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Should I Always Go To The Hospital After A Car Accident?

Emergency Room after an Auto Accident

Every hour, there are around four fatal vehicle crashes in this nation. That’s just crashes involving fatalities. Of the almost 7.3 million crashes in 2016, only 34,439 of them were fatal. More than 2.1 million of these crashes caused injuries that range from mild to severe.

When the crash is not your fault, the stress, time away from work, medical expenses, and cost to replace your car add up. Crash prevention is key, but some crashes are hard to avoid. Whether it’s a single-vehicle crash or a multi-vehicle crash, people can sustain serious injuries. If you’re in a car accident and don’t feel any discomfort, you may wonder if you should really go to the hospital. Yes, you should!

While there are many reasons you should seek medical care, four main reasons stand out.

Four Reasons Why You Immediately Need to Go to the Hospital

#1 – Your Health Depends on Timely Treatments

 

Head injuries are common in a car crash. Even at low speeds, the force of the impact can quickly move your body back and forth. That can make the brain move and hit the bone of the skull. A minor concussion may not feel like much. There might be a slight headache but nothing more concerning. The damage can be long-lasting.

 

People who have had even mild concussions and didn’t see a doctor or follow the usual instructions of staying home and resting often experience fatigue, less focus, and headaches for months or years.

 

Even if you feel okay, you need to see a doctor and be checked for signs of a concussion, back injuries, and other problems that may not be apparent at that moment. If the fear of medical bills has you worried, remember that auto insurance covers medical bills for injuries received in an accident.

 

#2 – Records of Medical Treatments and Recommendations Help With Settlements

 

Documenting the medical tests and treatments you receive will help with any settlement you receive. Insurance pays for your medical bills, so you need to get copies of every bill related to your treatments, tests, medications, and follow-up care. Make sure you have a copy mailed to the insurance company and keep one for your own records.

 

Say you decide to see a personal injury attorney about your car accident, proof of your medical expenses ensures you get the best possible settlement. If you require physical therapy or a home care aide months after the accident, keep track of those bills, too. You shouldn’t pay these medical bills on your own.

 

#3 – Adrenaline Does Amazing Things

 

After your car stops moving, your heart is pounding, anxiety is kicking in, but you feel fine otherwise. You don’t feel anything aching. Nothing is bleeding. You think you’re okay and don’t think you need an ambulance or to go to the hospital. Here’s why that’s wrong.

 

The hormone known as adrenaline is also called epinephrine. You may know of epinephrine as the medication that’s often used to increase low blood pressure or get the heart pumping harder. It also helps the body after a severe allergic reaction. One of the side effects of an adrenaline rush is that the body doesn’t perceive pain as well.

 

It can take an hour for adrenaline to wear off after the stress ends. This is why some accident victim’s done feel any pain until they’re back home. If you skip a trip to the hospital after a car accident, it’s likely you’ll be in pain an hour or two later and wish you’d gone. If you didn’t go, you need to get someone to drive you to the hospital immediately.

 

#4 – Coverage May Be Denied if You Wait Too Long

 

It’s best to see a doctor immediately. If you wait too long to get checked for your injuries during a crash, you run the risk of losing out on coverage. Questions may come up concerning if your injuries were really the result of the accident or something else. If you go to the hospital after the car accident, you avoid any uncertainty regarding when the injuries occurred.

 

California state laws require you to report car accidents with damages of $750 or more to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. You could lose your license if you do not do this. That’s just the accident report. You also need to contact your insurance agency as quickly as possible.

 

State laws have statutes of limitations regarding how long you have to file a lawsuit. For a personal injury case in California, you have two years from the date the injury was received. If you didn’t notice the injuries at first, you have a year from the time the injuries were found. Property damage lawsuits must be filed within three years.

 

Talk to a Lawyer, Too

 

When you’re in a car accident, you need to talk it over with an expert. Don’t accept the insurance company’s settlement offer until you’ve weighed your options. The knowledgeable attorneys at KJT Law Group can help you. Sometimes, the insurance settlement makes sense. Other times, it falls short of covering your vehicles actual repairs or replacement costs and future medical expenses. We offer free consultations to help you make the best decision.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/crash-injuries/index.html

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812580

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-highway-safety#Motor%20Vehicle%20Crashes,%202007-2016

https://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm

 

 

 

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