Every car accident involves three separate collisions: one between the vehicle and the object it strikes, one between your body and what it strikes inside the car, and one between your organs and other internal parts. Injuries in the last two collisions can include broken bones, internal damage, and brain or spine injuries.
Car accident injuries can be catastrophic and affect a survivor for life. Your prognosis for healing can depend upon how quickly you receive medical care after a car accident. The sooner you visit the doctor, the better – for your health, happiness, and financial future.
When to Request Medical Attention at the Scene
There are certain situations in which it is in your best interest to request an ambulance or medical attention while still at the scene of the crash. If you’re badly injured or unconscious, another party might request help for you. Otherwise, you should request an ambulance if the impact was substantial.
Your health is your top priority after a collision, not the cost of an ambulance. If you didn’t cause your accident, odds are a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver will end in reimbursement for ambulance fees anyway.
A crash that was only minor might not land you in an ambulance on your way to the ER. In fact, requesting an ambulance when you don’t think you need one could look like you’re trying to take advantage of your insurance company. If responding officers recommend you take one, however, your injuries could be serious enough to require emergency action.
In this case, accept the offer of an ambulance regardless of what your insurance company might think. When in doubt, go to the emergency room immediately by way of ambulance. Otherwise, remain at the scene until the officer tells you it’s okay to leave.
If You Do Not Need an Ambulance at the Scene
In minor “fender benders,” you might not feel injured enough to require an ambulance. This does not necessarily mean you don’t have injuries, however. During your conversation with a police officer, do not say that you’re uninjured.
Say that you’re not sure whether or not you have injuries, and that you are going to see a doctor immediately upon leaving the scene of the accident. If you say you aren’t injured but discover injuries later, it can be difficult to convince your insurance company that the injuries happened in the car accident.
There are many common car accident injuries that can have hidden or delayed symptoms. For example, every concussion case is unique to the individual. Some people might not notice signs of a concussion for hours, days, or even weeks following a crash.
Neck and back soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, can also have delayed symptoms. For instance, you might not notice a slipped disk in your back until you aggravate the injury at work days later. In some cases, adrenaline from the wreck might be disguising aches or pains in your body.
No matter what the case, don’t tell police or insurance companies you don’t have injuries until you’ve seen a doctor. Only a doctor can conduct the tests, scans, and x-rays necessary to diagnose car accident injuries.
Do not attempt to self-diagnose. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor following a car crash, even if you don’t feel injured. Professional medical attention is the only way to know for sure the accident didn’t jar or damage something inside of you.
Always See a Doctor Within 48 Hours of a Car Accident
Never wait to go to the hospital after a car accident in Florida. The best time to go is as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more evidence an insurance company has that your injuries must not have been too serious or painful. This can lead to a lower settlement offer and less recovery for pain and suffering. Going within the first 48 hours after the collision is best.
Waiting longer than 48 hours can signify that you weren’t in a lot of pain, or that you weren’t injured at all. Should you discover injuries later, you won’t have a record showing that you went to the doctor right after your car accident.
Delaying medical care can make an insurance company suspect you of fraud, or allege that you suffered an injury somewhere other than the car accident and are now trying to blame an old crash for your injuries. The best way to safeguard your rights and maximize recovery is with immediate medical attention.
Don’t take any chances when it comes to your health. Trust a medical professional with your car-accident injuries right away after a collision in Florida. Prompt medical care can prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones, and create an official medical record relating to the accident.
For more advice from Tampa car accident attorneys, contact Bulluck Law Group for a free case evaluation.