Why Is It a Bad Idea to Delay Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Car accidents can change a person’s life, and the many tasks that result from such a change can make it difficult to know what to do first. Insurance claims, legal action, and addressing damages are just some of the things victims must confront after a crash. The most important thing, though, is to seek medical treatment. It’s never a good idea to delay medical treatment, even if you believe you have sustained only minor injuries. Here are several reasons why victims should seek medical treatment in the aftermath of a car accident.

Delaying Treatment Can Hurt Your Insurance Claim

After a car accident, you will likely need to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company or your own, depending on the situation. Insurance companies send claim adjusters to investigate insurance claims and make sure they are valid. If you claimed you suffered severe injuries, but records indicate that you did not seek medical treatment for several days or longer after your accident, the insurance company could use this as justification for denying or reducing your claim. The insurance company will simply assume that if you didn’t seek immediate treatment, your injuries were not as bad as you claimed.
Insurance companies do not want to see any kind of delay between your accident and your seeking medical treatment. If there is any delay, the insurance company may question you and delay the claims process, potentially causing you further problems later. Official documentation that proves you sought immediate medical care will prevent these issues.

Delaying Medical Care Can Hurt Your Legal Case

If a negligent driver caused injuries and other damages, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her to recover your losses. During the course of a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent and his or her negligence directly resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. However, if you took too much time seeking medical care after your accident, the jury may decide this is evidence your injuries were not as severe as you claimed.

Delaying Treatment Can Hurt You

One of the worst outcomes of skipping medical treatment after a car accident is the possibility of an injury becoming worse. Some injuries take days or longer to manifest noticeable symptoms. An internal injury can reach critical levels before it becomes apparent. If you delay treatment after a car accident, you run the risk of allowing a severe medical issue to linger unaddressed for too long.
Your adrenaline surges and pain sensations are dulled during car accident. You may not feel the full effects of your injuries until the next day or later, so you should see a doctor as soon as possible after any car accident.

Why Would Anyone Delay Medical Care?

People skip medical treatment for several reasons. Some people simply do not realize how badly they are hurt and may assume that their symptoms will fade in a short time. Others believe going to the doctor will cost too much money, so they hope their condition improves on its own. Some people simply want to wait and see if the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts fault for the accident and offers a settlement or medical expense coverage. In some cases, a driver will skip medical attention if they think the claim for the accident will not succeed.
Seeking prompt medical attention after a car accident not only preserves your personal health and well-being, but it improves your chances of securing a satisfactory insurance settlement and increases the odds of winning in court. If you get into any type of car accident, call the police, offer your statement, and then seek medical attention as soon as first responders clear you to leave.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:40 pm