You should always seek medical care after an auto accident in SC. Always.
There are two reasons for this:
- You may have injuries you are not aware of or injuries that are worse than you realize; and
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company will use your failure to immediately get medical care to argue that your injuries are not real, are not serious, or are not the result of the accident.
A short trip to the ER after a car wreck or just a follow up visit to your doctor to get checked out is well worth the peace of mind you will have from knowing that the full extent of your injuries has been documented and that you will not be shortchanged by a doubting insurance agent (or jury) when you realize that you have unexpected medical costs from your car wreck.
Get Checked Out as Soon as Possible After an Auto Accident
If emergency personnel show up at the scene, let them have a look at you. If they say you need to go to the hospital, go.
If you don’t get evaluated by medical personnel at the scene or go to the hospital, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to get checked out – if you are ok, you now have some peace of mind. On the other hand, if there are delayed-onset injuries, they will be documented, and you will have a much easier time getting compensated for them.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Often Overlooked After an Accident?
Many auto-accident injuries are obvious – for example, it’s difficult to miss broken limbs, severe bruising, or open wounds. But, some injuries are difficult to detect without the help of a medical professional. These include:
- Whiplash and soft tissue injuries: These are some of the most common auto accident injuries, and symptoms may not become noticeable to you for days or even weeks after the accident.
- Herniated discs: The violence of a car crash can force vertebrae in your spine to compress and bulge or rupture. Symptoms may not appear for weeks or months, but herniated discs sometimes require surgery and often cause long-term disability, especially if not treated promptly.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): When the skull strikes the steering wheel, windshield, or roof of the car, the brain can be seriously injured. Often, there is no blood or visible sign of injury, and even MRI and CT scans can miss early signs of TBI. Insurance companies use the lack of external evidence of injury and the often-delayed diagnosis to deny claims or resist paying full compensation.
- Internal bleeding and other internal injuries: The force of a car crash can result in damage to blood vessels, and often the body is unable to repair them or create the necessary blood clots. Other injuries that can’t be seen may include broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, or damage to other organs.
- Psychological injuries: A lot of people think of soldiers returning from war when they hear the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD). But, car accidents are traumatic events that often cause PTSD. This can result in severe depression, nightmares, and even self-harm.
Get Your Injuries Treated and Documented Now
If you don’t seek medical care after a car accident, injuries that could have been easily treated may become long-term health problems.
They can also become financial problems if the at-fault insurance company argues that you didn’t seek medical care because you were not injured…. Insurers can also use a delayed diagnosis to claim that you must have been hurt after the accident, and, therefore, it’s not their problem.
Auto Accident Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Columbia, and Charleston, SC
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, get medical treatment immediately. Then, call your SC personal injury attorney. We will need documentation from a hospital or your doctor to prove the extent of your injuries and to get full compensation for you from the insurance company or a jury at trial.