Our Dedicated FL Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Why You Should Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident but don’t feel you’ve been seriously injured, you may be tempted to brush off a few minor aches and pains. It’s important, however, to seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel “fine.” Not only is being seen by a doctor important for your physical well-being, it will be critical if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. After your car accident, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Spetsas Buist to discuss your claim and eligibility for compensation. Seek prompt medical attention after an accident

Why You Should Seek Medical Attention ASAP

When you’re in a car accident, you may suffer injuries you don’t immediately realize. Because a car injury victim usually suffers trauma and/or stress, they experience a fight-or-flight response. This is also known as the acute stress response—a physiological reaction to the mental and physical fear caused by the accident. During this fight-or-flight response, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to better prepare it to perform while under pressure or in a dangerous situation.

The release of these hormones can help you survive in a life-or-death situation, and they also limit your ability to perceive pain. The effects can last up to 48 hours, so it’s possible you won’t notice injuries for a couple of days after an accident—and sometimes longer.

This can be especially dangerous if you have sustained internal injuries. Without the ability to see the injury or feel pain from it, it may become far more serious without medical attention.

The Consequences of Delaying Medical Help

If you delay seeking medical attention after an accident, it could have a significant impact on your health. But it can also impact the success of any personal injury claim you may choose to file and jeopardize possible compensation.

Under Florida Statute § 627.736, you have 14 days from the date of the accident to seek medical treatment. Failure to see a doctor in that timeframe may result in the denial of any personal injury protection (PIP) benefits you have and jeopardize any compensation you’re entitled to for your injuries.

If you don’t see a doctor, it’s possible the insurance company or those responsible for your accident may try to claim the following:

  • You injured yourself in another activity after the accident
  • Your injury preceded the accident
  • You’re making up the injury to support your personal injury claim

Seeking prompt medical attention also starts a “paper trail” for your attorney to use as evidence in your personal injury claim. Medical documentation helps show that your injuries were as serious as you say and establishes a link between your condition and the accident.  

Common Delayed-Onset Symptoms After a Car Accident

You may have to wait a day or two for your doctor appointment, so it’s important to observe your physical status in the meantime. It’s possible you may need to go to Emergency if your symptoms are changing or new ones are developing quickly. Some symptoms to watch for include the following:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Pain or reduced movement in the jaw
  • Numbness in your extremities
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
  • Blurred vision or other vision problems
  • Lower back pain
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms to watch for are behavioral changes, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, or irritability, and cognitive changes, like confusion, brain fog, and difficulty with memory.

Steps You Should Take if You’ve Been in a Car Accident

If you’re in a car accident, it’s important to care for your physical well-being and take the proper steps to protect your right to compensation for your injuries. Here’s what to do after an accident to avoid jeopardizing your personal injury claim:  

  • Call 911
  • Get immediate medical attention
  • Get a copy of the police report
  • Gather insurance and contact information from involved parties
  • Gather contact information from witnesses, if any
  • Document the scene of the accident with pictures and videos
  • Avoid speaking to insurance adjusters without the advice of a personal injury attorney

Seek the Advice of an Experienced FL Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been in a car accident, seek prompt medical care and contact an experienced car accident attorney. At Spetsas Buist, we can determine your eligibility for compensation, provide sound legal advice, and take care of you every step of the way. Our results speak for themselves, with many of our clients gaining policy-limit compensation.

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