How Long Should I Wait to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

How Long Should I Wait to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident

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Seek medical attention as soon as possible after getting hurt in a car accident. Even if you think your injuries are minor, get attention. Some injuries may reveal themselves later. Some injuries might impact a condition you already have. Seeing a doctor right away is important for your health as well as for your potential injury compensation. Here’s why.

Why Do I Need a Doctor Immediately After My Accident?

Some people hesitate going to a physician unless they have severe injuries. The costs of doctor consultations and diagnostic tests may seem like needless expenses, but prompt medical care can be crucial in many cases.

The first reason is that numerous accident injuries are not immediately noticeable but turn out to be significant problems later on. It’s common for injured individuals to feel okay at the accident scene, only to suffer worsening symptoms after a few days or weeks.

Whiplash, post-concussion syndrome, back injuries, and internal contusions are frequent examples of these “hidden injuries.” Without timely medical intervention, these could develop into debilitating health issues affecting your work and daily life.

Another important reason to go to the doctor is that it’s valuable for your insurance claim. Getting immediate medical care signals to the insurance company that you may have real injuries. Conversely, if you delay your checkups or miss doctor’s appointments, the insurance adjuster may assert that your injury is not as serious as you claim. 

Insurance companies and the courts do value what you say about your own health, however, a physicians’ evaluation and documentation is often the primary and most considered opinion, especially when a case becomes contentious.

If you’re worried about the costs of medical care, there are legal pathways to help you recover your expenses. Our experienced car accident lawyer in Temecula can guide you on this while helping you get care from reliable medical providers.

How Long After a Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?

While accident injuries such as fractures and lacerations are instantly visible, others can take days, weeks, or even months to appear.

A common example we’ve seen is when accident victims don’t realize they’ve had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from their vehicle crash. They only start getting headaches after about a week, which then worsen into debilitating pain as days pass.

Shock and adrenaline rush are major factors why some people don’t feel pain or discomfort at the accident scene. How long does shock last after a car accident? This varies from person to person, but some doctors say it can take days to a month to wear off.

How Long Do You Have To Go To A Doctor After A Car Accident?

Most insurance companies specify that injured policyholders should seek medical care within a “reasonable” amount of time. This typically means you must go to a doctor within 72 hours of your accident, if you hope to get fair compensation.

Your auto accident policy may have its own wording regarding the timeliness of medical care. This is one more reason not to delay seeing a physician after your crash.

What Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident in California?

  • Emergency doctor – If your injuries are substantial – or if you have car passengers who are severely injured – don’t hesitate to call for emergency care. Emergency room doctors are best equipped to immediately treat injuries that may be life-threatening.
  • Primary care physician – If you were hurt but don’t detect any major injury at the moment, schedule an immediate appointment with your primary care physician.
  • Urgent care doctor – If you can’t get a timely appointment with your primary care physician, it’s best to visit an urgent care clinic, which will likely see you right away.
  • Specialists – Car accident injuries often require further treatment by specially qualified doctors. An orthopedist, for example, will be needed if you have fractures, bone dislocation, or joint injuries. If your head, neck, or spine is injured, a neurologist will be the right doctor to treat you.
    Your primary care physician should refer you to the specialist you need, but some doctors fail to do so. Talk to your personal injury lawyer about the possibility of specialized treatment. At the Zucker Personal Injury firm, we’ve built a network of medical specialists who can provide the care you need and potentially support your claim for compensation later on.

Contact a Temecula Personal Injury Lawyer

For 25 years and running, the Zucker Personal Injury law firm has been helping injured Californians get the treatment and compensation they deserve. Our experienced attorneys can skillfully fight for you in your auto insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. At the same time, our entire office makes sure you are supported by medical professionals who advocate for the injured.

Reach out to us if you need legal help after your car accident. Call the Zucker law firm at (951) 699-2100 today.

The accident lawyers at Zucker Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, APC in Temecula offer legal services exclusively in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death.

How Long Should I Wait to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident
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