Car crashes and other types of accidents are confusing events that happen quickly, potentially leaving you unsure of how to respond. Whether or not you feel hurt, the first step is always to go to see a doctor as soon as possible. Getting medical attention immediately after the crash will help you deal with your injuries and meet the insurance requirements for submitting a claim. Contacting personal injury attorneys in Houston or San Antonio is the next step toward winning compensation.
Why Do I Need to See a Doctor Soon After a Personal Injury Accident?
Accidents happen all the time, and they don’t always cause injuries. Many people who don’t appear to be seriously hurt immediately after an incident make the mistake of not going to a doctor right away. They do not realize that the adrenaline rush one experiences during an accident can cause injuries to go undetected for some time.
Failing to seek medical attention can jeopardize your health and your eligibility for financial compensation. Going to the ER right after an accident can help you recover physically and strengthen your case against the liable party. If you did not go to the ER before reading this article, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
It Pays to Get Yourself Checked Out
The best time to see a doctor is immediately after a personal injury accident. Whether you experienced a mishap on the road, on someone else’s property, or at work, the clock starts ticking the moment an accident occurs. The sooner a doctor can identify your injuries—including the ones you don’t feel right away—the sooner you can begin treatment. Many injuries respond best to treatments that are started earlier rather than later.
No one wakes up in the morning expecting to incur an injury during the day, but the fact is that accidents happen all the time. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 one person was injured in a vehicle crash every 2 minutes. The consequences of a personal injury can include missing time from work, experiencing physical pain, and needing to take a break from activities that you enjoy.
Types of Injuries
Car crashes and other accidents cause a wide range of injuries, some serious, some minor. The most commonly reported health issues include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Damaged organs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Mangled limbs
- Muscle strains and sprains
It is important to remember that the severity of your injuries does not determine whether or not you need to see a doctor right away. Never rely on self-diagnosis after an accident. Only a medical professional can give you an accurate evaluation of your condition to determine whether or not you should receive treatment.
Seeking Treatment Safeguards Your Claim Eligibility
If you have been the victim of another person’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation for your losses. In order to submit a personal injury claim successfully, you will need to comply with legal protocols and, in some cases, the terms of your insurance policy. For example, you will need to submit your claim within the statute of limitations. With some exceptions, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years following the date the accident occurred.
Most personal injury cases end in a settlement that is paid by an insurance company. Policies usually specify that you must seek medical treatment soon after your accident to be eligible for compensation. Working with a personal injury attorney soon after the incident can help you understand all of the protocols so that you do not jeopardize your claim because you were unaware of the rules.
Build Evidence for Your Case at the Hospital
Create a Medical Record of the Accident
Not only is seeing a doctor required by some insurance policies, but it can also actually help you build a case for compensation. If you don’t go to the hospital, you will only have your own testimony to rely on. Having a doctor evaluate your condition creates a record of your injuries that is backed by medical expertise.
Simply checking into the ER or scheduling a visit to your doctor shows that the accident was serious enough to validate medical attention. Additionally, any X-rays or other tests you receive generate specific evidence that your personal injury attorney can leverage while negotiating your claim or litigating on your behalf.
Anticipate the Insurance Company’s Counter-Arguments
Insurance companies make their profits by paying as little for personal injury claims as possible. Even if you are seriously in need of financial compensation to facilitate your recovery, the insurance company might try to downplay your injuries as a way of reducing the cost of your claim. In fact, the more serious and costly your injuries, the more likely the insurance company is to fight back.
If you do not seek medical treatment after an accident, the insurance company will likely argue that your injuries were not serious enough to merit compensation. Going to the ER immediately after an accident will help you avoid accusations of exaggerating the effects of the accident.
Follow Your Prescribed Treatment
In addition to getting a medical evaluation, following the doctors’ orders is an important aspect of protecting your claim. If you deviate from your prescribed treatments, the insurance company might argue that you did not do your part in caring for your injuries. The defense could claim that your condition is a result of your own negligence rather than the accident.
Following your treatment means going to any follow-up appointments and meeting with any specialists you need to see. You must be sure to take any medication that is prescribed and comply with the amount of rest time your body needs to heal. Caring for your injuries will benefit both your health and your chances of receiving a large payout.
How Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston and San Antonio Can Help
Advising Next Steps
While everyone deserves compensation for their losses after an accident, actually winning a payout involves demonstrating that another party was at fault. Accidents create chaotic scenes where it is not always clear how to respond. A personal injury attorney can help you make the right choices and take the actions necessary to support your case. Any personal injury attorney will advise you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your next priority should be getting the legal support you need to win a fair payout.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to use the evidence generated by your medical treatments to your advantage. Your attorney will gather records of your hospital visits, medical bills, and test results. All evidence must be submitted according to legal guidelines, which your attorney can help you observe. Even if your case does not go to trial, the evidence you collect can strengthen your settlement negotiations.
Maximizing Your Payout
Your personal injury attorney can use his or her experience with similar cases to help you maximize your payout. For example, he or she might advise you to reject the first settlement offer you receive and hold out for a larger one. If you do not list all of the damages that you are eligible for on your claim, your attorney can help you identify them. Finally, if going to court is the only way to secure the payout you deserve, a personal injury attorney in Houston or San Antonio can provide you with litigation services.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Houston or San Antonio Today
If you have been in an accident, you might be entitled to more compensation than you think. Working with a personal injury attorney in Houston or San Antonio is the best way to take full advantage of your legal rights. To get in touch with our team of personal injury attorneys, contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC, today!