How soon should you see a doctor after a car accident? Learn why you should always see a doctor right away and how not doing so can hurt your claim.

How Soon Should You See a Doctor Following an Auto Accident? Right Away!

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When you must file a claim for compensation after a car accident, you may seek reimbursement for damage to your vehicle. However, the largest portion of your claim will be to reimburse you for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to your injuries. Because of this, your medical treatment will play a pivotal role in the strength of your claim and the amount of compensation you receive.

Why Seeing a Doctor as Soon as Possible Is Essential When Filing an Auto Wreck Claim

Some car accident victims make the mistake of waiting days or weeks before seeking medical care for their injuries. They may try to “tough it out” or do not realize that they are injured because they do not experience symptoms of their condition for days or longer after the accident.

You do not want to make this mistake. It could jeopardize your health and hurt your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Ways that it could weaken your claim include:

  • Disputes regarding cause of injuries. When you wait to seek medical care, you are giving the insurance adjuster an issue to argue about. He could dispute that the car accident was the cause of your injury and instead argue that another incident caused it. By seeing a doctor right away, you strengthen the causal connection between the accident and your injuries.
  • Disputes regarding your injury’s severity. If you do not see a doctor within a day or two of the accident, the insurance company could argue about the seriousness of your injuries too. If you really were as injured as seriously as you claim, you would have sought medical treatment right away. At least that is how their argument goes.

How Failing to Follow-Up on Medical Care Can Weaken Your Claim

Other mistakes that accident victims make include not following their doctor’s advice on treatment, missing doctor and other medical treatment appointments, and having large gaps of time between medical appointments. If you do this, you could hurt your claim in the following ways:

  • Reduce your credibility. You reduce your credibility as a witness by claiming that you suffered serious injuries that cause you pain and limitations in your activities if you do not follow your doctor’s advice or have large periods of time where you received no or little treatment. These actions and missed appointments can also irritate your doctor and may make him a less sympathetic witness in your case against the negligent driver.
  • Raise disputes about your injuries. Not following up on medical care is another way to give the insurance company an argument that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.

Tips on Talking to Your Doctor

Besides being a good patient, you want to be careful what you say when talking to your doctor to not weaken your right to compensation. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Be honest with your doctor about your medical condition, pain, limitations in movements, and your prior medical history, especially prior similar injuries.
  • Do not exaggerate when telling your doctor about your injuries.
  • Stick to the facts that you know when talking about the accident.
  • Be certain that your doctor documents in your medical records what you tell him about your pain and how your injuries limit your activities at every doctor appointment.

Do you need to file a claim for compensation following a car accident? Call our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.

Category: Car Accidents


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