I Seek Immediate Medical Attention?
Seek immediate medical attention for your health and your peace of mind. That headache may be just that, but it could also be a sign of bleeding in the brain caused by your brain striking the inside of your skull on impact. A spinal fracture could be masked by the adrenaline rush you experienced. You might mistake a sore abdomen for a bruise when you may have internal bleeding.
For your own sake, seek immediate medical attention from emergency responders at the emergency room or urgent care center, or at least from your own doctor. Emergency physicians in particular know how to examine you for potential injuries and will conduct the tests necessary to diagnose them. Diagnosis is the first step toward proper treatment and recovery. A delay could exacerbate injuries or cause irreversible harm.
Another reason to seek treatment concerns the business of insurance. Whether you file a claim for the medical payment or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits included in your own auto insurance policy or a third-party claim against the driver who caused your injuries, you will need medical documentation to support your claim. That documentation will need to include a diagnosis that ties your injuries to the accident.
Seeking immediate care will also prohibit the insurance company from denying your claim or lowering its value. The insurer will assert that you didn’t seek treatment right away because your injuries were not serious enough to warrant it. They may attempt to prove that the injuries you claim resulted from the crash were actually caused later by some unrelated incident.
Do I Need to Complete the Full Treatment Plan?
It is imperative that you adhere to and complete the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. For the same reason that seeking immediate medical attention is critical for your own health, completing the treatment as directed is critical to your ability to recover from your injuries to the greatest extent possible.
Furthermore, if you increase the value of your claim due to ongoing pain and suffering and future medical expenses, you will need to have followed your doctor’s orders. Otherwise, the insurer will assert that you didn’t recover because you failed to follow the treatment plan.
Getting the Experienced Legal Guidance You Need
We know from experience the ways insurance companies deny and devalue bodily injury claims. Seeking immediate medical attention gives them far less ability to do so. More importantly, you should not risk your health by waiting to see how you feel a few days after a crash. Delays could be devastating or even deadly.
For more than 40 years, The Law Office of Steve Brannan has worked diligently to help our clients obtain just compensation for the damages they suffer and hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they cause. If you have been injured in a car accident in Odessa or anywhere in West Texas, call our office today to schedule a free case consultation.
Don’t delay medical attention, and don’t delay making this call.