The number of accidents since 2010 continues to climb. In 2015, there were almost 6.3 million crashes, up around 200,000 from 2014. By 2016, that number climbed to 7.27 million. Of these crashes, drivers accounted for the highest percentage of injuries and fatalities followed by passengers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or walking nearby, it’s imperative that you go to the hospital after any crash. If you’re physically and mentally able, your immediate response should be call police, take photos, and ask for an ambulance. This is why it’s so important.
Adrenaline Can Hide Pain
After a crash, you’re going to be in shock. Adrenaline rushes through your body as a normal reaction to the stressful events. While adrenaline is normal, it can also mask pain. Once it wears off, you might discover you do have injuries. This may not always matter. If there was an injury to the spine or any internal bleeding, it could become serious if you don’t get urgent medical care.
Some Physical Injuries Take Time for Symptoms to Appear
You can feel fine after an accident, but there are injuries you don’t yet feel. Brain injuries can take days before symptoms appear. It’s ideal to have a doctor check you for a traumatic brain injury and give you instructions on what to watch for during the next week or two.
Whiplash is another injury where you may not feel it at first. It occurs during the fast forward and backward movements your neck goes through during a crash. Surgery may or may not be required. It can also take a day or two to feel the neck pain, and it can take months to recover.
Psychological Injuries May Appear Weeks Later
When you go to the hospital after your car crash, you already have the details of the crash on file with your doctors. Anxiety, specifically PTSD, may not appear until weeks after the accident. If you’ve seen a doctor after the accident, it’s easier for a doctor to connect the sudden appearance of anxiety to the accident that happened weeks earlier.
PTSD is common after a traumatic event. What often happens after a car crash is that the victim becomes fearful while driving a car, traveling on the street where the crash occurred, or is overly cautious and becomes a bigger hazard behind the wheel. The driver may experience panic attacks and strong emotional reactions when facing situations that remind him/her of the crash. This makes it hard to leave the home to run errands or go to work.
Doctors Know What to Look For
An ER doctor sees so many car accident patients each day. They know the things to check for. If you let them do their job and don’t keep fear of the medical bills from preventing proper care, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re okay. You also have instructions on how to care for yourself over the next few weeks.
It Helps Build a Case
An insurance company factors the cost to repair or replace your vehicle into their settlement offer. They also look at your medical bills, interruption of work or school, and any damage to or destruction of personal property. They use this information to make you a settlement offer.
That offer may not really be enough money to cover everything. Once you’ve signed the paperwork and agreed to the settlement, you are usually required to sign forms stating you will not file a lawsuit in the future. If PTSD doesn’t appear until months after the crash, you’ll be out of luck.
If you don’t sign the paperwork and decide to file a lawsuit, you need to have comprehensive medical records, proof you’ve lost income, and other important documents that help prove your case. You need to be able to link your accident to injuries that don’t appear until later. If you’ve been to a doctor, it’s easier to prove you’ve taken every possible step to take care of yourself after the accident. It also helps prevent arguments that the injuries were preexisting.
Jordan, Herington & Rowley promises to put you first. The award-winning attorneys have won millions of dollars in a variety of personal injury cases. From a $131 million car crash verdict to a $45 million verdict for the family of a drunk driving victim, the attorneys work hard to get you the settlement you deserve after a car crash. Call us at (303) 647-3031 any time of the day or night for a free consultation.