If you have injuries after a car accident, particularly if they are serious, you should take an ambulance to the nearest medical facility to get checked out.
However, just because you do not look or feel injured does not always mean that you are not injured. Not all injuries present signs or symptoms right away, and then there are those injuries that appear minor but are actually more severe. Thus, it is probably a good idea to see a doctor for a medical evaluation immediately after the accident.
Seeking medical attention immediately after a car crash is not only a smart thing to do for your health, but it can help you build evidence for any ensuing insurance claim or lawsuit against the other driver. Additionally, it will make it easier to draw a conclusive link between the crash and any suffered injuries.
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What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
If you have serious injuries from a car accident, your sole focus should be on getting to a hospital as quickly as possible. If you have access to a phone and are physically able, call 911 yourself and summon an ambulance. Otherwise, try to get the attention of someone nearby and have them call for help, if they have not done so already.
If you do not feel you need an ambulance to transport you to the hospital for immediate medical attention — and you should err on the side of caution here — then you should try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the crash.
Take pictures of the accident scene, focusing on getting footage from as many angles and vantage points as you can — close-ups that show the extent of the damage to your vehicle, as well as panned-out shots revealing the broader scene and the angle at which the vehicles collided.
Also, if you are able, try to talk to witnesses on the scene, gathering statements from them and collecting their contact information. Such evidence can help your attorney tremendously as he or she builds a case against the responsible party and pursues them for compensation.
Then, even if your injuries seem minor (or nonexistent), see a doctor for a medical exam as soon as possible, preferably the same day of the accident.
Why Should I Get Medical Help Even if I Do Not Look or Feel Injured?
There are two reasons why you should get medical help even though you do not look of feel injured:
- You might be injured but not realize it; and
- It can help you and your attorney win compensation against the at-fault driver.
First, you might be injured but not realize it. Some injuries — particularly head injuries — can take days or weeks to manifest. And by the time these injuries present symptoms, they are often more severe and harder to treat than if you had addressed them right after they occurred.
Your health is too important to neglect to save a couple of hours and a doctor’s office copay after an accident. Just the peace of mind that you will receive when the doctor examines you, and confirms you have no injuries is worth it.
Second, it can help you and your attorney win compensation against the at-fault driver. If you do happen to have injuries, for the sake of your case against the other driver, you want to treat them as quickly as possible to draw a strong causal link between the crash and your injuries.
If weeks or months elapse between the wreck and your injury diagnosis, the at-fault party, and his or her lawyer, could cast doubt on your claims, arguing that something might have happened in the interim that was the real cause of your injuries.
Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
You are not required to hire an attorney after a car accident, but if you want to protect your rights, shield yourself from liability, or win as much compensation as possible from the other driver, an attorney can help.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we have helped many of our clients win settlements after their car crashes. We can put our knowledge and resources to work for you.
To set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 800-747-3733.