While there’s no set time frame for seeing a doctor after a car crash, there are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t delay seeking medical attention. Even if it doesn’t appear that you were injured, putting off a medical exam may put your health at risk and lead to serious complications.
Here’s what an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer recommends to protect your well-being—and reinforce the facts of the incident if you need to file an injury claim.
Table of Contents:
The Importance of the First 72 Hours
In the immediate aftermath of an auto accident, adrenaline and shock can mask the pain associated with injuries. This means it’s easy to overlook hidden injuries, such as whiplash, soft tissue damage, or concussions. However, by seeking medical attention within the first 72 hours, you increase the chances of identifying any issues before they worsen.
Additionally, here are other important reasons for having a thorough medical exam right after a car accident, even if you don’t believe you suffered serious injuries.
- Prompt Diagnosis and Treatment. By addressing injuries promptly, a doctor can employ appropriate interventions to minimize the risk of complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to preventing injuries from escalating into more severe and long-lasting conditions.
- Medical Documentation. A crucial aspect of seeking medical attention within 72 hours is creating a detailed medical record. This documentation is invaluable when it comes to insurance claims and potential legal action. Insurers often look for a clear link between the auto accident and your injuries. Medical records generated promptly after the accident support this connection and make your claims more compelling. If you wait longer, insurance companies may reduce your compensation or even deny your claim since they may not believe your injuries to be severe.
- Legal Implications. If you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim against the motorist or entity responsible for the car crash, the timing of your medical evaluation is pivotal for strengthening your case. Insurers and opposing legal teams may attempt to undermine your claim by asserting that your injuries weren’t directly caused by the accident. By seeking medical attention within the recommended 72-hour window, you provide substantial evidence to support the claim that the accident led to your injuries.
- Peace of Mind. Timely medical attention ensures you receive the necessary care and treatment for any injuries sustained in the accident. Delaying medical evaluation may lead to unnecessary anxiety about the long-term consequences of injuries that could have been managed more effectively if detected earlier.
Additional Reasons for Seeing a Doctor After a Car Crash
While adhering to the 72-hour guideline is advisable, seeking medical attention is crucial even after this window has passed. Here are just a few reasons why the knowledgeable Wisconsin car accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham advise clients to do it.
- Preserving Health and Well-Being. It’s challenging to not be affected by the shock of the incident, but your health should always take precedence.
- Delayed Symptoms. Certain injuries may have delayed the onset of symptoms. Seeking medical care a few days after the car crash is still valuable, as it enables the diagnosis and proper management of these injuries.
- Legal Considerations. While prompt medical attention strengthens your legal position, a delay in care doesn’t necessarily undermine it entirely. A medical professional can still provide expert testimony linking your injuries to the accident, even if some time has passed.
- Car Accident Statutes of Limitations. It’s essential to be aware of the legal deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, that dictate how long you have to file a personal injury claim. In Milwaukee (and across the state of Wisconsin), the statute of limitations in most cases is three years from the date of the accident. An experienced lawyer ensures you meet this deadline to recover the damages you deserve.
A Doctor Visit is Important, But Should You Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
While seeking medical attention is a must, many people wonder whether or not you need to hire an auto accident attorney as well. Below, injury attorney Jason Abraham explains why it could make the difference in your case: