If you elected not to visit a doctor following your car accident, you might have impacted the outcome of any case you choose to pursue later on.
Some people may choose not to seek medical treatment because they do not immediately feel injuries due to shock from the accident. Yet this decision can affect both your ability to file for damages, or compensation you incurred from the car accident, or the outcome of your case if you can file.
- What can I do if I want to Start a Car Accident Case but have no Medical Records?
- Why Medical Records are Important to a Car Accident Case
- Is there a Time Limit for Visiting the Doctor After a Car Accident?
- How will a Lawyer Prove Damages Without Medical Records from a Doctor’s Visit?
- Will Waiting too Long to Seek Medical Care Affect my Car Accident Case?
- Other Steps to Take to File an Injury Claim
- Get Help with Your Case from a Car Accident Lawyer today
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What can I do if I want to Start a Car Accident Case but have no Medical Records?
If you are filing a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the responsible party for injuries you incurred from the car accident, your claim may be rejected if you did not visit the doctor. This is why it is important to visit the doctor if you plan to begin a car accident case, even if some time has passed.
Why Medical Records are Important to a Car Accident Case
Medical records are necessary to show proof of injury from the accident. A physician’s notes will outline the extent of your injuries, and subsequent medical records can provide a paper trail for evidence of follow-up care.
While car accident cases can provide compensation for other damages, like pain and suffering or emotional anguish, medical damages are often based on a value shown by your medical payment receipts.
Is there a Time Limit for Visiting the Doctor After a Car Accident?
There is no time limit for going to the doctor after a car accident. However, if you want to start a case for compensation for your injuries and other losses, the sooner you can see a doctor, the better.
This is because all car accident cases carry a statute of limitations—or time limit—for filing your claim. The amount of time you have will depend on whether you are filing a claim with your insurance or filing a lawsuit against the person who caused your accident.
Time Limits for Filing an Insurance Claim Without Medical Records
In Florida, you can file a claim with your insurance for your injuries. However, this is only true if you visited the doctor within 14 days of the car accident, according to Florida Statutes §627.736.
Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims in Florida
If your injuries are severe, which can still be true even if you did not feel them right away after the accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party who caused the car accident.
However, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Florida is four years, according to Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a).
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How will a Lawyer Prove Damages Without Medical Records from a Doctor’s Visit?
Medical records that you receive from seeking treatment later can help prove damages, but it may be tough to demonstrate that these injuries were caused by your car accident.
This does not mean that you should write off going to the doctor if you are experiencing injuries following an accident, though. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not present any symptoms — even during an initial doctor visit — until after some time has passed.
Will Waiting too Long to Seek Medical Care Affect my Car Accident Case?
Every case will differ from the next, so it is important not to wait to seek medical care once you decide you want to pursue a personal injury case. Waiting too long to visit the doctor could mean your injuries heal enough that even a physician cannot determine if they were caused by the car accident.
Not visiting the doctor as soon as possible can also mean you miss the statute of limitations to file, in which case your claim could be rejected.
Other Steps to Take to File an Injury Claim
Once you are ready to file an injury claim to seek compensation, there are other steps you can take to better prepare for your case, in addition to visiting the doctor:
- Gather all supporting documentation. This includes your new payment receipts for medical care, a copy of the police report from the scene of the accident, and more.
- File an insurance claim. It may be a good idea to talk to a lawyer first and allow them to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. This helps ensure you do not say anything that could potentially affect your case.
- Consult a car accident lawyer. To get help with these steps and throughout your case, consider working with a lawyer.
Get Help with Your Case from a Car Accident Lawyer today
You may still have a case, even if you did not visit the doctor after your car accident. Learn more when you work with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today. We have proven case results, and we are ready to fight for compensation on your behalf.
Contact us for a free consultation now.