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Seeking Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

Posted on in Car Accident

When people come to us seeking car accident legal advice, one of the first questions we ask is, “when did you first seek medical treatment for your injuries?” We often meet potential clients who were injured in a car accident but waited several weeks before seeking medical treatment, which can be detrimental to a claim.

One of the best pieces of personal injury lawyer advice I can offer is do not hesitate to seek medical treatment immediately following a car crash, even for the most minor symptoms. If your symptoms resolve and your claim settles quickly, then at least you will have peace of mind from being checked out and knowing you are ok. If your symptoms don’t resolve, become worse, or end up more severe than you thought, you will be very glad you got medical evidence and a doctor’s opinion right from the start.

Often times people don’t want to go through the hassle and hope the injury will resolve on its own. Sometimes people don’t get treatment because they don’t have the time or the money. We also frequently meet people whose symptoms didn’t begin right away or didn’t become severe until several weeks after the crash.

While these are all understandable reasons not to seek medical treatment right away, the insurance company will often use that gap in care against you. They will try to argue that you obviously weren’t hurt or you would have gone to the doctor right away or they might try to argue that there was a “subsequent intervening event” that caused you to seek medical treatment and that your injury has nothing to do with the car accident at all.

By seeking medical treatment immediately after the car crash, you are leaving a paper trail that connects your injuries to the car crash (which is a good thing). You should report every symptom you are having, even if it seems minor, so there is evidence that that part of the body was affected from the onset. If your symptoms resolve quickly then you may not need that evidence, but if they do not resolve or your injury turns out to be more severe, will be glad to have that medical evidence.

You should also be sure to tell every provider you see that your symptoms began after the crash, so there is documentation relating your injuries to the car crash. If you had a pre-existing condition or a prior injury to the same body part, you should tell the doctor about that as well, but make sure to be very specific about your condition before and after the crash and how it has changed over time.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
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