Why is it important to get medical treatment after a car wreck?
Car wrecks can range from the catastrophic resulting in massive injury to a fender bender where the running theme is, “thank goodness it wasn’t worse.” But even minor car wrecks, such as a fender bender, can cause injuries to a driver that might not feel bad at first. When you are in a car wreck, your body releases adrenaline. This hormone is designed to protect you from trauma and can do a pretty good job at masking your injuries and the associated pain. Just because you don’t feel pain immediately does not mean you are not hurt. Over the next several days, as the adrenaline rush leaves your body, you might start to hurt. If you do, it is critical that you get medical treatment after a car wreck as soon as possible and here is why:
Medical treatment forms the basis of your damages in a car wreck case – to prove a motor vehicle collision case, you must show negligence by proving 4 things:
- Duty – the other driver owed a duty to you while operating their vehicle on the same road as you.
- Breach – the other driver breached that duty by failing to obey traffic laws or otherwise operating their vehicle in a careless way.
- Damages – as a result of the breach of duty by the other driver, you have suffered physical and/or mental injury.
- Causation – the physical and/or mental injury you suffered was caused by the car wreck, and not some other variable.
Number 3 and 4 above is where the importance of medical treatment comes in. The medical records and billing that goes along with your medical treatment provides the documented proof that you need to show you have suffered damage not only financially, but in the form of pain and suffering. Without this, there is nothing to put before an insurance adjuster or, if it comes to it, a jury to support that you should be compensated for the wreck. So, if you are hurt in a wreck, don’t let pride lead you to the conclusion that “it’s not that bad, I’ll just live with it.” Take care of yourself and get the treatment you need.
The longer you wait to get treatment, the more difficult it is to tie your damages to the car wreck – this is where the “it’s not that bad, I’ll just live with it” comes in. You say this to yourself and try to live your life. The pain persists and you try and push through it, until one day you can’t. A month, 6 months, a year later you decide to seek treatment because living with it just isn’t cutting it. So, you get the treatment you need, but the insurance company isn’t buying it. If you were truly injured, why did you wait so long to get treatment? It must not have been that bad? Anything could have happened between then and now to cause this injury – how do we know you didn’t cause it or worsen it on your own? These are all arguments an insurance adjuster or opposing attorney could use to discount or even disprove your damages.
The moral of the story is this – get medical treatment after a car wreck as soon as possible. Delay in doing so could damage your claim. Also contact an experienced car wreck attorney, like those at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the complicated and frustrating process of dealing with an insurance company. And you don’t owe us anything up front – we don’t get paid unless we collect for you. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck, call us for a no obligation, free consultation at 601-948-8005. For more personal injury news visit msinjurylaw.com.