Why It’s Crucial to Seek Medical Attention After an Accident
In 2022, Missouri witnessed a staggering number of car accidents with injuries, reaching nearly 32,000 cases. Surprisingly, over 45,000 individuals reported injuries, but the truth is that many more later discovered they had sustained injuries of some kind.
Following low-impact auto accidents, it’s not uncommon for people to mistakenly believe they are unharmed. They base this assumption on the speed of the vehicles involved and the visible damage to their vehicles. They also often assume that the initial shaking, confusion, and adrenaline rush will subside, and by the next day, they will return to their normal lives. However, it is crucial to understand why seeking medical attention after an accident is of utmost importance.
At Chionuma Law Firm, LLC, we have seen what happens when clients don’t seek immediate medical care after they’ve been involved in an accident. The delay puts their health at risk and hampers their ability to pursue fair compensation from the person who caused the crash.
We believe it is crucial to seek medical attention after an accident, regardless of whether you think you are injured, whether you have health insurance, or whether you are simply in a hurry to get to your destination. This article unpacks the reasons why you should.
Common Injuries After an Accident That Aren’t Always Immediately Apparent
If you are bleeding, unconscious, or unable to walk after a car accident, you’ll probably be taken by ambulance to an emergency room and examined by a physician. However, some common injuries after an accident simply aren’t readily apparent, even though they may be serious or even deadly. These include:
- soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains
- whiplash injuries
- hairline bone fractures
- herniated discs in your spine.
Certain minor ailments can sometimes indicate underlying serious health issues. For instance, seemingly insignificant symptoms like a headache might be a sign of a traumatic brain injury or a brain bleed. A sore shoulder could potentially be an indication of a separated or dislocated joint. Similarly, a knee hitting the dashboard during an accident may lead to significant problems in the future. It is important to recognize that even seemingly minor health concerns should not be overlooked, as they could potentially signify more severe underlying conditions.
So how long after an accident do injuries appear? Well, it depends. The speed at impact is merely one of many factors that can affect the type of injuries you might have suffered. Whether you had time to brace for it, how you braced for it, the side of the vehicle that was hit, where you were seated in the car, whether you were belted in, and whether front or side airbags deployed can all affect what happens to your body in a crash.
We may not be doctors. But as seasoned car accident attorneys, we know first-hand how important it is to seek medical care as soon as possible, no matter what.
Reasons You Should Seek Medical Attention Right Away Regardless of How You Feel
The most important reason to seek immediate medical attention is your health and well-being. Delays in examination, diagnosis, and treatment can harm your recovery. Just because you don’t feel injured at the time does not mean you escaped without injury. You may not experience symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks after the crash.
Emergency room physicians have training and experience in diagnosing and recommending treatment for traumatic injuries such as those you may have suffered in a car accident. They will know what questions to ask, what to look for in an examination, and what diagnostic testing to order, and upon review of the results, render a diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
Another reason to seek medical attention is to preserve a potential personal injury claim. If another driver’s negligence caused the accident and you find out you are injured, you will need to support a personal injury claim with a medical diagnosis that identifies your injuries and relates them to the subject crash. You cannot file a personal injury claim without evidence of your pain and suffering, and you have no evidence without a timely physician’s diagnosis. Copies of your medical records are essential to have to support your claim.
Also, if you fail to seek immediate medical attention, the insurance company will use it to its advantage. The insurance adjuster will allege that you were not injured or that your injuries were too minor to warrant medical intervention. If you delay seeing a doctor until after you start experiencing symptoms, the insurance company will cause doubt on your claim, asserting that you injured yourself in some other way, subsequent and unrelated to the subject accident.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders
Obtaining the initial diagnosis is not enough. You must also comply fully with the treatment plan prescribed by your treating physician and other healthcare professionals. Again, the most important reason for compliance is for the sake of your health and to improve your chances of recovery. The second reason relates to filing an injury claim. If you do not fully recover, that increases the value of your personal injury claim—but only if you have completed the treatment plan as prescribed. If you do not comply, the insurance company may reduce the value of your claim.
Need Legal Representation? Contact Our Attorney Today.
Seeking immediate medical attention is imperative to your health. Moreover, it will avoid some obstacles that could make pursuing a personal injury claim more difficult. We don’t shy away from challenges, even if you did not seek treatment right away. We can help guide you in your claim from here.
If you have been injured in an accident in Kansas City, Missouri, call Chionuma Law Firm, LLC, today to schedule a free case consultation. Our attorney is proud to serve injury victims throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, including Independence, Lee’s Summit, and Liberty.