Car accidents can vary in severity and so can the injuries caused by them. However, it is not necessary that a significant accident may cause the same extent in injuries or vice versa. There have been instances where individuals have walked away unscathed from horrendous crashes and others where minor accidents have proved fatal. It is important, therefore, never to underestimate the injuries caused by a collision.
One of the most frequently asked questions after minor car accidents is that I don’t feel injured. Do I still visit a hospital for a check-up? The simple answer to the question is yes! No matter how minor a crash might feel or whether injuries might be visible or not, visiting a doctor has numerous physical and legal benefits which can’t be ignored.
With the number of times that this question is asked there was a need to address the matter in detail. This post focuses on all the intricacies that are associated with the problem at hand.
Table of Contents
Why is it important to see a doctor?
After a minor accident if there are no visible injuries most people avoid going to the doctor altogether. Others tend to self-medicate for pains that they might be feeling in some part of their body. This can be one of the biggest mistakes during the entire process. The absence of external injuries does not indicate that there might not be any internal ones either. These injuries include fractures, concussions or internal bleeding, etc. Moreover, some of these injuries might take 24-48 hours before showing signs that they might exist.
Besides the physical consequences, visiting a doctor is also essential due to legal requirements. After a crash, the insurance company of the other party might get in touch with you and offer a release form to you. Signing this form means that you withdraw any claims from the other party. Once you sign the release and come to the realization that there were internal injuries that you ignored by not going to the doctor, all your medical expenses will go from your pocket. The other party and their insurance company will not be obliged to pay these costs, and there will be nothing you can do about it, legally.
Type of injuries that might arise
There can be a variety of injuries that might arise as a result of car accidents. Even minor crashes that might seem negligible at first can have significant consequences on your health due to hidden injuries. The types of injuries can include internal bleeds, hemorrhage, fractures, sprains, and concussions, etc.
To convince yourself to get proper medical attention, there has to be a slight understanding of how the human body works. Two things need to be considered:
The significance of medical records
There are some reasons why medical records are essential even in a minor car accident. First and foremost is to support any legal claim. In case of a negligent driving case, they will ascertain that your injuries were a result of the crash and that you are entitled to receiving medical and other settlement costs from the other party.
Furthermore, these records document that you have been to the doctor. If you delay visiting a hospital for more than two weeks, it will become challenging to defend a claim or any sort in court because the defendant’s attorney can argue that your injuries are not related to the crash and might have been caused by a separate event that happened afterward. Lastly, medical records allow an estimation of the total costs that you’ve incurred and the value of the settlement that you must receive from the defendant.
Filing a claim if you haven’t had medical treatment
Although there is an utmost emphasis on visiting the doctor at all costs after a car accident you can still pursue a claim if you haven’t. It is important to note that the prospects of succeeding might be slim in this case, but there can be evidence to support the case nonetheless.
There can be other evidence that might help you prove a claim. These include proof of leaves from your employer that you availed due to the crash, eyewitness accounts, reports that you made to authorities or your insurance company, etc. These documents can help you prove that there was indeed an accident that you were injured as a result of it. However, the true extent of the injuries and the damage costs will be hard to determine without medical records to support your case.
Seek professional advice from an attorney
There is no second thought on the fact that even if the accident you were involved in seemed like it left you unharmed; you have to visit a hospital for a checkup. This will help you defend a claim of misconduct against the other party. The damages recovered through this process can help cover the repair costs of your vehicle and the medical expenses for any injuries caused to you.
A personal injury attorney can help advice and assist you appropriately in these matters. They can plot a course of action that you would follow in order to defend your case in the court of law successfully.