Unfortunately, car crashes are a fact of life, especially in a state like Louisiana: we’re far above the national average for car crash deaths, and the number of crashes on our roads has been increasing in recent years.
If you’re one of the unlucky people who’ve been in a Louisiana car crash, you could be hurt, facing thousands in property damage or medical bills, or mourning the loss of a loved one. You might be unsure of where to turn: should you call a doctor, your insurance company, or an attorney?
The simple answer is, yes, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. You should also call your insurance company and an attorney right away too. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of medical attention soon after your accident, and how it can help you avoid pain in the long run as well as bolster your injury claim.
Address Pain Before It Starts by Seeing a Doctor Right Away
If you feel any pain or discomfort after a crash, you likely don’t need anyone telling you to go to the doctor to be treated. But even if you don’t feel pain after a car crash you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Some serious injuries can take hours, days, or even weeks to present symptoms, and that’s valuable time during which you should be treated.
Our bodies are built to be resilient, and they often respond to stress by releasing emergency pain-dulling hormones. This means that injuries that feel like minor bumps or aches can progress to serious, even debilitating pain later on. Depending on the type and location of your injuries, there are other reasons they might not present symptoms for a while.
A timely exam by a medical professional can identify muscular, skeletal, and soft-tissue damage that can cause debilitating pain and injuries while it’s still relatively treatable. They can prescribe necessary medicine and therapy to ensure you heal properly. Finally, they can provide needed proof that your injuries are as serious as they seem, which will help your claim later on.
Expedite Your Insurance Claim by Visiting a Doctor
The sooner you can see a doctor following your accident, the better. Most insurance companies base their payouts based on a number of factors, and an important one is whether you saw a doctor within the first few days (typically 72 hours) after your accident. If possible, see a doctor the same day as your accident; otherwise go to the doctor as soon as you can make an appointment.
Making a doctor’s appointment, even for a seemingly-minor problem, can signal to your insurance company that you’re proactive about your care. Not only will delaying your doctor’s visit possibly worsen your condition—it can also prevent you from receiving compensation for your care.
A Doctor’s Visit Can Improve Your Legal Claim to Compensation
After you’re in an accident, you might be dealing with your own insurance company as well as that of the at-fault driver. If that’s the case, you’ll need to prove your injuries twice over—which is where having documentation of a thorough medical examination will help your case.
If your doctor prescribes physical therapy, go to every appointment. Insurance companies will try to discredit your claim and diminish the seriousness of your injuries in order to reduce their liability and save money. Remember: insurance companies are in the business of making money, not helping you heal.
Another favorite tactic of insurance companies is to claim that your pain is the result of a pre-existing condition, not caused by the crash. They might also try to claim that your injuries were caused after the crash by some other (non-covered) accident. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after an accident will help to prove your injuries were caused by the crash, and not another time.
What Do I Do If Insurance Denies My Claim?
Regardless of your proof, insurance may deny your claim. If that’s the case, call the experienced personal injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. We have over 600 years of combined legal experience in Louisiana personal injury cases, and we know what it takes to win the compensation you need for your injuries.
If you’ve been in a Louisiana car accident, your first call should be to 911. After that, you should call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation about your case. A dedicated injury lawyer will talk to you about what happened and provide considered advice. We’ll get started right away on your case, and if we don’t win, you won’t pay us a dime. Call us today.
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