A car rear ends you at a red light, causing a minor fender bender. A distracted driver does not see you pulling into their row in the parking lot and accidentally backs into your passenger side as you go by. If you are involved in this type of minor car accident, you might not think that you have suffered an injury. In fact, many people just feel annoyed or embarrassed to be involved in this type of accident and want to minimize it by refusing to see a doctor or go to the hospital.
However, there are several good reasons why you should seek medical attention after a car accident even if you don’t think you were injured. First and foremost, some injuries are not immediately apparent after an accident but become more serious if they go untreated. And, unfortunately, the longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it will be to prove that your injuries were caused by the car accident and for you to get compensation.
Even a Minor Impact Can Cause Serious Injuries
Although low-speed collisions are typically not as damaging as higher-speed collisions, the impact can still cause drivers and passengers to be jolted in their seats, most commonly leading to head, neck, or back injuries. These might include concussions, neck strain, back sprain or strain, spinal disc injuries, thoracic spine injuries, or lumbar spine injuries. These types of injuries don’t always show immediate signs of physical trauma, so it’s important to be on the lookout for other signs, such as:
Blurred or double vision
Confusion or slowed reaction
Sensitivity to light or noise
Numbness or tingling in limbs
Muscle stiffness or soreness
An injury that seems minor at first can worsen if not treated, and many times, prompt medical attention can minimize the likelihood of this type of injury becoming more serious.
If your child was in the car with you, it’s especially important to seek medical attention, as a young child may not be able to fully articulate any symptoms or pain that he or she is experiencing. Sadly, car accidents are the leading cause of acquired disability for children under the age of 18 because people are still growing and developing at this age, and even a seemingly minor injury can lead to serious long-term health problems.
Pregnant women should always see their doctor after an auto accident, no matter how insignificant the accident seems. Even if you feel fine at first, miscarriage, placental abruption, and pre-term labor are all legitimate concerns, and only a doctor can evaluate you and tell you your best course of action.
Legal Reasons to Seek Medical Attention
Taking care of yourself and anyone else in the vehicle with you should be your first concern after an accident, but there are also legitimate legal reasons to seek medical attention as soon as possible. For one thing, if you wait too long, your insurance may not cover your medical expenses. Florida has a particularly tight deadline because of our personal injury protection (PIP) laws; anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident has only 14 days after the date of the accident to get medical treatment under their insurance policy.
It’s also much more difficult to take legal action and seek compensation for your injuries if you wait too long to see a doctor. If you wait even a few days to get medical attention, the other party will most likely question the validity of your claim or argue that your injuries were actually caused by something that occurred after the car accident. It may still be possible to recover compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, but it will be much more challenging than if you had received medical attention the same day as the accident.
What Else To Do Immediately After an Auto Accident
The best steps to take after being in a car accident, no matter how minor, are to call the police in order to file a report, exchange contact information with the other driver, collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident, and go to your doctor or the nearest hospital. Following these steps will give you concrete evidence to support your case if it turns out that you are injured, and getting medical help as soon as possible can reduce the likelihood of suffering long-term effects. Remember: it is always in your best interest to see a doctor, even if it at first appears there is only vehicle damage.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 15-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them. Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved. Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto [..]
Consumer products regulations ensure that most products on the market are safe for their intended use. However, some consumer products companies push the boundaries of regulations or cut corners in the design or manufacturing process, which can lead to dangerous defective products reaching US consumers. When consumers are injured by a defective product, it may [..]
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence, and it can take many different forms. For example, it may be based on a negligent action that the doctor took, or conversely, on something the doctor failed to do. However, in order to successfully hold a doctor liable for medical malpractice, you must be able [..]
Florida policyholders purchase insurance and pay premiums with the understanding that – should disaster strike – their insurer will pay out damages to compensate for losses covered in the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance! Paying out covered damages is considered to be acting in good faith on the part of the insurance company. [..]
As your teen approaches their 15th birthday, they have an exciting opportunity – the ability to get their learner’s permit. The Florida learner’s permit allows residents to start the journey toward driving – and freedom! However, in the immortal words of Uncle Ben from Spiderman (say it with us), “With great power comes great responsibility.” [..]
As a parent, you care about your child and you look out for their well-being. However, you may not be aware of which types of injuries occur the most often for Florida kids, and that’s something that can be the difference between avoiding an accident and spending time in the hospital. Children are treated every [..]
The holidays are just around the corner, and many Floridians are looking forward to getting into the holiday spirit with colorful decorations and fun family activities. However, the holidays also carry an increased risk of many kinds of injuries. On their own, holiday decorations are responsible for about 15,000 injuries annually. You probably know to [..]
Not sure which car seat is right for your child? You have an important job as a parent—providing a safe experience for your child while he or she is riding in a vehicle. Thousands of children are injured or killed in Florida car crashes each year, and the right car seat can protect your child [..]
Haunted houses are supposed to be scary. You want to jump. You want to scream. You want to be nervous about turning the next corner. What do you not want? To get hurt. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a Michigan woman in 2014. She visited the haunted house as a patron, and a moving [..]
Every day, Florida pedestrians are injured by car drivers. Some injuries are minor, yet some can be life-threatening. In this post, we’ll tell you the types of injuries you can expect if you get hit by a car, and what you can do to fight back and get the compensation you need and deserve. Stats [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
The recent death of a Tampa couple is an example of what might have been a potential product liability lawsuit had they lived. On Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and Michelle Livingston were traveling home from a visit to south Florida. Reports indicate that their sport utility vehicle drove into the waters of a canal along [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.