What You Should Do if You’ve Been Injured in an Automobile Accident
When automobile accidents occur, injuries are likely. This is true for accidents of all types, whether slow or high speed collisions. While we expect big accidents to cause serious injuries, even a minor accident can result in dangerous injuries that require repeated care.
The first thing you should do after an accident is to get professional medical care. You should do this whether the injuries seem minor or not. There are several important reasons for this, both medical and legal.
For one, you may not be in a state to properly self-diagnose the seriousness of your injuries right after an accident has occurred. This is doubly true for head injuries. All too often, a seemingly minor head injury results in serious long-term consequences. It is also true that the situation does not lend itself to properly evaluating your injuries at the scene, so any problem should be looked into.
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Legally, you want to get treated right away for two reasons. First, insurance companies, rightly or wrongly, often judge the seriousness of an injury based on how soon after the accident you sought medical care. That fact that you sought treatment immediately helps prove that you believed the injury to be serious. If you wait, it can often be seen as an admission that you were not seriously injured.
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Proof of injury is the basis for the other reasons, as well. If you are injured in a car accident, but fail to seek treatment for several days, it becomes increasingly difficult to prove that your injury was the result of the car accident. It can be easier for an insurance company to dismiss your claim if you delay treatment because your injury could have been sustained sometime after the event, but before you saw a doctor. This is due, in part, to some people’s dishonest attempts to claim later injuries as being related to an earlier accident in an attempt to get their medical bills covered by the insurance company. Lastly, your medical bills and the records of your treatment serve as proof for the damages you’re claiming against the insurance company and you’ll need this proof to collect the amount in damages that you need.
After seeking medical care, you should also speak with an attorney. This attorney can help you decide whether to pursue legal action to seek compensation for your medical bills. If you do have a case against the insurance company, they will be able to help you file that case. An attorney can also help you figure out how much you should seek in compensation, including economic and non-economic damages.