While it can be tempting to “tough it out” and avoid seeking medical treatment after a car accident, you need to understand that this will likely prevent you from being able to recover any compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and related losses resulting from the accident.
Following a car accident, it is always a good idea to have a medical professional check you over. Some neck and/or back injuries can take days for the pain to set in, and any delay in seeking treatment will be used against you if you later decide to file a personal injury claim.
The need to seek medical care immediately.
If you fail to seek immediate medical treatment, you can be certain the defense attorney will use that against you. No matter what injuries may develop later, the defense will use this delay as a means of defending his/her client’s position that either your injuries were not serious enough to require immediate medical treatment, or the injuries are not related to the accident.
In order to have the best chance at a successful personal injury claim, you must “prove up” your damages (injuries and losses). Medical evaluations are incredibly important as they are performed by an independent 3rd-party (the doctor or medical facility). Without documented proof of an injury, your own testimony simply isn’t enough to compel a jury to award you an arbitrary amount of money, and the defendant’s insurance company knows this.
Lawsuits are designed to help a victim recover actual losses, and the burden of proof is always on the victim (i.e. the plaintiff). Generally, the court will not award you compensation unless you can show compelling evidence of your losses. Medical bills are the foundation of most personal injury claims, and without them, you will have a difficult time convincing a jury that your injuries were severe enough to necessitate much (if any) compensation.
Documentation improves your chances of success.
One of the best tools an injured person has available to them is documentation. By seeking immediate medical treatment, you will be able to provide the court and the liable party’s attorney with proof of your injuries, and thus increase your potential for a successful outcome. It’s difficult for the defense attorney to downplay your injuries when you have documentation from an independent doctor which shows otherwise.
Working with a personal injury lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible will give you a huge advantage, as your attorney will obtain, document, and organize every piece of evidence related to your case right from the beginning. Your attorney will also handle all communication related to your claim, leaving you free to focus on recovering instead of building your case and dealing with the insurance company.
While your own insurance company may offer to represent you if you’re BEING sued, they will not help you bring a lawsuit against the party who injured you. In order to bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you need an experienced attorney.
If you or a loved one are injured at work, contact the attorneys at LDM&M. Acting promptly to preserve your rights is essential after any accident. For over 40 years, the attorneys at LDM&M have been helping individuals across Wisconsin receive the legal satisfaction that they deserve. Contact our offices for a free, personal consolation.