One thing that we recommend to everyone who has been injured in an accident is this:
Get Prompt Medical Care!
There are a number of good reasons for this. Most importantly, it gives a medical professional a chance to examine you, provide you with treatment, and get you back on the road to living your life.
It also has benefits from a legal perspective.
When there is any significant period of time between the date of the accident and when you first seek medical care, it leaves the door open for people at the insurance company to argue that there is no way of knowing that you didn’t hurt yourself some other way and are just trying to “game the system.” As a matter of practice, we almost never will accept a case where more than a week has gone by from the date of accident without the client getting medical care. We are required to show that the injuries being claimed were caused by or related to the accident, and getting prompt medical care makes proof of that far, far easier.
Once you have have gotten your initial medical care, if you have any ongoing or new physical complaints or symptoms, we strongly recommend that you seek follow-up care – and do some promptly. From the perspective of the insurance company, if you are not getting care and your physical complaints are not being documented in a medical record, they don’t exist, and you will not be compensated for them at the time of settlement – no matter how severe they are.
You do not get extra credit for being tough or being brave – the same principle for gaps in care apply to follow-up care as seeking care initially. When there are long gaps between the initial care you receive and the first time you seek follow-up care, insurance companies will harbor doubts as to whether your injuries are related to the accident and were not suffered in some other, unrelated way.
Our recommendation after an accident: if you were injured in the accident, get care promptly and if you have ongoing problems, seek appropriate follow-up care promptly as well.