One of the most crucial things you need to do after getting hurt in a car accident is to seek medical treatment right away.
Getting immediate medical treatment following your car accident is immensely vital because:
- Some injuries that may seem minor and negligible could worsen over time.
- You don’t know if you have sustained a delayed injury that is not evident right after the accident but actually needed immediate medical treatment.
- If you’ve sustained a delayed injury, delaying medical treatment further could aggravate your symptoms and result in a longer and slower recovery, long-term injury or disability, or even death. For example, some injuries, mainly traumatic brain injuries, usually are not diagnosed on time.
- Obtaining immediate treatment will show that you had an actual cause for concern following the accident that caused your injury.
- Getting proper medical treatment will create a verifiable record of all your medical assessments, diagnoses, past and ongoing treatments, which will be very helpful for seeking financial compensation later on.
Continue Getting Medical Treatment and Follow All Your Doctor’s Instructions
Once your doctor diagnoses your injuries and recommends treatment, you should continue getting treated until your doctor clears you. Following through with your doctor-prescribed medical treatment is vital for two primary reasons. The first reason is that your treating doctor is the best person to establish the extent and nature of your injuries and prescribe the most effective treatment plan for you. In turn, this will make your recovery easier and faster.
The second reason is that the records your doctor keeps every time you visit will be extremely helpful for documenting and verifying your injuries and the duration and course of your medical treatment. Verification of your injuries and treatment is crucial if you file an auto accident injury claim later on. Keep in mind that medical expenses are a significant part of damages you can recover in car accident claims. Also, take note that insurance companies are known for denying claims or refusing to cover damages for accident injuries that had delayed treatment.
Don’t Delay Seeking Medical Treatment
You must demonstrate that the injuries for which you’re pursuing compensation actually occurred because of the car accident. The longer you delay getting treatment and official confirmation of your injuries, the higher the chances that the at-fault party would claim that you didn’t really suffer these injuries at the time of the car accident.
They may try to argue that you engaged in an activity following the accident and that the other activity caused your injuries. They’ll further claim that you would’ve headed straight to the hospital if the car accident really injured you. On the other hand, had you gotten treatment right after getting hurt, you would have solid proof to refute the other party’s claims about your injuries.
In addition, make sure to obtain medical care for symptoms or injuries that don’t go away as expected or manifest later. Amid the shock and adrenaline rush, certain injuries don’t appear right after an auto accident.
Review Your Health Insurance Coverage
You can use your health insurance policy to pay your medical expenses related to the car accident. If you are concerned that your insurance provider won’t cover your expenses because you were not at fault for the car accident, don’t be. Your health insurance plan should cover some or all of your expenses and pursue reimbursement later, which usually comes from the injury claim settlement award through the liable party’s insurer.
Likewise, take note that your medical providers might place a lien on your injury settlement to ensure that they will get paid later. But some medical providers may not agree to treat injured victims for specific kinds of accidents. This is typically due to insurance providers that make it extremely difficult for them to receive payment for their services.
If you’re eligible for Medicaid or Medicare benefits, you can’t claim them if there’s another insurance policy you could recover from, like your health insurance policy. Otherwise, Medicare benefits will function exactly like a health insurance plan. This means that Medicare will likewise seek reimbursement from a judgment or settlement you recover from your car accident claim.
Check Your Auto Insurance Policy
Do not expect the liable party’s insurance provider to pay for your bills as you receive medical treatment. It is common practice for insurance companies to wait until they reach a settlement with the claimant or receive a judgment to pay out injury claims. Ideally, you should also avoid speaking to the liable party’s insurance claims adjusters, especially if you don’t have a lawyer representing you, because they will try to negotiate a lower settlement and get you to settle quickly.
Your auto insurance should cover your injuries if you have MedPay (medical payments) or PIP (personal injury protection). These policies can cover your copays, deductibles, and initial medical expenses. The coverage amount, however, will depend on your policy’s limits, so make sure to review your plan. Additionally, some policies may cover chiropractic care and physical therapy costs.
If You Don’t Have Any Insurance Policies
It could feel almost impossible to obtain proper medical treatment and seek compensation for all the losses you suffered, especially if you sustained serious injuries from a devastating car accident. Particularly because doing these things will require filing a claim against the negligent party that caused your injuries. If you don’t have any insurance policies to fall back on, an experienced car accident lawyer can help determine all of your possible sources of compensation.
Car accident lawyers usually offer free initial consultations. You can take advantage of these no-obligation offers, so at the very least, you can find out if your case has merit and whether you should pursue a car accident claim. Besides ensuring that you get the medical treatment you need, your lawyer will likewise help ensure that you recover proper compensation for your losses.