The Importance Of Seeking Prompt Medical Treatment After An Injury

Published on 05/31/2023 by Monica Burneikis

Seeking prompt medical treatment is essential when you are in a car accident or sustain any type of injury. Your physical well-being should always be a top priority. 

Swift documentation of your injuries provides an essential paper trail, recorded by medical professionals, which will become key evidence during your insurance claims process and related legal proceedings.

Immediate Medical Treatment Is Essential To An Accident Or Injury Case

Lack of medical documentation immediately after an injury-producing event leaves more room for adverse parties to question whether or not your claimed injury is legitimate. Having someone, whether an insurance claims adjuster, an expert witness, a judge, or a juror, question the veracity of your  injuries is the last thing you want as you pursue a personal injury claim.

Make An Urgent Care Or Doctor Appointment Within 24 Hours

Serious accidents, like those involving catastrophic injuries or a traumatic brain injury, are initially handled by first responders and are followed by a visit to the local Emergency Room. However, some injuries are more subtle. Even significant injuries to the brain, internal organs, or other parts of the body can be masked by post-accident adrenaline and shock. Failure to seek immediate medical attention to evaluate the extent and severity of your unseen (or unappreciated) injuries can result in more permanent or even fatal outcomes. 

A whiplash injury is a perfect example of something that may not be immediately apparent but will make itself known in the following days or weeks. If left untreated, damage to the spine caused because of a whiplash injury can result in a lifetime of discomfort and complications.

This is why experts always advise contacting your physician or checking in with the local urgent care center for immediate attention. In almost all cases, doctors want to perform a thorough physical and may also schedule routine screenings or tests like x-rays or ultrasounds. 

Medical professionals know that accident-related injuries may fade into the background of the shock and the trauma following a motor vehicle accident, making these checkups essential for starting a baseline assessment. 

Notify A Physician The Minute You Notice New Symptoms 

Depending on the results of the initial physical examination, your doctor may recommend scheduling a follow-up in several days. If a follow-up visit is not immediately scheduled, your medical professionals will advise you to contact them if your current symptoms worsen or if new symptoms develop. In this instance, your medical professionals are relying on you to inform them if you experience any worsening symptoms in the days and weeks after the accident and to make an appointment to receive follow-up care. If you fail to do this, your claim of continuing pain may be disbelieved.

The most common delayed accident symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms that can show up within hours to multiple days after an accident include things like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to focus
  • Vision issue (blurred or obscured vision)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back, neck, or shoulder pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Behavioral or emotional changes (often noticed by a partner, family members, or close friends before you are even aware of them)

If you experience these or other unusual physical symptoms following a motor vehicle accident or other injury-producing event, contact your doctor immediately. Even if you did not seek immediate medical treatment after the accident, your doctor will document the date of the accident and will note that the symptoms you are experiencing are temporally related with the incident. This documentation is vital to substantiating your claim.

What About Workplace Injuries?

It is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention after experiencing a work-related injury. All too often, employees say things like, “Really, I’m just fine…” or they decline the offer to seek medical treatment in an effort to play down their experience. This is one of the worst things you can do. 

As with after a car accident, prompt medical attention is crucial to protect your well-being and ensure you get the treatment you need. However, it is also essential because the more time that goes by between your workplace accident and when you seek medical attention to document your injuries, the more likely your employer is to claim the injury or inability to work is not related to anything that happened on their watch.

In most cases, employers have a designated hospital, clinic, or physician that employees must visit after sustaining an injury or experiencing an on-the-job accident. You should try to follow your employer’s protocol in this regard. However, you should also schedule an appointment with your own private healthcare provider as soon as possible for a second opinion and to ensure you are receiving thorough care and treatment.

Do Not Wait Until The Last Minute

In California, a person has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim or case related to the accident. This two-year period is called a “statute of limitations.” However, the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to get the compensation you deserve. Therefore, we always recommend getting a professional medical evaluation as soon as possible after you have been in an accident so you have the evidence you need. By doing so, you will have documentation of the progression of your injuries that you will need to prove your legal claims.

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer For Proactive Protection

If you do sustain an injury from a car accident, workplace incident, or due to the potential negligence of another, we recommend contacting Burneikis Law, P.C. We provide free consultations that can help you move forward, regardless of whether or not you utilize our services. 

In most cases, our efforts help clients receive far more compensation from insurance companies than they ever would on their own. Plus, our expertise allows us to review your injuries and treatment needs, and provide a referral to medical professionals you may not have considered, like pain management specialists, rehabilitation consultants, etc.

Do you have questions about a recent car accident or a situation that led to an injury? Contact Burneikis Law to schedule a consultation. We will listen to your side of the story and provide you with the next best steps to protect your current and future interests.

Monica Burneikis - Oakland Personal Injury Attorney
Monica Burneikis has been an accident and personal injury lawyer for over 15 years. She knows what it takes to fight with insurance companies in order to obtain maximum compensation for injury victims and their families.
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