How long do you have to see a doctor after a car accident?
It would be wise to see a doctor within 72 hours of a car accident. When you suffer an injury after a car accident, you need to get checked out ASAP. If you cannot make it to see a doctor right away, you may find yourself visiting the ER. Thus, 72 hours is a window of time that some insurance companies put for you to see a doctor.
Attorneys want you to see a doctor right away. This may increase the value of your medical case. However, not seeing a doctor could be a huge mistake if you plan on filing a personal injury suit. Not only do you have a gap in medical care, but it is possible you could be putting your health at risk.
After a car accident, it’s important to prioritize your health. The timing for seeing a accident doctor after a car accident can vary depending on the accident and any injuries you may have sustained. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
Get Immediate Medical Attention
If you or anyone else involved in the accident is experiencing severe or life-threatening injuries, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention at the nearest emergency room.
Assessment of injuries
If the accident was relatively minor, take a moment to assess yourself and others for any injuries or symptoms. Sometimes, injuries may not be immediately apparent due to shock or adrenaline.
See a Accident Doctor Promptly
If you or anyone else in your car experiences pain, discomfort, or any symptoms after the accident, you need to see an accident doctor promptly. This may include symptoms like neck pain, back pain, headaches, dizziness, numbness, tingling, or any unusual sensations.
Documentation of injuries
Keep a record of any injuries or symptoms you experience after the accident. This documentation can be valuable for the personal injury claims and your attorney may want to see it. Many people keep a diary or such to write dates and times, treatments, etc.
Follow Medical Advice
Many personal injury patients see doctors. However, some of them do not do what the doctor tells them to do. Make sure you follow your accident doctors’ advice.
Think about the Statute of Limitations
Depending on your State, there will be a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim related to a car accident. It’s important to be aware of these time limits and consult with an accident attorney if needed.
Additionally, if you plan to file a pip, or med pay claim or decide to hire an attorney related to the accident, it’s important to have a medical record documenting your injuries and treatment. Consulting with an injury clinic soon after the accident can help establish a clear connection between the accident and any personal injuries you sustained.
Why see a doctor within 72 hours of an auto accident?
Remember that some injuries may not manifest immediately and can develop over time. Soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and concussions are examples of injuries that may not be immediately noticeable but can become more apparent in the hours or days following an accident. If you have any doubts about your health or well-being after a car accident, it’s better to err on the side of caution and seek a accident doctor evaluation.
Seeing a doctor within 72 hours of an auto accident is often recommended for several important reasons:
Early Detection of Injuries
Many injuries sustained in auto accidents, such as whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and concussions, may not present immediate symptoms. Symptoms may develop gradually over the first few days following the accident. By seeing a accident doctor within the first 72 hours, you increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment of any underlying injuries.
A quick medical evaluation can help prevent issues that may arise if injuries are left untreated. For example, untreated whiplash or soft tissue injuries can worsen over time and become more challenging to manage.
Documentation for Insurance Claims
If you plan to file a personal injury claim for your injuries, having a medical record from a doctor’s visit within 72 hours of the accident can strengthen your case. It provides evidence that your injuries are related to the accident.
If you intend to pursue legal action against the at-fault party in the accident, a visit to a doctor within 72 hours can establish a direct link between the accident and your injuries. This medical documentation can be crucial in personal injury lawsuits.
Peace of Mind
Even if you don’t immediately feel hurt, a doctor’s evaluation can provide peace of mind and ensure that you receive proper care if injuries do occur later.
Some injuries, like internal injuries or compound fractures, are obvious. Other injuries, such as soft tissue, may need X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to see where the issues lie.
Treatment and Pain Management
If you are injured, getting medical attention within 72 hours can start the treatment and pain management process sooner, potentially speeding up your recovery.
It’s important to remember that the specific timeframe of 72 hours is not a strict rule but rather a general guideline. The key is to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an auto accident, whether it’s within hours or a few days, to ensure your health and well-being are properly assessed and any necessary treatment is initiated. Always follow the advice of an accident doctor regarding the timing and extent of your medical care.
Insurance companies and time frames
Insurance companies have programs on computers that tell them what your injury case is worth. One of those deciding factors is when did you see a doctor and was it within 72 hours of the auto accident. We live in a day when computers tell us what a personal injury case is worth.
However, it would be in your best interest to seek help immediately following a car wreck. If you don’t think you are hurt, go to the doctor to get an evaluation. 72 hours is a time frame that insurance companies look at, and so do lawyers. This is not a time frame a doctor will look at. Because accident doctors know that injuries might not present themselves right away.
Delayed onset of injuries
Accident Injuries and inflammation can trigger physiological changes that can take place immediately, hours, or days after the injury itself. These inflammatory changes include a local sensitization of the nerves such that pain signals are stimulation that would normally be of low intensity are now experienced as painful. I’m sure all of us have woken up and felt pain in our shoulders, ankles, arms, or legs at some point of our life and cannot figure out what caused it.
It could have been that soccer game we played, or the yard work we did. Delayed onset of injuries is something that does happen. This would be a perfect example of why you should go see a doctor within 72 hours of your car accident. And, you may not know you are even injured until days, or maybe weeks after the accident. Delayed onset of injuries could cause long term injuries if not treated.
Gaps in medical care, what can be done.
Gaps in medical care are where you wait to see a doctor, or you don’t see one at all for injuries sustained in a car accident. You may not be able to go see a doctor because you cannot get an appointment until a month out. By this time, you have skipped the 72-hour window. Nothing can be done about the gap in medical care. However, it can be explained.
You could have been dealing with a death in the family, or an injured child. Some people want to tough it out, or they do not like seeing a accident doctor. A delay in treatment may reduce the amount of money the insurance company will pay on your medical claim. Get to the doctor as soon as possible to avoid a gap in medical care. Even with a gap, if you are hurting, go.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries damage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Broken bones are apparent. However, soft tissue injuries are not, in some cases. Whiplash is the most common soft tissue injury in an auto accident. Whiplash may not be apparent right away and make take days to present symptoms. Some type of soft tissue injuries
An Acute injury is an injury that is usually associated with a traumatic event. A traumatic impact can cause your bone to crack, muscles to tear or ligaments to break. Signs and symptoms of acute injuries develop rapidly.
An injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body. This could be caused by a direct force applied and result in compression and bleeding into the soft tissue. Signs or symptoms of bruising would be discoloration and swelling.
When a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion, this results in overstretching or tearing of the ligaments. Symptoms could include swelling, discoloration, bruising, pain, and inability to bear weight.
Muscles that are forced to overstretch, this results in tears in the muscle and tendons. Symptoms my include swelling, pain in movement, discoloration, and bruising.
Soft tissue injuries are injuries that may not be present the day of the accident or for days after. This could cause a gap in medical care because you dont know youre hurt. It’s always important to see a doctor ASAP.
You don’t have long to see a doctor after a car accident.
After your auto accident it is very important to see a doctor as quickly as you can. Life does get in the way, and accident doctors and attorneys understand this, the insurance company won’t. If you have been injured, see an Accident Doctor ASAP. If we do not have one listed in our database, we will try and find you one in your area.
Contact us or fill out the sidebar form on every page of this website. Seeing an accident doctor after your car wreck if you are hurt is the single most important thing you could ever do. Furthermore, you want to have a chance at a successful recovery for your medical case. However, you don’t have long to see a doctor after a car accident, so go right away.