Listen to the audio below:
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should get medical care right away. Don’t wait around hoping that you’re going to feel better. Sometimes people try to tough it out, and all they’re doing is hurting their own case. The longer you wait from the date of the accident to when you first seek medical treatment, the more the responsible party, the insurance company for the responsible party, is going to doubt whether you had any injuries at all. The insurance companies will use your delay against you.
Make sure you keep track of all medical providers, and make sure that you seek medical care right away. Also, every time you go to the doctor after a car accident, make sure you mention to the doctor why you’re there. Some clients go to the doctor and say, “Oh, my back hurts or my neck hurts,” but they never mention to the doctor it was because of an automobile accident. If you don't mention the accident, some insurance adjusters might say your treatment wasn’t related to the car accident. Doctors can’t read your mind. You have to tell them why you are there. The insurance adjusters review your medical records very carefully. If something isn't documented, it's like it never happened as far as many adjusters are concerned.
Also, when you go to the doctor, make sure that you mention everything that bothers you - no matter how slight. Start from the head and make your way down. Make mention of all injuries to the doctor. Some people try to "tough it out" but all they’ve done is hurt their own case because they waited too long or failed to mention an injury. This is not the time to be brave or stoic. So make sure you are very mindful of what you are telling your healthcare professionals. After all, they want all the information so they can provide you with the best care.
Finally, when you seek medical care, you should let your health car professionals know how the accident has affected you. Have you canceled travel plans? Are you having trouble sleeping? Trouble at work? Does it hurt to walk or tie your shoes in the morning? Is it difficult to shower? What other difficulties are you having? Insurance adjusters evaluate your injuries but they also take into account how the accident affected your life. Again, they look to your medical records for that information. If you don't articulate the information to your doctors, it won't be in your records and likely won't be considered.
So in review:
1) Make sure you seek medical attention right away.
2) Make sure you mention ALL your injuries, no matter how slight.
3) Make sure you articulate HOW the accident affected your life.
4) Keep your health care professionals informed and follow through with your care.
5) Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about your options. Your health is very important and should be your primary consideration.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.