The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans spend more than 1 million days in hospital each year due to car accidents. People who go to emergency rooms after an accident can sustain a variety of injuries. Whiplash, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury are some of the most common injuries.
Some of these injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, can be life-threatening and should be treated immediately. These injuries are why victims of car accidents would go straight to the hospital. Many people don’t understand why someone with whiplash, a non-life-threatening injury, would visit the hospital. It is important to get medical attention immediately after you’ve been in an accident. Here’s why:
Some injury symptoms may be delayed
Car accident victims need to know that injury symptoms may not appear immediately after a collision. In stressful situations like the one that follows a car accident, adrenaline is released by your body. Your body may temporarily mask pain with adrenaline, so you might not feel any discomfort until the adrenaline levels start to drop hours after the accident.
You may also find that your symptoms will worsen in the hours following the crash. A minor injury may quickly become a serious one. It is not a good idea to wait and see how your health will develop. Even if you don’t feel all the symptoms, a doctor will be able to diagnose the injury.
You could lose your personal injury claim if you wait too long to seek medical treatment
Not only is it important for your health but also for the sake of pursuing compensation in a personal injury claim.
An insurance adjuster from an at-fault party’s insurance company will contact your to discuss the matter shortly after the accident. The insurance adjuster will investigate the accident to determine the cause and extent of your injuries. Your medical records are one of the first things that the insurance adjuster will need. This will enable the insurance company to verify your injuries.
Insurance companies will flag a gap in time between the accident and when you visited a doctor. The insurance adjuster can use this gap in time, no matter how small, to lower the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters might argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim because you didn’t think you required emergency treatment. Insurance adjusters may also argue that there is no way to know how your injuries were sustained since you didn’t seek medical attention immediately after the accident. These arguments could be effective and the insurance adjuster may deny your claim.
Hospitals Provide the Best Care for Car Accident Victims
There are many options for car accident victims when it comes time to seek medical attention after an accident. Many car accident victims believe it is simpler to visit a walk-in clinic rather than a hospital because the wait times are shorter. These facilities only offer a limited range of services. Many walk-in clinics don’t even have X-ray machines. It is possible that you will waste your time visiting a doctor who can’t properly diagnose your injuries.
Many victims of car accidents think about visiting a chiropractor right after the accident, especially if they feel they have suffered an injury to their muscles, ligaments, or joints. Chiropractors can be described as healthcare professionals who are trained to treat injuries to the musculoskeletal systems. They are not qualified to treat other parts of the body. A chiropractor cannot treat any other injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident.
Insurance adjusters will often assign a lower value to claims that involve chiropractic care. This could impact your ability to receive compensation if you visit a chiropractor following an accident.
While walk-in clinics and chiropractors can offer helpful services for those who have been in an accident, they are not suitable for anyone who has just been injured in a car crash. Hospitals have highly-skilled surgeons and doctors who can diagnose and treat many injuries. Accident victims of car accidents will get the best care if they visit a hospital and not a clinic or chiropractor.
The bottom line
So should every victim of a car accident visit the hospital following a crash? Not necessarily. If they have suffered serious injuries or are experiencing blurred vision, it is important to visit a hospital. It is possible to go to your doctor’s office if you are not severely injured. If the accident happened after hours, however, you might have to visit the hospital.
It can be difficult to decide if you should go to the hospital. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You should immediately go to the hospital if you aren’t sure of the extent of your injuries.
Our personal injury lawyers are available to assist you if you have been hurt in a car accident. Our personal injury lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault party to get you the compensation that you are entitled too. John W. Stenson can help you schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.