In the aftermath of a serious car accident, you’re probably in great pain and unsure of what your next step should be. You may worry about the cost of an ambulance or whether it’s even worth calling for emergency medical help. Even if you decide not to call 911 (though it’s a very good idea to do so), you should still be checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.
Your health is important, and although car accident injuries sometimes heal on their own, there’s no reason to take a risk that they won’t, and that’s just one of the reasons why a Las Vegas car accident attorney will advise you to seek immediate medical attention after a car collision. There are several others outlined below.
Early Medical Diagnosis of Injuries Often Means Faster Recovery
Immediately following a car wreck, your body goes into shock. Your brain releases adrenaline, which often provides a burst of energy that masks the initial pain of the injuries you may have sustained. You may be hurt, but not “feel hurt.”
The faster you get the right diagnosis, the faster you can start treatment or schedule a procedure, like surgery, to fix the damage to your body. Failing to get diagnosed right away can lead to complications that could have been avoided with early medical attention.
Your Medical Records Create a Paper TrailX
The records of an exam right after the accident – ideally from an EMT that arrives on the scene of the collision – become part of the evidence in your car accident recovery claim. If the other driver caused the collision, you have the right to file a claim with their insurance company, and if you don’t get a satisfactory settlement or if the claim is denied outright, you’re within your rights to file a lawsuit to recover financial damages.
In order to recover the cost of your medical bills (and other damages, such as though brought about by pain and suffering or lost wages from time missed at work), your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will need to build a case against the other driver, proving that the injuries you sustained came from the collision.
Medical records from just after the wreck are better proof than an exam record from even a day or two later, as the other party’s insurance company may try to claim that your injuries aren’t as serious as they actually are or say that the car accident wasn’t the cause of your injuries considering it took you time to file records about them.
Medical Professionals Can Diagnose Hidden Injuries
Some car accident injuries are referred to as “hidden injuries,” or ones that don’t present symptoms right away. These include sprains and strains or hairline fractures that you may not realize for a few days or even a week after the accident until you suddenly cannot walk or cannot move without pain. Internal organ damage is another “hidden injury” that can be dangerous and even life-threatening if not diagnosed early on.
Be Sure to Follow All Instructions from Your Treating Physician
Immediate medical attention isn’t the only kind of medical care that is necessary after an accident. Your treating physician will have aftercare instructions for you, including tasks you may not be able to do or clearance to go back to work. You may also have to wear a medical device, like a brace or sling, as you heal.
Not only is it a good idea for your health to follow the aftercare directions, but it could also come into question if your case goes to trial. The other party’s insurance company may allege that by not following the doctor’s orders, your actions are making your condition worse, and therefore, they should not have to pay you as much, or they could take your lack of follow-up as evidence that you are not hurt as badly as you were and pay you less or deny the claim outright.
Your Medical Records Are Critical Evidence in Car Accident Lawsuits
If you’ve been struck by a driver and gotten hurt, the northern New Mexico car accident lawyers at Hunt Law can help you understand your legal options. Contact our office today.