After a traffic accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many accident victims think that they are not injured after a crash, or that their injuries are relatively minor and do not require medical attention. However, these victims are often wrong for a number of reasons. For example, after an accident, a victim’s adrenaline is usually pumping—which can mask the pain we feel with injuries. Additionally, sometimes it takes a while for symptoms of injuries to appear. For example, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries may not be immediately apparent after an accident.
In every accident claim, three elements must be proven:
- The person at fault for the accident owed the victim a duty;
- The duty was breached with the at-fault party was negligent; and
- Because of this negligence, the victim suffered damages.
Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident involves the damages element of a claim. The purpose of damages is to make the injured victim “whole” again after an accident. Damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- The estimated cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The at-fault party will take every opportunity possible to argue that a victim’s injuries are not as serious as he claims. The at-fault party will use this argument to claim that the victim is not entitled to as much money as he is seeking in the lawsuit.
When accident victims wait to seek medical care, opposing parties and their attorneys use this fact to argue that they were not seriously injured. After all, they will claim, if the victim was seriously injured, wouldn’t he have sought medical care immediately? Failing to accept a ride to the emergency room and refusing treatment from first responders may be used against an accident victim.
The same principle applies if an accident victim fails to follow through on medical treatment. For example, many accident victims may need a few weeks of physical therapy after a wreck. If these victims fail to show up for their appointments, are regularly late, or are noncompliant with treatment, these incidents will be noted in the patient’s treatment record. When the opposing party obtains these medical records, these notes will be used to argue that the patient was not seriously injured because the patient was not taking his treatment seriously.
To combat any of these allegations, accident victims should meet with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. These attorneys stay in touch with accident victims about the treatment they are undergoing and provide guidance as to how their compensation may be maximized.
If you were injured in an accident, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC Today
Free, Instant Case Review – Call 312.422.0500
If you were injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to discuss your legal options with a skilled auto injury attorney. You can schedule a case consultation at no cost to you by calling our office at 312.422.0500.
Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602