After being in a car accident, you may feel disoriented and overwhelmed. The rush of endorphins in an emergency situation can give you a false sense of well-being. You might say that you’re okay or just shaken up a bit. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for crash victims to focus on the well-being of everyone else involved and ignore their own injuries. All of this comes from a good place, but making statements that you think you’re fine or don’t need to be evaluated can come back to haunt you later.
When you don’t get checked out by a doctor after a car accident, the insurance companies will misconstrue this decision as admitting you are okay. Then, later, when you realize you are seriously hurt because your injuries had delayed onset of symptoms, they can fight your claim with your own words.
As longtime car accident attorneys in Central Florida, Jordan Law is all too familiar with how insurers misconstrue our clients’ statements after a traumatic motor vehicle collision. This is why we always encourage victims to seek medical assistance at the crash scene or shortly after at a nearby hospital.
Why You Should Never Refuse Medical Treatment After an Auto Accident
Many car accident victims can walk away from their wrecked vehicles and initially think they are just fine. But, as mentioned earlier, this is a false feeling of well-being caused by your body’s response to the sudden trauma it experienced. Also known as your “fight or flight response,” your body releases a massive dose of endorphins and adrenaline. This causes your brain to focus on just the danger of the accident itself and ignores pain signals from your injuries for a period of time. Whiplash injuries are notorious for presenting symptoms 24 – 48 hours after an accident occurred for this exact reason.
However, there are specific injuries you can sustain that develop symptoms slowly over weeks or months. So, by assuming you are okay, the potential for complications in your treatment later is much higher. Silent injuries like these are usually revealed by a medical exam and can be spotted fairly quickly. This is why you need to be examined after a car accident right away.
By taking a wait and see approach to your symptoms, you risk:
- Treatment not being as effective when you need it
- Complications that can be life-threatening
- Symptoms may never present, but your body will continue to suffer
In addition to all of this, you can bet the insurance company will use your delay in treatment against you.
Examples of How Your Lack or Delay in Medical Treatment Is Used as a Defense
Several defenses can arise from your refusing to get examined by a doctor or EMT after a car accident.
These could include:
- There is evidence you received injuries after the accident
- You’re exaggerating your injuries
- The cause of your injuries wasn’t the accident
- Your pre-existing condition is the source of your injury–not the accident
- Your injuries ARE a pre-existing condition
- If you’d gotten treatment right away, you wouldn’t have had to pay so much for treatment
- You said you were fine/weren’t hurt to the EMT on the scene, remember?
All of these arguments are supported by your not seeking care after being in an accident. The entire validity of your injury claim will be called into question and cast into doubt over your choice. Your statement to the EMT on the scene will also be used against you at this point, further hurting your chance of receiving fair compensation for your damages.
Immediately seeking medical attention, on the other hand, prevents all of this. Without a delay, refusal, or you stating you think you’re okay, they have no way to weaken your claim with your own actions or words.
Schedule a Consultation with a Highly Trained Central Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one are being denied compensation because of delayed medical care or statements you made about your condition at the scene of the accident, contact Jordan Law right away. Even though you may have waited to seek care or made comments in the confusing aftermath of a car accident, it doesn’t make your injury claim invalid.
Our team can build a case based on solid evidence of your losses. Facts can’t be ignored, so contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your compensation rights.