When Should You Go To the Doctor After a Car Accident?

Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been in a car accident that seems relatively minor, you may wonder when you need to go to the doctor and whether you need to go at all. Even if you do not seem to be hurt, it is always advisable to see a doctor after a car accident as soon as possible. Failure to do so could affect your physical health, your insurance coverage, and your legal options.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection is a type of car insurance coverage that covers damages from your accident regardless of who was at fault. It is available in most states and required in those that have no-fault laws that do not take responsibility for the accident into account. If you have PIP coverage and wish to file a claim for medical expenses under that policy, you may be required to receive medical treatment within a certain time frame. In Florida, for example, you must receive it within 14 days of the accident.

Delayed Symptoms

Symptoms of serious injury from a car accident do not always show up right away. In some cases, such as an instance of internal bleeding, it can take a while for the condition to develop. In other cases, the symptoms are there but are masked by body chemicals such as adrenaline and endorphins that flood your system in response to a perceived threat to give you the ability to either deal with it or flee from it.

Once the danger has passed, your body stops producing these chemicals and their effects gradually wear off. When this happens, you start experiencing pain and other symptoms from an injury you sustained in the collision. By this point, you may have inadvertently made your injury worse.

A physical examination that takes place as soon as possible after the car accident may be able to identify early or developing signs of serious injury before you start experiencing the symptoms. If you have PIP coverage and the examination takes place within 14 days, your insurance company should pay for your medical expenses.

Legal Action

If you decide to take legal action against the party responsible for your accident, you need evidence that you have suffered damages as a result. Seeking medical attention not only gives you access to the care you may need to recover from your injury, it also creates a record of your injury and the treatment you have received, which can be valuable when filing a lawsuit or negotiating a settlement.

In most instances, it is better to seek medical attention quickly. However, it is not always possible. Not receiving treatment within 14 days doesn’t mean that you can’t recover damages. Contact an auto accident attorney, like the Ward & Ward Personal Injury Law Firm. Their expertise and knowledge will only give you an advantage when arguing your claim.

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