If you have been involved in a car accident or truck accident, you will often immediately feel the symptoms of your injuries. However, it is also entirely common for one’s adrenaline to mask the effects of the injuries until later in the evening or the next morning. Often, headaches, soreness and stiffness take a bit to “set in” and even though you may have refused treatment at the scene, you later realize that something is wrong.
For purposes of your health and to avoid unnecessary objection from the insurance company, you must try to seek treatment as soon as possible. I realize that this is not always easy because of work schedules or family commitments, but it becomes important especially when attempting to settle a case many months after the accident. Yes, you have 14 days to be evaluated for an emergency medical condition (EMC) to secure your full 10k in No-Fault (PIP) benefits, but don’t be confused. If you wait 14 days to start treatment, I guarantee that the insurance company is going to bring that up in an attempt to discount how seriously you were hurt and will pay less money. One of the standard criteria insurance adjusters use to determine the value of your claim is how long you waited to get treatment. Another is who you saw for the treatment.
Where to get treatment for your auto or truck accident injuries is not as simple as one may think. Most people assume that since they have a general or family doctor that they have seen for years, they can simply schedule an appointment and get checked out there. Unfortunately, most general practitioners or family doctors either do not handle auto accidents or are inexperienced with how to treat these types of injuries. Often, people are simply given x-rays and pain medication and told to come back if the pain doesn’t go away. Once the patient realizes that there is a serious injury, their claim may have already been damaged.
There are several different types of doctors that are specialized and experienced in dealing with the intricate injuries from an auto accident. These doctors know that much of the soft tissue injuries are not visible solely from an x-ray and immediately refer the patient out for an MRI. MRIs are sensitive diagnostic tests that reveal the objective evidence that you will need to get specific treatment for your injury and what your lawyer and the adjuster need to assist in the valuation of the claim. Whatever the type of doctor, your experienced personal injury lawyer will likely know him or her or have a solid recommendation about where to treat. Do not be shy about asking about the doctor’s experience because the path you initially take is an important one and affects not only your ability to recover but also the value of your claim.