You’ve just been in a car accident. Your mind is racing. You are having trouble concentrating. You may be more worried about your car than you are about yourself, depending on the severity of the accident. You don’t feel any pain at the moment, and only see a few minor bruises and scrapes. Should you go to the doctor to get your car accident injuries checked out? The answer is a resounding yes.
Any time you have been involved in a car accident, you should be evaluated by a medical professional right away. The sooner you can see a doctor or visit an emergency room, the better. Failure to seek medical assistance promptly can cause damage to your case and can limit the compensation you receive. Seeking medical help right away is a first step in building a solid case for compensation after a car, motorcycle, truck, or bus accident.
Find Out What Car Accident Injuries Were Sustained
Some car accident injuries are visible, like cuts, bruises, or burns. Not only can you see them, but you can probably feel them, too. Other injuries may not be visible, and are often much more serious. These types of injuries include neck and spinal cord injuries, concussions, torn muscles or ligaments, fractures, and nerve damage. They can lead to severe pain, disability, and even death if they are not treated right away. The longer you wait for treatment, the worse the damage becomes.
Remember, just because you can’t see an injury or don’t feel any pain immediately after the accident doesn’t mean you weren’t injured. Some pain takes a day or two to reveal itself, and some of the most serious injuries can only be diagnosed through medical testing. You need to go to an emergency room or your doctor for a thorough evaluation to not only reveal the injuries sustained in the accident but to get you on the path to feeling better right away.
The Burden of Proof Lies with the Victim
The burden of proof that you were injured in a car accident lies with the victim, which means is that it is up to you to prove the severity of your injuries. The assumption from the court’s perspective is that you were not injured — you and your attorney must prove that you were. The proof required includes documentation and testimony from licensed medical professionals, for example:
- Medical reports
- CAT scans
- Blood work
- Similar information that demonstrates not only that you were injured but the extent of your car accident injuries and the amount of money involved in the treatments.
Keep in mind that the testimony and findings of a medical professional who practices mainstream medicine will have the most impact on your case. You may prefer to visit a chiropractor or a physical therapist, but insurance companies view them with suspicion. In fact, the defense is likely to accuse them of extending the duration of treatment beyond what is medically necessary just to make more money. This type of accusation is not likely if you see a mainstream, licensed physician.
If your doctor does send you to a physical therapist or a chiropractor, make sure that it is documented that you were sent by the doctor as an integral part of your treatment and recovery. In addition, alternative medicines such as acupuncture or homeopathic medicine may hurt your case rather than help.
Is Your Personal Injury Claim Valid?
The timing of events following a car accident is vitally important to the court. If you wait to see a doctor or go to the emergency room, you could create a serious problem for your attorney, who will want to show that your injuries are serious. How quickly you seek medical attention will have a major impact on your case. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more grounds the insurance company and the defense have to claim that your car accident injuries can’t be as serious as you claim. Even if you wait and are diagnosed with a serious injury when you do finally see the doctor, any delay in seeking treatment will negatively impact your case and call into question its validity.
Maximizing the Value of Your Personal Injury Case
Looking at the seriousness of the injuries you sustained, the tests and doctor visits that lead to the diagnosis, and the treatment plan that was implemented will determine the monetary value of your case. Other things your attorney will consider when formulating damages owed to you by the defendant include time off from work for treatment and recovery, deductibles, prescriptions, medical equipment, and future medical costs related to the injuries you sustained.
The sooner you see the doctor after an accident, the greater the impact of your diagnosis and treatment will be, and the easier it will be to establish the true value of your case.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers Here to Help
We cannot overemphasize how important it is that you seek mainstream medical care as soon as possible after you have been involved in a car accident. This often overlooked step will reveal which injuries you sustained, is key in establishing proof of your injuries, strengthens the validity of your case, and will maximize the value of your case.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact Donaghue & Labrum right away for a free consultation. We have the knowledge, resources, and experience to help you build a solid case, fight unscrupulous insurance companies, and receive every penny of the compensation you deserve, including medical expenses, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and the cost of living with the injury or disability. With 30+ years of experience, we know how to win personal injury cases and will fight for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.