What You Need To Know About Getting Treated After A Wreck
Many times after a car or truck wreck, a person is so grateful to walk away seeming unscathed that they brush off offers of help from medical professionals on the scene and try to tough it out afterward.
However, many times serious injuries do not show up immediately.
The symptoms arising from an injury sustained in an accident do not necessarily present themselves immediately following a wreck.
Medical research and clinical experience have accumulated enough information to demonstrate that the delay of an injury symptom is the norm.
Studies have established that the delay of a symptom does not eliminate the possibility of severe injury. It’s been proven that individuals can continue to be symptomatic for many months after a motor vehicle accident. In addition, approximately 75% of accident victims can remain symptomatic for a minimum of 6 months after the accident.
If you delay getting treated it will hurt an injury case as the adjusters will always take the position that: 1) it was not a serious injury or you would not have waited to go to the doctor. 2) Something other than the accident caused the injury. 3) You really were not hurt at all. Or 4)You are now getting treatment not because you need it but only to “build your case”.
It is shocking how skilled defense attorneys can make a personal injury claimant look like they are faking or not really hurt simply by taking advantage of a person trying to tough it out.
If you have any doubts about the extent or nature of an injury go to the medical professional of your choosing and get checked out. Follow the professional’s advice.
And understand that being released from the Emergency Room does NOT mean you are ok- the ER only deals with emergency situations, not ongoing diagnosis and treatment for some spinal cord injuries, head injury or other serious conditions.
Also when involved in a truck accident – do not make outright declarations such as ‘I’m alright’ because it may put you in a position in which you cannot seek redress and compensation further down the road – if indeed you demonstrate signs of a delayed injury.
If you are in an accident, it might be a good idea to undergo a complete physical examination and be mindful of ailments not manifested at the time of the wreck.
Alternatively, every personal injury attorney has seen situations where the victim of a car wreck tries to blame every element they have thereafter on the crash. It is very easy to see how this could happen, as through their eyes, they did not have the problem before the wreck so the crash must have caused it. Many people actually hurt their case by attempting to attribute to the crash things that doctors or others feel are unrelated.
The most important thing for personal injury claimant to understand is it is the medical professional’s testimony that will be the most important regarding their medical condition. The plaintiff or claimant has the burden of proof and must present evidence of causation sufficient to convince a jury.
Also, in many cases the defense hires their own doctor who is going to testify that the plaintiff is either faking or was not hurt badly. The statement can be made simply because there are “defense doctors” who always testify that the victim is faking or is not hurt badly. As bad as that may seem, our system of justice allows it and it is up to the jury to recognize that the doctor is simply a hired gun for the insurance company and not an objective witness.
How you handle your medical treatment can have a big impact on not only your medical progress but also the outcome of your personal injury case.