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The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Post-Accident

June 15, 2024
Pathway Law Firm

Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall accident, or any other type of accident, seeking medical advice is one of the most critical steps you can take for both your health and any potential legal proceedings. Here’s why:

Ensuring Your Health and Well-being and Creating a Medical Record

The immediate and primary reason to seek medical attention after an accident is to ensure your health and well-being. Not all injuries are immediately apparent. Adrenaline can mask pain, and some injuries, like whiplash, internal bleeding, or traumatic brain injuries, may not manifest symptoms right away. A thorough medical examination can identify and prevent these hidden injuries from worsening. Prompt treatment is essential for a full recovery and to avoid long-term health issues.

Creating a medical record is also crucial from a legal perspective. Your medical provider can document your injuries, treatment plan, and future medical needs. This documentation provides objective evidence of your injuries and their connection to the accident. If you delay seeking medical attention, it may become difficult to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the accident. 

Medical records provide a factual basis for your personal injury claim. These records are instrumental in calculating damages, including medical expenses, future treatment costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They help substantiate your claims and make your case more compelling. Without this evidence, it becomes your word against the other party’s, which weakens your negotiating position and can reduce the settlement amount or court award you receive.

Compliance with Insurance Requirements

Most insurance policies require that policyholders seek prompt medical attention following an accident. Failing to do so can result in the denial of claims. Insurance companies view immediate medical attention as an indicator of injury seriousness. If you wait too long, the insurer might argue that your injuries are not severe or unrelated to the accident, complicating the claim process.

Meeting the Statute of Limitations

In many jurisdictions, statutes of limitations limit the time you have to file a personal injury claim. In California, most personal injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations. Seeking medical advice immediately helps to ensure that your claim is filed within these time limits. Delays can jeopardize your ability to seek compensation altogether.

Mitigating Damages

The law requires you to take reasonable steps to mitigate or reduce your damages. Seeking prompt medical treatment is part of this obligation. If you fail to do so and your condition worsens, you might not be able to recover the full extent of your damages because you didn’t act responsibly to prevent further harm.

Contact a Los Angeles Accident Attorney

Seeking medical advice immediately after an accident is essential for safeguarding your health, creating a solid foundation for your personal injury claim, and ensuring compliance with legal and insurance requirements. It’s particularly important in the case that you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury. Contact the legal team at Pathway Law Firm today.