Do I Need A Doctor? Injuries From Auto Accidents
When the average person is in an auto accident, they may determine they do not need to seek medical treatment, out of a misplaced belief that any injury would be immediately apparent. In reality, it can be days before car crash-related symptoms and injuries can manifest themselves, and they can still cause significant problems for their sufferers. This can also harm any potential personal injury case they may later wish to mount, given that medical records are usually an integral part of such an endeavor (in fact, if involved in an auto accident, one must get medical care within 14 days for Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) to apply; failure to get that care within 14 days will void PIP). If you are in an accident, some injuries may appear more often than others, but either way, medical treatment is highly recommended.
Types of Injuries
While a person’s placement in a car is going to affect the specific nature of any injuries they suffer, some do appear more often than others regardless. One example is a head or brain injury, which can occur in anyone in the car if the collision occurs at a high enough speed. Indeed, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pinpoint motor vehicle crashes as the third-leading cause of death related to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and the leading cause of TBI-related death for those aged between 5-24 years. Brain injuries can take days to appear after an accident.
The same is true for the other most common auto accident injury, whiplash (and other associated soft tissue trauma). Whiplash happens when a person’s neck is subjected to intense pressure, as happens in most car crashes. Neck and back strains are the most common manifestation of whiplash, but in extreme cases, you may suffer herniated discs (where the soft tissue between two vertebrae can rupture or escape) or other spinal injuries. Because of the nature of soft tissue, it can take weeks or even months to become aware of a serious injury unless you consult a medical professional.
But It’s Just A Scratch!
Despite the frequency with which injuries appear long after an auto accident, some people continue to persist in not seeking medical treatment immediately after the crash. The reasons they give range from thinking it unnecessary to being ashamed, but regardless, the reasons are generally wrong-headed. There are multiple reasons to seek medical treatment even if you think it unnecessary – the simplest, obviously, being that you could be wrong!
Besides that, the other important reasons to consult a doctor both have to do with the possibility of bringing suit if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. First, in order to bring a personal injury case that has a chance of success, medical records are absolutely necessary – no records means no proof of injury. Second, even if one seeks medical treatment after the fact, time may be running low. Florida’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases is four years – however, that is four years from either the date of the accident or the date when the injury should have been discovered. If your PTSD or spinal injuries manifest long after the fact, it is in your best interests to have documented the potential for such conditions at the time of the accident.
Call Our Orlando Car Crash Lawyers Today
It can be intimidating to seek help after a car crash, but if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek redress. Call our Orlando automobile accident lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.