Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, it may be obvious that you should visit a hospital. You may suffer from severe injuries that need immediate medical attention. However, after some accidents, injuries are not so obvious. As a result, those involved in the crash may see no reason to get checked by a doctor. This is a mistake.
Any time you are involved in a car accident, you should immediately seek medical attention – even if you do not think you were badly injured. Not all injuries present symptoms right away. A doctor will know how to examine you and determine if you suffered harm that needs medical treatment.
Once you have sought medical attention, you should get in touch with an experienced and dedicated Houston car accident lawyer at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. Call or reach us online today. We can help you to understand and explore all of your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. Our initial consultations are always free.
What Are Common Injuries in Car Accidents?
Unfortunately, individuals can become injured in a number of different ways in a car accident. The most common injuries include:
- Cuts – There is a lot of flying glass, metal and other debris in a car accident which can cause severe cuts.
- Burns – The fuel in vehicles often leaks and ignites, causing accident victims to suffer from severe burns. Friction burns are also common in crashes.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Some cuts and burns are so severe that they result in permanent scarring and disfigurement.
- Fractures – Accident victims often sustain multiple fractures in a car accident. Fractures may require many surgeries and months of recovery time.
- Soft tissue damage – These injuries involve any damage to the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Whiplash is one of the most common types of soft tissue injuries that people suffer in car accidents.
- Loss of limbs – Accidental amputations can happen in an accident. When limbs become so severely injured that they cannot be saved, surgical amputation may be required.
- Traumatic brain injury – The head can hit the steering wheel, dashboard, window, windshield and other objects inside the car. Loose debris in the vehicle can also strike the head, resulting in a TBI such as a concussion or worse.
- Spinal cord injury – These injuries can include anything from herniated or ruptured discs in the spinal cord to complete or partial paralysis.
- Internal organ damage – Internal organs can become crushed and damaged during any crash. Internal bleeding is also a possibility.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – Car accidents are highly distressing. Accident victims often have trouble putting the trauma behind. When victims suffer from PTSD, they may experience nightmares and flashbacks.
It is important to remember that not all of these injuries may be present immediately following a crash. So, accident victims should always seek medical attention after a crash out of caution.
What Happens If You Wait to See a Doctor After a Crash?
Of course, the main reason you should see a doctor after a crash is because your health should be your main priority. If you do not seek medical help following an accident, your injuries may become worse. It will only take longer to recover from them.
There is another reason why you should always seek medical help after a crash. If you do not, the insurance company of the negligent party will likely try to use it against you. Insurance companies are more interested in holding onto their profits than they are in upholding the rights of accident victims. They will look for any reason to deny, delay and reduce the claims of accident victims.
If you do not seek medical help immediately following a crash, the insurance company will likely argue that you were not severely injured, or that your injuries were not caused by the accident. Seeking timely medical attention will prevent an insurance company from using this tactic.
Will Insurance Cover a Visit to the Hospital After a Car Accident?
Although it is possible to receive compensation that can help pay for your medical expenses after a car accident, this compensation is not always available right away. It can possibly take months or a year or longer to receive coverage from an insurance company. Many accident victims worry about this wait because they do not know how they are going to pay for the hospital expenses if they see a doctor right after an accident.
Accident victims that have personal health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare may use this insurance to help pay for hospital expenses right after an accident. When filing a personal injury claim, you can also include any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the crash in your claim filed with the negligent party’s insurance company. Although this compensation may not be available right after a crash, it is important to include these damages in your claim.
If you receive coverage from a health insurer, the insurer typically will have subrogation rights. In other words, if you are later awarded compensation through a personal injury claim, you will have to repay the health insurer for any costs that it covered after a crash. This repayment will come from your damages award.
How Can a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
If you have been involved in a car accident, our law firm recommends that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Doing so will protect your health as well as your ability to collect full and fair compensation. After seeking medical attention, you should make sure to get in touch with us to discuss your case and learn about your legal rights and the options available to you.
At Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we will always fight for your rights and stand up to the insurance companies on your behalf. Our goal will be to get your life back on the right track. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and meet with one of our attorneys in our Houston office.
Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.