It is only natural to feel overwhelmed and shaken in the chaotic aftermath of a car accident, but it is also important to recognize how the incident may have affected your health. You may be wondering when to seek medical treatment after an accident. Some injuries will be immediately obvious, while you may not experience symptoms of other trauma until hours or days later. For example, you may not know you sustained a concussion or whiplash for up to 24 hours after the crash. Regardless, it is critical that you do not attempt to minimize the situation or try to “brush off” your injuries. If you are suffering any pain, even minor, seek medical treatment right away. There are three key reasons to make your health a priority after a Baltimore County, MD auto accident.
You put your health in jeopardy the longer you wait.
Some mild injuries such as scrapes, abrasions, or lacerations will heal on their own in time. However, if you are more seriously hurt, you may need medical treatment for the pain, physical therapy, or surgery. Delays in seeking medical care could:
- Slow healing time or exacerbate the injury;
- Increase the likelihood of reinjury or aggravation, especially where you do not properly restrict your daily and work activities; or,
- Result in significant time lag between the date of your car accident and referrals to surgeons or other medical specialists.
Delays make it difficult to prove your injuries were a result of the car accident.
You are entitled to obtain compensation for your losses when another driver’s negligence was a factor in the auto collision. To recover on your claim, you must establish that the responsible motorist did not exercise reasonable care in operating the vehicle, and that this negligence caused your injuries. With the passage of time, it becomes more difficult to link your injuries to the accident. An insurance company may justify denial of your claim by asserting that other events and activities actually caused your injuries.
Insurance companies are more likely to deny your claim.
Insurers are about businesses first, so you can be sure they will heavily scrutinize your claim, looking for reasons to deny it or justifications for offering a lower amount. The unwritten rule of thumb for insurance adjusters is to reject your injuries claim if you do not get medical attention within 72 hours after a car accident.
As a practical matter, you also put your right to compensation at risk if your claim eventually goes to court. Juries consider cases according to what is reasonable under the circumstances. When you wait to seek medical treatment, the assumption is that your injuries are not very serious. If they were serious, you would have visited your doctor right away.
While your first step after a car collision is to seek proper medical treatment, your next move should be retaining an experienced attorney to represent your interests. Navigating the claims process is complicated, and your case is even more complex if you have to file a lawsuit in court. If you were hurt in a Maryland auto accident, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to schedule a free consultation regarding your claim.
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