When you have an accident, whether it involves a car crash, falling off a ladder, tripping and falling on sidewalk debris or any other incident, unless bones are obviously broken or you are bleeding, the common human tendency is to respond, “I’m okay.” Additionally, your body responds to stress by releasing adrenaline and endorphins giving you a rush which masks your pain and your awareness that you have been injured. Even if you have a couple of bruises or abrasions, you may avoid getting medical treatment because you either have no insurance or have high deductibles. You worry about paying for treatment and just go home. You assume you will be fine.
A few days after the accident, you may feel dizzy or have aches and pains. You hope they will go away, but they do not. Finally, days or weeks later, you go to a doctor and discover you have serious injuries, such as a concussion, nerve or spinal cord damage. You begin accumulating medical bills and lose time off of work. You consult an accident attorney in Charlotte, NC who asks you to submit your medical records for review. Your attorney discovers that you waited a long time to seek medical care. This may complicate your claim for damages and how much compensation you will eventually receive.
Waiting to Seek Medical Attention May be Used Against You
Waiting longer than 72 hours to seek medical treatment may be used against you for two main reasons:
- Insurance companies now use software programs in determining how much they think your claim for damages is worth. The program considers your failure to receive medical treatment within 72 hours of your accident as a sign that you were not seriously hurt. If you have received treatment within that time frame, a value is added to your claim.
- The law requires you to do your part to mitigate your damages. A failure to get prompt medical attention that results in your injury getting worse than it would if you got prompt treatment may result in a reduction of the amount of damage to which you will be entitled.
You should seek treatment for your own health. Medical professionals are trained to look for injuries that may not present immediate symptoms and will tell you what symptoms to watch for. For example, dizziness and headaches are indications of a concussion. Pain in the neck and extremities are symptoms of nerve damage or whiplash.
If you delayed seeking medical treatment after your accident, an experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney at Campbell & Associates will work to overcome this obstacle and work to see you receive all the compensation to which you are legally entitled.