If you’ve ever been in a car accident, or know someone who has, you know the immediate aftermath can be very chaotic.
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to do. Between trying to figure out exactly what happened, how your car will be repaired, and whether there are alternative transportation options, seeking medical attention is not always the highest priority, particularly if you think any injuries incurred will heal on their own.
However, it’s critical that the first action you take after an accident is to ensure that everyone involved is OK and to seek medical attention yourself as soon as possible. Even if you haven’t suffered any noticeable injuries or those suffered seem relatively minor, it’s important to undergo a thorough medical examination.
Medical attention results in documentation
Some injuries may not become apparent until days after the accident, which is why it’s important to have your health and any injuries accurately diagnosed by a qualified medical professional. This is important not only for your own health, but for legal reasons as well.
For example, internal injuries may not manifest themselves immediately and foregoing medical attention may lead to what could have been an avoidable medical emergency down the road.
Additionally, when you seek medical treatment after an accident, it results in official medical documentation of your condition and helps connect any injuries suffered to the accident that caused them.
Not having such documentation opens the door for insurance companies to argue that injuries suffered as a result of the accident are not as serious as claimed or that they didn’t result from the accident itself.
In these cases, seeking medical treatment serves as a level of protection of your legal right to recover compensation for injuries suffered.
Follow your doctor’s orders
Upon receiving a medical diagnosis, it is imperative to follow your doctor’s orders and any prescribed treatment plan. This means filling all prescriptions ordered, participating in physical therapy, and taking the required time to rest and, as recommended, take a break from activities such as work, school, and recreational activity.
Particularly if you start to feel better it is important to continue following your doctor’s orders and to not skip follow-up appointments or stray from the prescribed treatment plan.
Insurance companies may seize upon any failure to comply with the doctor’s treatment plan as justification to reduce any settlement or even deny a claim altogether.
Speak with a personal injury attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident and have questions on how to protect your rights to receive compensation for injuries incurred in the accident, personal injury attorneys at Herrling Clark are available to provide a free consultation regarding your legal options. Contact us today.