Even if you do not feel injured after an automobile accident, you should see a doctor. The excitement of an accident causes your adrenaline to flow, and this may stop you from feeling pain right after the crash. Just because you do not feel pain does not mean you were not injured. A doctor can determine whether you were injured when you seek medical treatment.
Additionally, if another driver caused the accident and you plan to file an insurance claim, the value of your claim may decrease if you do not seek medical attention. Generally, the value of your claim largely depends on the severity of your injuries. Also, there is a time limit on how long after a car accident you can claim injury.
How Long Should I Wait to See If I Feel Injured?
Insurance companies and health care providers recommend getting initial medical treatment within 72 hours of a car accident. Generally, signs or symptoms of injuries can occur at this time. For instance, one of the most common injuries car accident victims suffer is whiplash. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of this neck injury usually takes about 24 hours to develop.
Even if you do not feel injured after an automobile accident—including any signs or symptoms—you should see a doctor. Waiting too long to receive initial treatment may affect your health and affect your insurance claim.
How Can a Delay in Seeing a Doctor Affect My Insurance Claim?
Insurance companies want to make a profit; so, they look for any reason to deny a claim or offer a low settlement. So, if a significant amount of time elapsed between your accident and when you went to the doctor, the auto insurer may argue that you did not believe your injuries were serious enough to merit immediate medical treatment. As a result, the insurer can devalue or deny your claim.
Also, even if you sought medical treatment after your accident, an insurance adjuster may attempt to see if you followed any orders a doctor gave you after the accident. For instance, if your doctor ordered a test to determine whether you have internal injuries, but you do not follow up and take the test, an insurance adjuster may use this as a reason to further reduce your claim’s value.
What If I Cannot Get an Immediate Appointment With My Primary Care Physician?
If you cannot schedule an appointment with your own doctor within 72 hours of your accident, go to an Urgent Care facility or a hospital emergency room. What is most important is for you to get an examination to make sure you do not have any serious injuries.
Should I File an Insurance Claim After I Initially See a Doctor?
Do not file a claim until you know the extent of your injuries. If you accept an immediate settlement, you cannot go back to the insurance company to ask for more money if your injuries worsen over time or manifest days or weeks after the accident.
To ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, you may want to speak to a car accident lawyer.
Why Should I Speak to a Lawyer?
A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim so that you can get reimbursed for the financial losses you suffered from the accident. A lawyer will advise you on when to file your claim. While you do not want to file a claim before knowing the extent of your injuries, you also do not want to miss the statutory deadline for filing personal injury claims.
Will My Claim Cover More Than My Medical Expenses?
This will depend on the other financial losses you suffered because of the accident. Besides your medical expenses, you may also pursue compensation for the wages you lost if you could not go to work after the accident, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and other damages.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC Offer a Free Legal Evaluation
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC, we help car accident victims with all aspects of insurance claims—from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement. If you have questions or concerns about your car accident, contact our office today to see how we can help you.
We can help you pursue compensation for the financial losses you sustained in your car accident—whether or not you suffered an injury. We can help you build a solid case to hold the at-fault driver liable for your damages. Our firm works on contingency which means you do not pay us unless we win your case. So, call us today at 865-546-1111.