Why Should You See a Doctor After a Car Accident or Personal Injury?
Apr 7, 2023
At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we help victims with all types of personal injury claims – car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, etc. Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness can be a traumatic experience for anyone. But in the immediate aftermath of a car accident or other type of personal injury incident, taking certain steps can help ensure that, when it comes time to file your civil claim with the experienced attorneys at DLG, you ultimately obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
In the sections below, we will review why seeking medical treatment and undergoing an examination with a licensed California physician is so important after a car accident (or any type of general personal injury case). Additionally, we’ll provide information on how to file a civil claim for a car accident cash settlement to help you recover damages for things like hospital expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
Why Should You See a Doctor After a Car Accident Injury?
Car accidents can cause both physical and emotional injuries. While serious injuries such as concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and broken or fractured bones are immediately apparent to the victim, there are a number of ailments which may not manifest symptoms until hours or even days after a car crash. Additionally, after a car accident, the victim’s adrenaline is often very high – and this particular scenario is commonly known to mask legitimate injuries and symptoms.
In a previous blog, we identified the Top 6 Delayed Injuries Commonly Caused by Car Accidents. Those injuries include:
I. Headaches: A common symptom which can manifest sometime after a car accident occurs. Headaches are often benign, but they can also point to underlying and more serious conditions that require medical attention. Blood clots, concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), as well as head and neck injuries can be signaled initially by headaches. Rather than taking some over-the-counter painkillers and hoping the symptoms will go a way, having a persisting headache examined by a doctor can be sound advice, particularly after a car accident.
II. Back Pain: Often the result of a rear-end collision or a side-impact collision (T-bone), one of the most common injuries that can immediately appear after a car accident is back pain or strain. However, this is also one of the most common injuries that can manifest slowly over time. Any pain, tingling, numbness, or strain in the back after a car accident can be an initial indicator of a more troubling condition, such as a herniated disc, whiplash, a spinal cord injury, or even soft tissue damage. Having your back pain examined by a licensed physician is strongly recommended, as these injuries can worsen rapidly over time and leave you unable to properly function.
III. Abdominal Pain: A common symptom found after car accidents, abdominal pain should never be ignored. Pain in the abdomen/stomach can be a sign of a serious condition, such as internal bleeding. While that’s not always the case, and abdominal pain can be a sign of any number of issues, it’s important to recognize the signs of internal bleeding, especially after a car accident. Symptoms of internal bleeding can include headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, deep bruising to the abdomen (often purple in color), and fainting. Although abdominal pain on its own can frequently warrant a trip to the doctor, any of the aforementioned symptoms should absolutely be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.
IV. Whiplash (Neck/Shoulder Pain): Everyone knows that seatbelts save lives, but they also may cause neck and shoulder pain when various types of car accidents occur. Some neck and shoulder pain may appear immediately, but it’s quite common for lingering pain to develop shortly after a car accident. Delayed neck and shoulder pain is most commonly a sign of whiplash – a serious condition that deserves a complete medical examination. Whiplash is often seen after rear-end collisions, where the driver’s head is quickly forced forward and then backward (like cracking a whip). Whiplash can be a very serious injury that requires X-rays or an MRI scan to determine the extent of the injury. The good news is that if whiplash is detected early enough, there are a number of remedies that can help ease the pain. Hence, acting sooner rather than later when neck and shoulder pain linger following a car accident is always recommended.
V. Tingling or Numbness in the Extremities: Numbness in the extremities (hands, arms, legs, feet) often does not present itself until an extended period of time after a car accident. Such symptoms can be an indication of an injury to the spinal cord, which can require immediate medical attention. A herniated disc can also be initially indicated via numbness or tingling in the limbs (a precursor to back pain in many cases). When a herniated disc presses on the spinal cord’s nerves, numbness can appear in any of the extremities. After a car accident, anyone experiencing numbness or tingling is advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
VI. Emotional or Mood Changes: A car accident can be traumatic and leave a victim facing a long-term road to recovery. Experiencing behavioral or mood changes is not uncommon immediately afterward. But if you happen to notice these symptoms lingering for an extended period of time, this could be a sign of either a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) like concussion, or even a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Significant mood or behavioral changes in the days or weeks following a car accident can be a sign of TBI. Other symptoms can include vision impairment, trouble hearing, difficulty with memory, problems with physical movement, and more. Undergoing a thorough diagnosis, which may entail undergoing an MRI or CT scan, can be the best course of action if mood or behavioral changes are seen following a motor vehicle accident.
