Surveys by insurance companies indicate that three out of every four drivers on the road have been in an accident at least once in their driving careers. The average driver files an insurance claim for a collision approximately once every 18 years. In other words, drivers will have experienced at least one car crash by the time they are 34, and three or four accidents over their lifetime.
Unfortunately, car crashes have become so common that there’s a tendency to normalize them, to treat them as a minor annoyance. That can be a painful and costly mistake — particularly if there’s a possibility of long-term injury from the impact. For the sake of your own physical and emotional well-being, as well as to protect any claim you may make in the matter down the road, it’s important to follow up on an appropriate course of medical care and treatment after an accident — even if you think the incident was no big deal.
The Importance of Getting Evaluated
Right after the crash, you may be dealing with several matters at once: contacting police and insurance companies, exchanging information with the other driver, checking out the damage to the vehicles and arranging for alternate transportation. But don’t neglect the most important task of all.
If you or anyone else was injured, seek medical help immediately. In many instances, paramedics will be summoned to the scene to examine accident victims. But even if the incident doesn’t result in an immediate trip to the emergency room, it makes sense to get a thorough physical exam within 72 hours of the accident.
There are several reasons for this. Some serious injuries, including head trauma and whiplash, may not be apparent immediately after the accident and only manifest symptoms hours or days later. That initial soreness you feel might be just being “shook up,” but it could also be a sign of a herniated disc—something that might not be properly diagnosed without an X-ray or MRI. Also, identifying soft-tissue damage or other injuries early in the process can be a key to getting better sooner.
In addition to the compelling health reasons for getting checked out, there are also practical reasons connected to any claim you might make as a result of the injury. A delay in seeking treatment can influence how an insurance company evaluates your claim down the line; early detection and treatment of injuries helps your case as well as your body.
Following Up With Consistent Treatment
Once you have embarked on a course of treatment, whether it involves surgery or physical therapy or some other recovery regimen, it’s vital that you continue the essential care as long as your physician deems necessary. Some people quickly abandon treatment, out of concerns that the process could cost them too much time at work or otherwise interfere with “getting back to normal.” But you should consider the healing process as an important job in its own right. You may be able to seek lost wages as part of your accident claim if you have to miss work to keep medical appointments.
Being diligent and consistent in your treatment is the best way to achieve maximum recovery from the accident. It also strengthens your claim by establishing a record that reflects the full severity of your injuries and the conscientious steps you’ve taken to address them.
Working With Your Attorney
One of the best ways to approach the daunting business of medical treatment after a car accident injury is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney early in the process. A knowledgeable attorney will work with you to document your condition and help you find appropriate treatment for your injuries, while also working on your case and gathering evidence to support a claim for damages resulting from the accident. At Franklin D. Azar & Associates, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so there’s no risk involved in discussing your options after an accident.
THE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT FRANKLIN D. AZAR & ASSOCIATES
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Greenwood Village, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-8032 or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.