It is difficult for most people to think clearly after a car accident, but the importance of making the right decisions cannot be understated. There will be a lot of things going on in the aftermath, and people might be telling you to do different things and offering advice. However, no matter what anyone else is saying or doing, getting emergency medical treatment is the priority even if you do not have any apparent injuries or symptoms.
Why Should I Seek Medical Treatment if I Do Not Seem Injured?
With a personal injury such as a broken arm or a large wound, you will know right away that medical treatment is necessary. Things like whiplash, concussions, internal organ damage, and traumatic brain injuries might initially present with no symptoms or a minor headache, with more serious consequences hours or even days later. Keep in mind that you could also be in shock following a car accident, so this is not the time to refuse medical treatment. When these injuries are not identified and treated quickly, further damage to the body can occur; these and other conditions may get progressively worse or lead to serious complications.
It is not possible for the average car accident survivor to know the extent of their injuries without a proper medical examination. The only way to get an accurate diagnosis is by seeing a qualified physician, who can perform diagnostic tests, provide a treatment plan, and prescribe prescriptions. Your doctor’s notes; follow-up care; and X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs will become part of your medical records and can later be used to prove the extent of your injuries and medical bills.
Why Do People Refuse Medical Treatment after Car Accidents?
Two of the main reasons why people hesitate or refuse to be taken to an emergency room (ER) after an accident is because they do not want to spend the money or do not want to be bothered with having to wait to see a doctor. These decisions can come back to haunt you, because of hidden injuries and for how insurance companies may interpret what happened.
It is important to understand the distinctions between an ER and other centers when making your treatment decision after a car accident. Unlike other medical facilities, ERs are always open and if you do need surgery, you usually can have it performed at that same hospital. They will have the necessary diagnostic equipment and staff to evaluate and care for you if the injuries are serious. Besides that, ER doctors are trained to recognize the symptoms of car accident injuries.
If you do not have broken bones, uncontrollable bleeding, severe burns, difficulty breathing, or other obvious trauma, going to an urgent care might suffice. The waiting times here are usually shorter than in emergency rooms, and they often charge less; and if the treating physician believes that you need to visit the ER, they will quickly let you know. Waiting a few days to see your personal physician or having a virtual medical appointment is not recommended, and they might also refer you to an ER, or your symptoms could worsen. The guiding principle here is to seek in-person treatment as soon as possible.
How Insurance Companies Factor Medical Care into Settlements?
If you do not visit an ER or physician after a motor vehicle collision, an insurance provider will take this into consideration when reviewing your claim. They may assert that the injuries were not significant enough to require immediate care, offer a lower settlement, or turn your claim down. Basically, refusing a medical examination or treatment can reduce your ability to win a case. The defendant’s team can also use this refusal as leverage for their side. Medical documentation is key evidence in car accident cases, and the date and time of your initial diagnosis and care will be duly noted.
It is crucial to keep records of all your medical care following a car accident, whether the crash was minor or major. Store the information in your computer, and also have hard copies of every diagnosis, treatment plan, invoice, and payment receipt. Follow the doctor’s orders closely, and do not neglect to schedule and attend follow-up appointments, procedures, and physical therapy. Fill your prescriptions and take them as directed. Also keep records of any time missed from work and miles traveled to and from medical appointments. It is also a good idea to keep a journal of all this and note any pain and suffering experienced in detail.
Which Maryland Car Laws Apply to My Car Accident Claim?
The two most important Maryland car laws of which to be aware are the statute of limitations and contributory negligence. According to the Maryland Courts & Judicial Proceedings Code section 5-101, there is a three-year time limit for filing a personal injury civil lawsuit. This means that plaintiffs have three years to file their initial complaints in court after the date of the injury. When families wish to file wrongful death lawsuits, the statute of limitations is three years after the date of the person’s death.
Maryland’s contributory negligence laws can affect the amount of financial recovery that a claimant receives for a car accident claim, even when they win their cases. If a court finds that a plaintiff was partially responsible for a crash, that party will be unable to recover any compensation from the other driver. This law also applies to car insurance companies; therefore, if a claims adjuster determines that you have any blame for the accident, settlement negotiations will be challenging to say the least.
Contact a Bowie Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you were involved in a car accident and need trusted legal guidance, reach out to a Bowie car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our skilled legal team can help you negotiate a fair settlement and represent you in court if necessary. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.