Whether it’s a minor tissue damage injury or a catastrophic emergency, car accident victims should always undergo an immediate medical examination. A post-car accident doctor exam provides a foundation for an eventual civil lawsuit with DLG to help you get the maximum cash settlement you need to make a complete recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially.
Why is a Doctor Visit So Important After a Car Accident?
Civil lawsuits can be filed on behalf of car accident victims when negligence or carelessness is involved. However, in order to bring a successful claim, you and your car accident attorney will need to prove the following:
- Negligence caused the car crash
- The car accident resulted in you sustaining an injury
- The injury has caused you to suffer losses and you should be appropriately compensated
One of the most important pieces of evidence that can be presented in a successful car accident claim is medical documentation – i.e. a doctor’s exam, diagnostics imaging, a prescription for recovery.
By securing medical documentation for your car accident injury, your claim will have a much higher chance of not only being successful – but also resulting in the largest possible cash settlement which takes into account all of your damages (both economic and non-economic):
- Hospital expenses
- Medical care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage
- Lost wages/reduced ability to earn a living
- Punitive damages
- Diminished quality of life
- Prescription drug expenses
Additionally, receiving immediate medical treatment after a car accident injury can help prevent further damage to you, your health, and your overall well-being. Swift medical attention can help identify any potential complications from an injury. An untreated car accident injury, however, could easily progress into a more serious condition.
With an immediate medical examination after your car accident injury, you will have peace of mind knowing that your health is being addressed and your eventual civil claim will have the best odds of success.
Who Pays for My Medical Bills After a California Car Accident Injury?
California applies comparative fault (negligence) for car accident cases. This means that the party responsible for causing your car accident injuries must compensate you for any financial losses. In other words, the defendant (the person or entity liable for causing the car crash that led to your injuries) is responsible for covering the medical bills and other types of damages.
Under California law, the injured victim must prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the car accident and resulting injuries. All drivers have a duty of care under California law, which means that a person can be found negligent when he or she fails to act with care in a way that a reasonable person would in the given situation.
Examples of medical bills that may result after a California car accident injury include:
- Hospital care
- Doctor visits (past and future)
- Emergency room care
- Hospital transportation
- Surgery expenses
- Medical supplies
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Diagnostic tests
- Chiropractic care
- Medication (past and future)
In the Golden State, the at-fault or negligent party is responsible for compensating a victim for all of his or her losses that result from a car accident injury. When you contact DLG for a free car accident injury consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM, we will ensure that you receive the best and most thorough medical care available to address your condition.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
At DLG, we have over 50 years of combined experience handling car accident injury cases and helping injured victims like you secure the maximum financial compensation they deserve. Hiring a DLG car accident lawyer to handle your injury claim can have a number of benefits. In fact, injured car accident victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.
For example, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently conducted a study which confirmed the following:
- Settlements for injured claimants were 40% higher when they had secured private legal representation.
- The average insurance payout was 3.5 times higher for injured victims who hired private attorneys (when compared to those representing themselves).
- 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by victims who have secured representation from a private personal injury attorney.
If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles, California, car accident, the team of experienced attorneys at DLG encourages you to immediately consult with one of our trusted and proven team members before:
- Speaking to the at-fault party or their insurance company
- Making any statement regarding your car accident
- Signing any official documents
- Accepting any type of settlement offer
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
With DLG, your car accident injury consultation is always free, confidential, and without any obligation. And you never have to worry about paying a fee for our expert legal services until after you recover a cash settlement. We don’t get paid until you get paid – it’s that simple. Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued.