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Why You Should Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident

The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito Feb. 8, 2022

Female Motorist with Head Injury Getting out Of Car After CrashYou have been in an accident. Maybe you were in your car or someone else’s at the time. Maybe you were biking, walking, or jogging, and were hit. You thought you were okay at first, but are feeling some pain and stiffness now.

After an accident, you should always seek medical attention for the sake of your health, regardless of whether you think you are injured. If someone else’s negligence caused that accident, you should also seek medical attention to support a bodily injury claim.

As a personal injury attorney, I have witnessed what delaying medical treatment can do to a client’s health and claim. If you have been injured in Seattle or Western Washington, including Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, or the Puget Sound area, contact The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III for help. First, here is what you should know about seeking medical attention after an accident.

What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?

The types of injuries you might suffer in an accident depend on multiple variables, such as what type of accident it was, how impact occurred, incline, speed, surfaces, and more. The one common variable to any accident is adrenaline. The adrenaline rush that occurs naturally in an accident can mask pain and other symptoms.

Some injuries are obvious, such as open-bone fractures, abrasions, and injuries that disable you immediately. Other injuries are less apparent right away, including internal injuries, closed and hairline fractures, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, bruising, strains, sprains, and traumatic brain injuries.

Don’t equate a lack of pain or visible injury with being uninjured or with minor injuries. What you can’t see or feel right away can be serious or even deadly. Even a low-impact car accident at a slow speed can cause a whiplash injury in which your brain strikes the inside of your skull, causing bruising, swelling, and internal bleeding.

Why Should I Seek Medical Attention?

Your health is the single most important reason to seek medical attention after an accident. Pain and symptoms from some injuries may not present themselves for hours, days, weeks, or even months after the incident. You may never fully recover from some if they are not caught and treated from the outset. An emergency room physician will know what to look for, what diagnostic testing to order, and what treatment you need. Your health and well-being may depend on that first examination.

In order to file a claim for your own medical payment or to file a third-party claim against the negligent party’s insurance coverage, you will need documentation from a healthcare provider. Your medical records will document your injuries, the physician’s diagnosis, and the causation of those injuries linked to the subject accident.

The proximity of diagnosis and treatment to the accident is crucial. The insurance company will use a delay against you to reduce the value of your claim or to deny it completely. The insurer will allege that the delay is evidence that your injuries were too minor to seek medical treatment right away. Without a timely diagnosis, the insurer will also have the opportunity to allege that you injured yourself in some other way subsequent to the accident and that its insured did not cause them.

Should I Do What the Doctor Tells Me?

It will be important to your own recovery to follow the treatment plan prescribed by your physician, even if you begin to feel better and don’t want to continue abiding by it. Feeling better and actually being better are two different things. The goal of the treatment plan is full recovery from your injuries; however, if full recovery is not possible, it is designed to help you reach what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). Your MMI is the best you can be after sustaining the injuries you suffered.

Not complying with the treatment plan can hamper more than your recovery. When you attempt to add the value of being able to only reach MMI rather than full recovery to the damages in your personal injury claim, and you have not complied fully with the treatment plan, the insurer will use that against you. It will allege that you have not recovered from your injuries because you did not do what the doctor ordered. Therefore, not recovering is your fault and not the fault of its insured.

Getting the Experienced Legal Guidance You Need

Seeking medical attention, following the treatment plan, and retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney are the best actions you can take to receive fair compensation for a bodily injury claim. You do the work of recovering, and I will handle the rest for you.

If you have been injured in an accident around Seattle, Washington, due to someone else’s negligence, call The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III now to discuss your claim. I’m prepared to help.