Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
Seeing a doctor after a car accident is critical, even if you do not think you were injured. Some injuries are not apparent right away, and failure to seek a prompt medical examination can really hurt your claim.
Obviously, a severely injured person is taken to the emergency room by paramedics after a car crash. However, just because you walked away from a collision does not mean any injuries incurred are minor. Since New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, relatively minor injuries and any resulting medical expenses and lost wages are paid by your insurance company, even if the other driver was at-fault. No-fault insurance does not include compensation for any pain and suffering.
Only those injuries considered serious by New York statute can proceed to a personal injury lawsuit outside of the no-fault system. In New York, any type of fracture qualifies as a serious injury, but some people may not realize they broke a bone right away, especially in the digits.
A New York Personal Injury Lawyer at Douglas and London can help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries, but only if you have medical records available.
The Importance of Medical Attention
There is no overstating the importance of receiving medical attention as soon as possible after a motor vehicle collision. Waiting days or weeks because the pain has become unbearable or mobility has not returned does not only harm you, but provides fodder for an insurance adjuster who wants to minimize your injuries. A car accident triggers many emotions, and some people feel they just do not want to deal with seeing a doctor in the immediate aftermath. Do not make that mistake, even if the accident is a “fender bender” and you figure you will feel better in a few days. You very well may feel better soon, but you could also feel a lot worse. Do not attempt to self-diagnose.
Insurance companies are always looking for a way to deny claims. Paying out as little as possible is part of their business plan. When a car accident victim delays seeking treatment, the insurance company will allege that the injury was either pre-existing or was not connected to the accident.
Insurance companies want to see evidence that the claimant visited a medical professional within 72 hours of the crash. Initial visits beyond that timeframe are going to arouse suspicion, and allegations of potential fraud.
The Adrenalin Rush
After a traumatic event such as a car accident, the adrenalin hormone cascades through the body. It is the “fight or flight” hormone. Adrenalin heightens the senses, decreases pain, and provides a sudden energy boost.
That intense rush is why some people think they are just fine after an accident, while in fact they are hurt. They may refuse treatment at the scene by EMTs because there is little pain or impairment at the time. The adrenalin rush eventually disappears, and they realize they were injured.
Visiting the Doctor
If you did not go to the emergency room, scheduling an appointment with your own doctor within 72 hours may prove frustrating. Let your doctor know about the car accident. If he or she cannot see you right away, head to an urgent care center. You want not only a diagnosis and treatment, but evidence of an examination.
Another alternative when time is of the essence is visiting a chiropractor, as most insurance companies see these practitioners as comparable to physicians. You do not need to have extensive chiropractic work done, but you do need the chiropractor to conduct a physical examination and take X-rays.
Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another party, seeing a doctor after a car accident is the first step. The second step involves contacting a New York Car Accident Lawyer at Douglas and London. We will review your case and let advise whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Schedule a free consultation by filing out our online form or calling or texting us 24/7. Our dedicated lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in settlements and verdicts. There is no fee unless you receive compensation, as we work on a contingency basis. Hablamos Espanol.