Why You Should See a Doctor After a Car Accident
Being in a car accident is a shocking and scary experience. Afterward, accident victims often feel a rush of adrenaline that can cover up serious trauma, which may cause them to procrastinate seeing a doctor. Add in the costs of an emergency room visit, and many people choose to bypass getting checked out following a crash…which can be a huge mistake.
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident should immediately see a doctor, even if they think their injuries are minor. Not only does this make sure you’re okay, but it also allows you to prove your injuries if another person caused your crash, so you can file a successful personal injury claim.
Common Injuries Following a Crash
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, the rush of adrenaline or shock can hide several injuries. Oftentimes, accident victims think they feel fine or only shaken up, when in reality they are suffering from internal trauma. The very next day, they may find themselves in a lot of pain or unable to move their body in certain ways.
Watch out for:
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions
- Spinal cord injuries, slipped discs, hernias, and difficulties standing, sitting, or sleeping comfortably
- Soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle strains and sprains
- Minor broken bones in the wrists, hands, or feet
- Cuts or lacerations that do not stop bleeding
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Tingling in the hands or feet, which may be nerve damage
- Pain in the abdomen or bruising that may indicate internal trauma
- Hearing damage, such as tinnitus
- Blurry or double vision
- Difficulties stretching or moving in certain directions
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or issues, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Delaying in getting treatment may not only put you at risk of further trauma, but it can also impact your personal injury claim.
How Treatment Affects an Insurance Claim
You should never rush into filing a personal injury claim in California. Getting treatment after a car accident can take weeks to months to years for severe injuries. Before your claim is finalized, you should know just how badly you were injured and how much your medical bills cost. Contacting the insurance company too early could mean that you accept a small settlement that doesn’t cover your long-term damage.
Instead, you should go to every doctor’s appointment, therapy session, and complete all treatment. While you are focusing on getting treatment, your lawyer can handle the legal aspect of your case so that you are fully prepared for a claim. You should never skip a session, as insurance companies can use a missed appointment (or you end treatment early) to argue that your injuries are not serious. By going to every appointment, you can show that your injuries were extensive and that you need proper compensation for your trauma.
Getting Medical Bills Covered
Our law firm often speak to people whose biggest concern after a crash is how they’re going to pay for their medical bills. There is no doubt that staying in a hospital is expensive and can easily bankrupt a single person, even after a minor accident. But there are several ways you can get your bills covered.
First, if another driver caused your injuries, you may be able to file a car accident claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. Your claim can include the costs of an emergency room visit, as well as follow-up appointments, out-of-pocket expenses, medication, physical therapy, and medical equipment like wheelchairs.
In addition, if you have health insurance, it may reduce the upfront costs of your bills. Any co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses, in addition to the full costs of your treatment, can also be included in your personal injury claim. In some cases, your health insurance company may place a lien on your settlement, which means they get a portion of your settlement to pay for your treatment. A good attorney can negotiate these liens down so that you get the most out of your claim.
Additionally, if you have medical payment reimbursement coverage or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) through your auto insurance policy, you may be able to cover your medical bills under these policies. Medical payment reimbursement provides no-fault insurance coverage the moment you are in an accident, meaning you can immediately use it at an emergency room to get your bills paid. In addition, if the other driver’s insurance does not fully cover your bills, UIM coverage can kick in to make up the difference.
Lastly, if you do not have health insurance, our firm works with highly qualified doctors who will agree to accept payment once your case is over. That way you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket and worry about how to get the appropriate care. You can just focus on your recovery.
There are several different ways you can get your medical bills paid after a car accident, and the experienced Santa Ana personal injury attorneys at HN Injury Lawyers can explain all of your options. We offer free consultations to potential clients. With more than 50 combined years of experience representing clients throughout Orange County, we can connect you with medical professionals so that you can get proper treatment. If you choose to file a personal injury claim, we can take on the legal burdens of your case. We also work on a contingency-fee basis, so you do not have to pay us unless we win your case.
To learn how we can represent you after a car accident, call HN Injury Lawyers at (657) 333-5726.