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Getting a Checkup May Help Keep the Value of Your “Check Up”

You have just been in a car accident; your back is in severe pain and you think that your arm may be broken. What is the most important thing for you to do?

Seek medical attention. 

You have just been in a car accident; you hit your head and have a major headache, but no broken bones. What is the most important thing for you to do?

Seek medical attention. 

You have just been in a car accident; you were not traveling very fast at the time of impact and merely have a few bruises. What is the most important thing for you to do?

Seek medical attention. 

There are a number of reasons you should seek medical treatment immediately after an accident. The most important and obvious reason is for your overall health and well-being. Many people often don't realize the extent of their injury until weeks after their accident or they think their injury will get better without immediate treatment. Perhaps they are too busy at work, they have a vacation coming up, but whatever the reason is, they put off going to see the doctor. Then after a few weeks have passed they realize they aren't feeling any better and in fact, they are feeling worse. Although they can still treat with a doctor, the value of any personal injury claim they might have is diminished, depending on just how long they waited to seek treatment.

Why does it matter how long you wait to treat, as long as the doctor confirms you are hurt? The first thing that must be proven was that the injury was an actual result of the accident. The insurance company, and jurors alike, could speculate that the injury might have occurred sometime after the accident unless the injury was immediately followed and documented by a visit to the emergency room or to a medical office. Also, it is important to show that there have been follow-up visits for treatment or the insurance company or jury may see this lack or gap in treatment as the person is not really hurt. A jury and an insurance company are not going to trust your word in good faith about how injured you are, rather, they want to hear it from a doctor and see supporting medical reports.

Other important documentation in supporting a claim would be to supply a timeline of when and where you were treated. The specific details of your pain can provide support to your claim and your doctor's notes, therefore make sure to annotate when, where, and how the pain occurs. The takeaway is simple: If you are injured in an accident, see a medical professional to make sure your health is not in jeopardy and also to ensure you can be fairly compensated for your injury.