An estimated 88,800 motorists are injured or killed in Los Angeles County annually, one of the highest rates in all of California. Because of this, motorists need to understand the importance of seeking medical treatment right away after any kind of car accident. Here are three reasons why you should see your doctor immediately following a car crash:
#1. Prevent Limitations Before They Start
One of the most crucial reasons you should see your doctor soon after a car accident is that they can prevent your injuries from getting worse and limiting you at work and at home. The adrenaline and shock of a crash cause many people to not be aware of internal or external injuries, often leading to more significant issues down the line. Likewise, many injuries may not start showing significant symptoms until days later, also known as "latent car crash injuries"; and seemingly minor bumps, bruises, or headaches could progress into more critical health problems if left untreated.
If you begin showing any of these signs within 24 to 72 hours of your crash, seek medical attention immediately:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) / Concussion symptoms: headaches, nausea or vomiting, vision or hearing problems.
- Persistent pain in the joints or back.
- Whiplash/neck pain that doesn’t get better.
- Mental health issues, such as PTSD, behavioral changes, anxiety or depression.
Your physical and mental health are some of the most important things to check on following a car crash. It is always better to seek medical care as soon as possible rather than wait for it to become a bigger issue.
#2. Making Your Car Accident Claim
It’s not uncommon for both drivers and passengers in a car crash to want to file an insurance claim immediately following the collision. While you may want to alert your insurance company of the incident, you also need to understand how the first three days could affect your claim, especially if another driver is at fault. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after your accident can help your insurance company appropriately assess the damages caused.
Most insurance adjusters give you a 72-hour grace period following your accident to see a doctor before it begins affecting your potential compensation. This is because latent injuries can arise within this period that weren't noticeable on the scene of the accident. And as you return to your daily routine, you may discover pain in parts of your body that you were not aware of while you were resting. However, delaying your first doctor visit by longer longer than three days after a crash may give the insurance adjuster an opportunity to deny compensation you deserve.
#3. Holding the At-Fault Driver Accountable
Another reason to seek medical attention right away is to hold the at-fault driver accountable for the damages caused. When you go to your doctor, your doctor generates independent medical records that document your injuries and complaints. Your doctor’s independent medical records can be the strongest evidence of your personal injury claim. Should your injuries be significant and cause lifelong disability or become fatal, your medical records will support your claim for compensation.
Ultimately, going to the doctor immediately after an accident provides preventative care and treatment, as well as ensures you can have the best overall outcome with your case.
Car Accident? Call (818) 222-9720
Being involved in a collision resulting in injury should not leave you struggling to pay for medical treatment. When this occurs, the at-fault driver should be held accountable for the damages caused.
Effres & Effres has been protecting the rights of injured motorists and passengers for more than three decades. If you or a loved one sustained an injury and are looking to take legal action, call (818) 222-9720 or fill out this short form to speak with a member of our team.