Person in scrubs holding stethoscope next to person in white coat

Medical Attention After an Accident Is Always Necessary

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP Feb. 1, 2022

You don’t have to be involved in a major car accident to suffer injuries. Even low-impact collisions at slow speeds can cause trauma. There are multiple reasons why you should seek medical treatment after an accident no matter what.

At Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, we represent clients who have suffered injuries in car accidents caused by others in Pearland, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, Texas. After getting to know so many injured victims, we have seen it all, including what happens when they fail to seek medical attention right away.

What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?

Despite all the possible variables related to car accidents, such as speed, location of impact, use or failure of safety equipment, and position in the vehicle, many of the same injuries are typical. Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash and shoulder tears, occur frequently and often without the victim realizing it right away.

Neck and spinal injuries, facial fractures, and fractures in the hands, wrists, arms, collarbone, ribs, knees, legs, and feet are common. Head-on collisions are a common way people shatter their heels.

Closed-head injuries are extremely common, as the force of impact, even at slow speeds, pushes the brain against the skull.

Reasons to Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

Your health is the number one reason to seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t think or are not sure you are injured. The rush of adrenaline can mask pain for hours, and some victims may not feel injuries for even longer. For example, the symptoms of a life-threatening ruptured blood vessel in the brain may not present for weeks or longer.

Emergency physicians will know what type of injuries to look for based on what you tell them about the accident. They will know what diagnostic testing should be done so they can look beyond what they see during an examination. Any delay in treatment for injuries can inhibit your ability to recover from them. In the case of a head injury, the result could be fatal.

The healthcare provider will also produce the documentation necessary for you to file a claim with your own insurance company, for example, for medical payment or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. That documentation will also be required for you to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage. You will need a diagnosis that relates your injuries to the crash, a treatment plan, and medical bills to support your claim for damages.

Insurance companies like it when injury victims delay seeking medical treatment. It gives them the opportunity to downplay the severity of your injuries or to allege that you could have injured yourself in some other way during the interim between the crash and a medical examination.

How Important Is It for Me to Follow the Doctor’s Orders?

Not following doctor’s orders and not completing a prescribed treatment plan also puts your health, as well as your personal injury claim, at risk. The treatment plan is designed to help you recover from your injuries to the extent possible, referred to as “maximum medical improvement.” You stand very little chance of achieving that without adhering to the plan.

Moreover, if you are noncompliant with the treatment plan, the insurance company will use it against you. It will allege you were not as injured as you claim to be. If maximum medical improvement leaves you far behind what your health status was prior to the accident, that adds significant value to your liability claim. If you do not complete the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare providers, including physicians, rehabilitation therapists, and other specialists, the insurance company will blame your inability to fully recover on your lack of compliance and devalue your claim accordingly.

Seeking medical treatment immediately after you have been in a car accident is always the safest course, for you and your personal injury claim. If you end up not being injured, you can still file a claim for emergency treatment. If you are injured, you will have taken the first step toward recovery.

How Experienced Legal Guidance Can Help

As personal injury attorneys, we are dedicated to working harder for our clients than those working against them, including insurance companies motivated by profits who are not doing what is right. At Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, in Pearland, Texas, you will get the guidance you need to pursue fair compensation for your damages.

We charge nothing to talk to you about your case, so don’t delay. Call us now to schedule a consultation.