The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a California Car Accident
Failing to immediately obtain medical care is one of the most common mistakes people make after a car accident. The reasons why victims do not seek immediate care can range from believing it is not necessary to be concerned about incurring medical bills. You must understand, however, that failing to seek immediate care can hurt your chances of receiving the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Why You Should Seek Medical Care Immediately After a Car Accident
Obtaining a personal injury settlement or trial verdict requires that you show that your injuries were caused by the subject car accident. If substantial time passes between the accident and the obtaining of care, then the defendant’s insurance adjuster is likely to claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident. They will often claim that, instead, your injuries may have stemmed from some other incident that occurred between the accident and your obtaining of care. The adjusters may also attempt to claim that, even if your injuries were caused by the car accident, they were worsened by your delay in seeking treatment. These types of arguments can result in you receiving a reduced settlement or in you being denied compensation altogether.
If you have been seriously injured, then paramedics will likely arrive to take you to the hospital in an ambulance. It is important that you accept this care. If your injuries are not severe enough to require an ambulance, you should immediately go to the hospital on your own. This is true even if you do not believe you are suffering any symptoms. Many injuries, including those which involve head trauma, may not show symptoms for some time. By seeking immediate care, you can determine the extent of your injuries and tie them directly to the car accident.
How Waiting to Obtain Care Can Reduce Your Compensation For a Car Accident
Consider the following example: Suppose Joe is driving his car and is rear-ended by Jack. Joe’s car is damaged, but he is restrained by his seatbelt. Joe’s head, however, does snap forward and back as a result of the impact. The police are called, and they cite Jack for the injury. The two wrecked vehicles are towed away. Joe does not believe he is seriously injured so he does not go to the hospital. Joe’s neck increasingly becomes sore over the next several days. He goes to the hospital and determines that he has damage to his neck. Jack’s insurance carrier claims that the neck injury could not be from the accident since Joe did not immediately go to the hospital. This dispute makes it more likely that Joe will receive a reduced amount or that his case will proceed to litigation, which can lengthen the matter by months if not years.
Contact a San Luis Obispo Car Accident Attorney
If you have been the victim of a car accident, then the first step you should take is to obtain medical care. You should retain a personal injury lawyer immediately thereafter. Our firm believes in protecting the rights of individuals over those of insurance companies, and we are ready to assist you. Contact us online or by telephone at 805-546-8797 to schedule a consultation with a San Luis Obispo car accident attorney.