Our clients tell us all the time “it all happened so quickly!” A car accident can happen fast. They often cause adrenaline spikes that can mask the presence of injuries. Some injuries take days or weeks to manifest. If you decline medical support at the site of a car accident or do not see a physician right after the incident, you could harm your ability to recover damages later.
When to Seek Medical Help After a Car Accident
We strongly advise anyone involved in a car accident to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. You may not need to ride in an ambulance to the hospital, but you do need to see a physician. Your care provider may notice signs of a latent and serious injury that you have not.
If you choose not to see a physician or choose not to comply with a physician’s recommendations after your accident, you may lose the ability to file any type of personal injury claim in the future. Clear and consistent medical records show insurers that you did sustain an injury in the accident and that you did take steps to receive adequate medical attention afterward.
Talking to Others about Your Injuries
At the accident scene and in the days following a car accident, choose what you say to anyone very carefully. If you choose to speak with an insurance adjuster without consulting an attorney, focus on the facts of your claim. Instead of downplaying or exaggerating your injuries, stick with objective truths.
Accident-related medication or even simply the stress of the incident—physical and financial—can cause people to be forgetful of important facts and that is one reason why communicating with an insurer without the benefit of a trained professional can cost you significantly in the long run. Never forget that all insurance companies—even your own—are looking to save money at your expense.
Use the same medical terminology your doctor uses to describe your accident injuries, and inform investigators if you are still waiting on test results or an appointment with a specialist. Insurers may look for any reason to downplay your claim request and lower the total payout amount. Never lie to an insurer, but avoid oversharing your opinions on the case that might lower your ability to recover compensation.
If you think you may have an accident claim, consider speaking to an attorney before you discuss your case with insurers. In cases involving serious injuries, an attorney can help you navigate the claims process.
Recording Medical Information after an Accident
Always create a new medical file after an accident injury. Keep receipts for hospital visits, travel to and from medical facilities, medical insurance explanations of benefits, lodging (if you must travel to see a specialist), ambulance fees, and more. A detailed record of medical expenses will help you file insurance claims and legal claims for compensation.
After an accident, take steps to protect your legal rights. Whether you hire an attorney to support your claim or work through the process yourself, these tips will help you secure fair compensation.
Car accident attorneys can communicate, protect, and support their clients after a devastating accident. If you have suffered significant losses in a car accident, talk to an attorney about your right to compensation today.