Why You Should Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Aug. 22, 2022
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know what a stressful experience it can be, not only for you but for your loved ones as well. This is especially true if you’ve been injured. In Hawaii, there are an average of 416 accidents each year that result in serious injuries, according to the 2020 State Highway Safety Report. It can be difficult in the minutes, hours, and days following an accident to know exactly what you should be doing.
Two of the most common questions people have in these circumstances are, “What should I do after a car accident?” and “Should I get medical care after an accident?” The answer to this is almost always yes, but there’s more than one reason for doing so. If you’ve recently been in an accident and would like to speak with a personal injury attorney, reach out to us at Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law in Maui, Hawaii. We can advocate for your rights and help you seek the compensation you need to fully recover after an accident.
Common Injuries After an Accident
The specifics of the incident will affect what injuries you may suffer. If your car was hit from behind, the injuries will be different than if it was hit on the side. If you were wearing your seatbelt correctly, you will likely sustain much less serious injuries than if you weren't wearing it.
Some of the most common injuries in a car accident are soft tissue injuries to ligaments, muscles, and tendons. This is frequently seen with whiplash injuries when the head, neck, or back muscles are stretched suddenly due to the impact of the car accident.
Other injuries seen after car accidents are cuts and scrapes (known as penetrating injuries). This happens when objects in the car or broken glass are thrown about during a collision. Injuries to the head and chest are also common because the sudden jolt of a car crash can jerk your head, causing ligament damage, or your head can hit the window or steering wheel. When this happens, it’s extremely important to monitor for a concussion or other internal brain damage.
Reasons to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your Own Sake: The single most important thing to address after a car accident is your own health and safety. You need to seek medical attention, even if you think you aren’t injured or that the injuries are minor. Many people ask, “How long after an accident do injuries appear?” and the answer to this may surprise you. It’s not uncommon for people to feel completely fine after an accident only to have symptoms appear hours, days, or even weeks afterwards. If you aren’t properly assessed by a medical professional immediately, it may be too late to reverse the damages. Plus, you’ll likely have a lot of adrenal flowing through your body at the time of the accident, and this can often dull the sensation of any injuries. It’s always better to get checked out instead of assuming you’re okay.
Documentation: When filing an insurance claim, you will need official documentation of a medical diagnosis as evidence when negotiating your settlement. The more documentation you have (including police reports, photographs, witness statements, etc.), the more likely you’ll be to reach a fair and comprehensive settlement. Additionally, you’ll want to keep copies of all medical bills as well.
Insurance Companies Can Use It Against You If You Don’t: Unfortunately, if you wait too long to seek medical treatment, some insurance companies may try to use this fact against you to claim that your injuries weren’t that serious. By seeking medical attention right away, you will start a paper trail that will dramatically improve your position when negotiating.
Following Through With the Treatment Plan
For the same reasons that it’s important to seek medical attention, it’s just as important to follow through with the treatment plan that was outlined. Insurance adjusters need a lot of documentation and assurance that the injuries you sustained are legitimate and what they’re paying out is going to necessary treatment. This means you need to follow all the recommended treatments, including follow-up visits to specialists or physical therapy providers. If you do not do this, it could be grounds for the insurance company to retract their settlement offer, leaving you to pay these expenses.
Turn to Reliable Representation
If you would like help working with an insurance company after an accident or simply want to understand your options better, call us at Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law in Maui, Hawaii. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney who will take the time to listen to your side of the story and work tirelessly to fight for the settlement you deserve. Call now for a consultation as you start on the road to recovery.