Legal Review: How Long Does a Car Accident Victim have to See a Doctor?

Car accident victims are likely to face trauma in a crash. Severe injuries can arise from car accidents, including broken bones, whiplash, bruises, head injuries, and internal bleeding. Sometimes, the injuries are minor, while they can also be severe.

“The ideal thing to do after a car accident is to seek medical attention as this would help prevent complications,” says Attorney Nicholas Stamatis of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. Getting a medical assessment after a car accident is needed not only to save the victim’s life but also for insurance purposes. While filing for compensation for injuries from insurers, the accident victim must submit a copy of their medical report to prove they sustained the injury they are filling for.

When Should You See a Doctor After an Auto Crash?

Knowing what to do after an accident can be confusing for the victim. However, the health of the accident victim should be the priority here. It is ideal to seek medical attention once it is safe.

After a crash, the body releases adrenaline to help victims deal with the shock that may come afterward. The accident victim may not feel pain immediately and therefore believe they are okay. For most accidents, the full impact of the crash sets in after a few hours or days, and delaying getting medical attention can increase the severity of injuries.

Also, delayed medical treatment can significantly impact the outcome of your case. The insurer would want to know if you sought medical attention immediately and how a possible delay could have worsened the case. Many insurance companies consider 72 hours a reasonable time for accident victims to seek medical attention. Failure to do so within this time can affect the claim amount paid.

Besides seeking medical attention, reporting the accident to the police is also crucial. The driver may not need to file an official report if the police come to the accident scene.

What if You Cannot Visit Your Primary Care Doctor?

It is ideal for victims to visit a primary care doctor who is already familiar with their medical history. However, an emergency care center will suffice if you cannot access your primary health care doctor. Emergency care centers are easily accessible throughout the state and typically open on weekends and holidays.

Emergency care options are cheaper alternatives to an emergency visit to the hospital. Insurers accept the report as a valid document for the 72 hours threshold to seek medical attention. You will be required to pay the bills yourself. You can recover whatever you spend when filing for compensation.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident

Accident victims who sustained injuries due to a driver’s negligence may decide to file a claim to compensate for the economic and non-economic losses incurred. Before compensation is awarded, the victim will be required to prove that the other driver is at fault. After a car accident, the advisable thing to do is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurers.

Once the insurance company receives the claim notice, they will contact the victim to investigate and possibly negotiate compensation payment. Handling insurance companies can be tricky because many insurers will do everything possible to underpay or ultimately cheat you out of your due compensation. Therefore, it is best to work with a car accident attorney who has had experience with similar cases and knows how best to deal with the insurance companies.

In some cases, negotiations with insurance companies may not work out as planned. Where the injured party is not satisfied with such negotiations, they may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Statutes of Limitation

Accident victims have a specified time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit, after which the victim forfeits their claim. It is, therefore, best to file for compensation immediately after the accident.

Bottom Line

The aftermath of an accident can be far-reaching and, in some cases, may significantly affect the individual for the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is vital for persons injured in a car accident to seek medical attention immediately as this would also help advance their case if they decide to file a claim. If you sustained injuries in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer for advice on what to do.