Why You Should Always Seek Medical Treatment After an Accident
Receiving medical attention immediately after a car accident is crucial for drivers and passengers who are involved in the crash. EMS will transport severely injured victims to the nearest hospital immediately. When no serious injuries are apparent, is it still necessary to go to the hospital or doctor?
The simple answer is “yes” for two main reasons. First and foremost, many car accident victims aren’t aware of their injuries right away. The stress and trauma of a car accident cause the body to produce adrenaline and morphine-like hormones called endorphins that can mask any pain you would normally feel following an injury.
After time goes by and those chemicals dissipate, pain can quickly surface and injuries (sometimes internal) may become apparent. Seeking medical treatment as early as possible can help you identify injuries early on and give you a better chance of completely healing.
No matter when you seek treatment, however, medical bills can be very expensive and cause you financial stress. The second reason you should seek medical attention immediately can significantly impact your chances of recovering financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance company down the line. Known as a “medical gap,” delayed treatment can be scrutinized by insurance companies and potentially used as a reason to deny your claim. If you let a period of time pass between your car accident and seeking medical attention, this medical gap can be perceived as a sign that your injuries were caused by some other incident and not the accident.
Understanding Medical Gaps
There are two different types of gaps in treatment, both of which could impact the outcome of your case. The first gap is the one mentioned above: time elapsed between the accident and when you first receive medical treatment for your injuries. The other gap that insurance companies can use against you is time between doctor visits. Even if you receive medical care immediately after an accident, you can be questioned by insurance companies and attorneys if you don’t go back for another appointment until several months later.
Gaps like this are what insurance adjusters look for when attempting to devalue your claim or deny it outright, and these arguments can be effective. If a victim’s injuries are as serious as they claim, why did they not receive immediate medical care or let a significant period of time elapse between visits? The easiest ways to fight these claims are to see a doctor regularly after your accident and keep detailed records of every visit, including treatment you received, medication you were prescribed, and how much pain you were in along the way.
Possible Reasons for a Medical Gap
If you’ve had a medical gap, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a case and a chance at recovering financial compensation. There are some cases in which a medical gap is unavoidable. An experienced and skilled attorney can make the argument that your scenario was unique and warranted elapsed time between treatment. These scenarios may include travel, illness, or mandatory recovery time for an unrelated surgery or medical procedure. If you’ve had a medical gap for a legitimate reason, be open and honest about it with your attorney so that they can prepare your case by collecting documents and other evidence.
To learn more about your legal options after a car accident and take the first step in recovering the financial compensation you deserve, contact the car accident lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today by calling (203) 397-1283.