Should I see a doctor after my car accident even if I feel okay?

A question clients commonly ask is whether or not they should see a physician when they feel fine after a car accident. In the case of even minor accidents, seeking the advice of a doctor is always best practice.

In 2018, there were 319,146 vehicle collisions in the state of Illinois. In 951 of these accidents, one or more people lost their lives – close to three people per day. In more than 67,000, one or more people suffered an injury, or more than 10 people per hour. Chances are, many of these people thought they weren’t injured or had only minor injuries, only to suffer consequences from delaying treatment.

As an experienced car accident lawyer in Chicago firm, we have seen the following mistake made countless times. You must see a doctor as soon as possible following your crash, even if you believe you aren’t injured.

It is also important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible once you have discovered an injury. A Chicago car accident lawyer can help you determine your damages, identify at-fault parties, and pursue an injury claim for the maximum amount of compensation available. Call (312) 872-3389 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a lawyer today.

When deciding whether or not to visit a doctor after a car accident, accident victims should consider the following factors.

You Are Likely in Shock

You may feel fine after a car accident, but both your immediate and your future health could be at risk.

Several injury types are not immediately apparent. When you visit a medical professional, they can examine you thoroughly, assess your condition, and provide an appropriate diagnosis. A physician is the person most suitable to determine whether or not you have sustained an injury.

Any person who has been involved in an accident knows that the period of time following a collision becomes hazy. This is because the human body often enters a form of shock. This shock can last for days or weeks, masking pain or loss of mobility. Included in the types of injuries that could be masked are:

  • Head injuries

  • Neck injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more difficult it becomes to attribute your injuries to the crash. Even if you have not sustained an obvious serious injury, a physician can alert you as to what to look out for in the coming weeks. This allows you to document possible injuries, connect them to the accident, and seek prompt medical care.

Documentation is Evidence In Court

Failure to seek a proper diagnosis could ruin your chances of proving your case in court. While you may not have to seek medical attention immediately, you should do so within a reasonable amount of time – typically 48 to 72 hours – following your car accident in the Chicago area.

When you begin to work with an insurance adjuster, you quickly discover just how important medical attention is. These professionals utilize many pieces of information when determining whether or not to pay out a claim. Whether or not you sought medical attention is only one of these details. Even the fact that you delayed treatment can be used as evidence that you are not as hurt or not in as much pain as you allege, regardless of how severe the diagnosis is later.

Should you choose to delay medical treatment, you are giving an insurance adjuster or defense attorney something to use against you. Any good adjuster or attorney will use the fact that you didn’t seek medical attention to have your claim reduced or denied.

Consider how difficult it will be to prove you were injured in your car accident if you decline medical treatment at the scene and never seek it on your own.

Some Injuries Are More Difficult to Treat

Aside from the settlement process, you could be harming your health. Some injuries that you could have sustained will become more difficult to treat the longer you wait to get a diagnosis.

For example, you may experience a slight headache and assume that it is caused by the jarring motion to your head during the impact. In reality, it could be indicative of a traumatic brain injury that would have been more successfully treated had you sought medical intervention immediately.

Do not put your future health at risk. Injuries that become more complicated to treat also become more costly to treat. When you wait to seek medical attention or decline it altogether, you may find yourself solely responsible for paying the medical bills associated with your care.

Langdon & Emison Is Your Advocate

We understand that a car accident can be traumatic. We know that you may feel as if you have nowhere to turn and are finding it difficult to get appropriate advice. Our team is here for you.

Call (312) 872-3389 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation. Our case results speak for themselves. Your Chicago car accident lawyer from Langdon & Emison will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you achieve a successful outcome.

When you need an experienced legal advocate in Kane County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, or beyond, we’re your ally and advocate. You and your family deserve nothing less than a car accident attorney who will fight aggressively for your rights.

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