In 2019, there were 5,490 fatal or serious car accidents in Tennessee. Those are scary stats when you consider the number of drivers. They are even scarier if you’re one of the people involved in one of those accidents.
If you’re involved in one of those accidents, you know what a terrifying experience it can be. Of course, your first thought is to worry if everyone is safe. Are you injured? Are your passengers injured? What about drivers in the other vehicles?
Upon initial inspection, it might seem like there are no serious injuries. At that point, if you’re like most people, you want to be done at the accident scene and you want to be where you feel safe.
Yet, there are some good reasons to not turn down medical care immediately following a car accident. While your initial instincts might be to make the accident go away, getting medical care right away is critical. Read on for the five reasons you should seek medical attention following a car accident.
1. Identify Instant Injuries
There are a variety of injuries you might need to address following a car accident. Of course, if you see blood or feel pain anywhere immediately following an accident, you want to get checked out.
You might recognize that something doesn’t feel quite right following the accident. It might be your first instinct to think you have bruises or you just got bumped and jostled because of the accident.
But the truth is, you don’t know the extent of those injuries. You need to know if they are more serious. You could have broken bones, internal injuries, or even traumatic brain injury.
Getting yourself to an emergency room is important. They are trained to check you over following a car accident. They can ask the right questions to identify if there might be injuries that need immediate treatment.
It’s also important because any immediate or long term injuries are then connected to the auto accident. This prevents an insurance company from claiming that any injuries you might bring up later might have originated from some other source.
Everything needs to be documented, and it never hurts to be evaluated by medical professionals immediately after a car wreck, so they can at least document what you were feeling, and where you were hurting.
2. Identify Possible Delayed Injuries
So, if you think you feel okay after the accident, should you still seek medical care? Keep in mind that following an accident, your body is filled with adrenaline. You might be in shock from the trauma of the accident. The truth is that you might not be able to recognize an injury right away. Your body might be masking symptoms as it reacts to the fear and trauma of the accident.
Some injuries are obvious. You can see blood or feel the significant pain from a broken bone. Yet, many injuries from a car accident are more veiled. You might have injuries to muscles, joints, tendons, and other soft tissues that don’t seem as obvious right away.
But this doesn’t mean you should skip being seen by a doctor. These are also the kinds of injuries that can linger and take a long time to heal meaning you’re dealing with them long after the actual car accident.
3. Identify Long Term Effects of the Accident
Unfortunately, there are also injuries from a car accident that become long term and can even be chronic following an accident. If you avoid medical treatment right away, there can be consequences from these kinds of injuries.
First, you don’t identify and start treating them properly right away. You also might make it harder to connect the injury to the accident for your legal team later on.
There are a variety of potential long term injuries to be aware of following a car accident.
Whiplash is a common injury that happens when the head is whipped back and forth from the force of an accident. Often the symptoms of whiplash take time to develop in the neck following an accident.
You might also experience a head or neck injury. Sometimes these injuries are obvious, yet often they are not. You might have a concussion or a traumatic brain injury that doesn’t present itself immediately. Once the headaches, dizziness, or even inability to focus shows up, you know you have an injury.
You could also experience a neck or spinal column injury from the sheer force of the accident.
4. Create Medical Records for Evidence
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident will tell you there are a lot of things that you have to deal with. There is the actual accident, and there are also all of the things you need to deal with following the accident.
You will need to not only deal with the injuries to your body but also to your property. You are going to need to deal with insurance companies and identify who is at fault, and maybe even who is responsible for damages.
You might be entitled to compensation following your accident. As you work with your car accident attorney to get the compensation you deserve, the medical records immediately following the accident are critical to your case.
5. Stop Insurance from Making False Suggestions
While paying for auto insurance is a necessary evil of being a driver, your insurance company is not always going to be on your side. In fact, often insurance companies will work hard to avoid paying out on an accident claim. Their team of adjusters and attorneys will look closely at the actions you take immediately following the accident.
The insurance company may question why you didn’t seek medical care immediately following your accident if you now claim you have injuries associated with the accident.
It’s also important to follow a doctor’s orders following an accident. If you don’t follow those orders, the insurance company can claim you either don’t really have the injury you claim or that you have been non-compliant with doctor’s orders and are therefore responsible for your lingering issues with your injury.
The same issue could arise with your insurance company if you don’t continue prescribed care. They might suggest you’re responsible because you have not followed the prescribed treatment plan.
Get Treatment Following Any Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. Make sure you do everything you should to get your injuries addressed following an accident. This will help your attorney get you the compensation you deserve from the accident.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need help managing your case with the insurance companies, we are here for you. At Reasonover Law Firm, we have the experience needed to handle your case. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.