When a car crash occurs, it’s always best to see a doctor right away. But you may not realize that you’re injured until later. There may be other circumstances that prevent you from getting prompt medical care. Our car accident lawyers explain if it’s too late to see the doctor after an auto accident.
When should you see a doctor after an auto accident?
While it’s always best to see a doctor after an auto accident, it’s never too late to seek care when you realize that you have symptoms. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the insurance company may deny payment on the grounds that your injuries are unrelated to the accident. However, there is no timeline for when you can no longer get medical care.
Does Missouri have a timeline for when you can see a doctor after an accident?
The State of Missouri doesn’t have a specific timeline for when you can see a doctor after an accident. Some states have laws that set a timeline for accessing certain medical benefits through car insurance. Missouri doesn’t have anything official like that. However, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you can after an accident.
What happens when you see a doctor after an accident?
When you see a doctor or go to the ER after an accident, they may do the following:
- Take emergency life-saving measures
- Stabilize injuries
- Learn about the accident
- Examine you for injuries based on the events of the accident
- Conduct tests to determine the extent of injuries
- Document injuries that you have in medical records
- Recommend specialists for follow-up care
- Create a treatment plan for aftercare when you leave the doctor
- Educate you about your injuries, needed care and answering questions that you have
A doctor treats your injuries. However, they are also an educated witness who provides valuable evidence about your legal claim. Their records and testimony may be critical in your claim for monetary compensation.
Why is prompt medical care after an auto accident important?
There are a few reasons that it’s important to get prompt medical attention after an auto accident.
Proving Causation of Your Injuries
From a legal standpoint, your claim for compensation may be based primarily on your injuries and the medical expenses associated with them. It’s up to you to prove that your injuries are the result of the accident. The longer you wait, the more likely the insurance company is to question whether the injuries you have are from the accident.
Of course, there may be a good explanation. You may not realize that you are injured. Some types of injuries, even very serious ones, may not manifest recognizable symptoms until days or weeks after the crash. Adrenaline and shock can prevent you from feeling these injuries right away.
A delay in care doesn’t necessarily mean that your claim will be denied. It just means that you may have an extra hurdle to receive the financial compensation that you deserve.
Even if you don’t receive medical attention right away, be sure to make a prompt report of the accident to your insurance. That way, if you have medical issues later, the insurance company doesn’t question that the accident occurred.
Identifying and Addressing Serious Injuries
Another reason to get prompt medical care after an accident is to rule out unknown and potentially serious injuries. These may include head trauma and internal organ damage. If left untreated, these injuries may be very serious and even life threatening.
As a victim, you have a duty to mitigate damages. That means you can’t do anything to make your injuries worse. Failing to treat your injuries in a reasonable time frame can make them worse. In turn, that may reduce the compensation that you receive.
How can an attorney help with doctor records after an auto accident?
Doctor records are an important part of any accident claim. Your attorney can ensure that you receive the evaluations that you need to create a record of your injuries. They can help you compile your medical evidence, determine the amount of compensation that you deserve and bring your claim.
If you have been in a car accident, we invite you to contact us to talk about your legal claim.