Why Seeking Medical Care After an Accident Is Important
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 25, 2019 in Auto Accident
Being involved in a car crash is often an overwhelming and scary experience. In the aftermath of an accident, you may feel confused or be unaware of any injuries you might have suffered. This is why seeking medical attention immediately after an accident is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Immediate treatment can also benefit you if you want to pursue a claim against the at-fault party.
At Rizk Law, our experienced Portland personal injury lawyers can guide you through the complicated legal process every step of the way. We offer a free initial consultation, and it is a great way to get information about how a personal injury claim works. There are no upfront fees for you to worry about, because if we represent you, we do not get paid unless you do.
You May Have Serious Injuries You Cannot See
After a serious accident, like a collision with another motor vehicle, it is common for victims to not realize how injured they really are. This can happen because an accident victim typically experiences a surge of adrenaline after a traumatic event, and this helps to mask pain from injuries.
Some injuries you may not notice at first, or that may not cause intense pain right away, can include:
- Whiplash – This is caused by sudden trauma to the neck and shoulders, usually a jerking movement backward and forward. These injuries are common in car accidents, and symptoms, which can include headaches, severe neck and back pain, or tinnitus, may not appear until days after the initial injury.
- Soft tissue injuries – Torn muscles, ligaments or tendons classified as soft tissue injuries may also go unnoticed right after an accident, but they can result in significant pain and loss of motion.
- Internal injuries – Damage to organs is typically not visible to the naked eye but can be extremely serious or life-threatening, especially if there is internal bleeding. Seeking prompt medical attention can help diagnose these injuries.
- Back and neck injuries – Fractures, herniated discs, spinal injuries and sprains may happen in a car crash. However, many accident victims initially ignore the symptoms and mistakenly believe they are just sore from the impact of the collision.
- Traumatic brain injury – The severity of this type of injury varies and can range from a mild concussion, fractured skull or internal hemorrhage to swelling and destruction of brain cells. Symptoms often appear later and include blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, mood changes, abnormal fatigue, as well as memory problems and difficulty concentrating.
Seeking the care of a physician immediately after an accident will help to ensure any life-threatening conditions are diagnosed and treated. In some cases, immediate treatment saves lives. In others, it can help prevent an injury from becoming much worse.
Waiting to Seek Medical Care May Hurt Your Claim
Another reason why we encourage accident victims to seek medical care quickly is that it can actually damage your claim if you do not.
If you wait to seek treatment, insurance providers may claim that you were not really hurt or that your injury is due to a pre-existing condition and not the accident.
Another problem with waiting is the insurance adjuster may be able to argue that your injuries are worse than they would have been if you had immediate medical attention. The insurer may then argue they should not have to pay for the damages from your injuries.
Medical Records Support the Extent of Your Injuries
As a person making an insurance claim and possibly a plaintiff in a personal injury case, you have the burden of establishing damages. You may be entitled to receive compensation, but you must first be able to prove your injuries are a direct result of the accident you are claiming. Medical records help to provide tangible, credible evidence.
Since your pain and suffering may be calculated, at least in part, based on the extent of your injuries, your medical records can help establish these damages as well.
If a traumatic event causes you to experience anxiety, it may be helpful to be examined by a psychologist for accident-related depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Only a licensed psychologist has the expertise to properly diagnose and document how an accident may have affected the mental or emotional condition of an injured victim.
Contact a Lawyer for Help Establishing Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident, it is recommended that you promptly seek medical care. We also encourage you to contact Rizk Law to discuss what happened. Our experienced attorneys can discuss whether you may be eligible to pursue compensation and how to protect your claim during a free, no-risk consultation.
If you have a case and hire us, we can handle negotiations with the insurance company and fight for maximum compensation. Since we accept personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, there are no upfront fees and you only pay for our services if we secure compensation on your behalf.