After an auto accident, there are often a lot of damages to deal with. And though motor vehicles and their spare parts are easily replaceable, your health and well-being aren’t.
Whether you’re feeling slight discomfort or full-fledged pain, it’s crucial to see a doctor immediately following your accident for a number of reasons—especially if you were the driver not at fault.
Here are 5 major reasons to get to a doctor as soon as possible after an accident:
1. You might not know you are injured.
Even if you don’t see symptoms right away, it’s best to go to a doctor and have he/she take some tests to ensure no serious damages have occurred. It’s natural—and even expected—for your body to produce high amounts of adrenaline and endorphins immediately after an accident in order to block out some of the initial pain caused from an injury, as well as boost our energy to stay alert after the traumatic event. Because of that, you might not feel the full effect of your injuries until some time later. From concussions to a variety of soft-tissue injuries (i.e. whiplash, sprains, etc.), many impairments can take days/weeks to manifest completely, so it’s important to get examined by a professional as soon as possible.
2. The accident may have worsened a preexisting injury.
Maybe you didn’t get injured from the accident itself, but perhaps it did flare up a preexisting injury. Your chance of worsening or aggravating a previous injury is significantly higher than recovering without treatment once you’ve been involved in an accident. That’s why it’s critical to see a chiropractor, even if it seems like you might not be covered because your injury was preexisting.
3. Postponing treatment can greatly impact your life for the worse in years to come.
Your health is undeniably the most important thing to be thinking about after an accident. Not only does an accident impact your day-to-day life now, but it will also continue to affect your life well into the future. You might not want to deal with your injury now (which is certainly understandable, as you are already dealing with a ton of other stresses associated with an accident), but if you don’t, it could seriously alter your state of well-being later on in your life.
4. There is a limited time to receive full personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
In Florida, PIP coverage (also known as “Florida No Fault” insurance) handles the costs associated with your damages after an auto accident—regardless of who was at fault, up to the limits listed within your insurance policy. It requires any owner or operator of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to have a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). However, if you do not go to the doctor within 14 days of the accident, you are no longer allowed to make a claim for any of the $10,000 under your PIP plan, so you must act quickly.
5. Your doctor can provide the proper documentation to help speed up the legal process.
Not only can your doctor put you on the best path for recovery, but he/she can also help provide the right paperwork to get you through the legal hurdles of a car accident. Insurance companies will want every piece of documentation about injuries caused as a result of the accident, any rehabilitation needed to recover from those injuries and other medical-related information that might be needed.