Many people who suffer mild or moderate injuries in a car crash put off seeking medical help. They view accidents as an inconvenience and want to get on with their lives. This can be a massive mistake. The question of how long do you have to see a doctor after an auto accident in Maryland is an important one that can affect how much money you eventually receive in your pocket.
It doesn’t always seem that way at the time. Medical visits are time-consuming and costly, particularly if you lack medical insurance. You don’t want to an irritating mishap on the highway to disrupt your daily routine; you don’t want to tell your boss you are taking time off work for a doctor’s visit. You hope the pain will go away. It seldom does.
The truth is waiting is never a good idea after an auto accident in Maryland. There are two pressing reasons to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Baltimore car accident lawyer Randolph Rice discusses.
What Doctor Should You See After A Car Accident?
If you’re in pain after a car accident, you want to see a doctor. But what doctor should you see after a car accident? There are a number of options when it comes to medical care after a crash. At the scene of the accident, you may have the option of being transported to a hospital or emergency room. If the injuries are serious enough or you have lost consciousness, you may not have the option of going to the hospital. The medical professional or EMS workers may make that decision for you.
However, if you did not require a hospital visit and you are still feeling pain, you now need to make a decision about which doctor to see. It is always a safe bet to make an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP can act as a quarterback for your medical care. The PCP can refer you to physical therapy or a chiropractor as well as order imaging (x-ray, CAT Scan, etc.)
If you don’t have a PCP, there are a number of medical facilities that will treat auto accident victims throughout Maryland. You should speak with your Maryland personal injury attorney for a referral to one of these medical providers.
Important Reasons to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident in Maryland
Injury Treatment and Pain Management
Firstly, the doctor will give you a thorough examination. The car accident may have caused injuries and complications you were unaware of. Victims sometimes don’t realize they suffered broken bones in a car accident. They assume they suffered a sprain. These kinds of injuries need to be set and treated as soon as possible to prevent future damage or infection. A doctor can send you to get x-rays, MRI or CT scans to look for a variety of hidden complications such as internal bleeding, fractures, organ damage, and brain injuries.
Seeing a medical professional from the outset will put you on a treatment plan to help you manage your injury. The doctor should also be able to advise you of possible outcomes. Failure to seek treatment can be damaging to your health.
How long you take to see a doctor after an auto accident in Maryland can also affect your insurance claim. Many insurance companies lookout for a ‘reasonable time’ a claimant takes to seek medical help. Some of the big companies set that window at 72 hours. The insurance company assumes if you don’t see a doctor, go to ER, see a chiropractor or another medical professional after three days, your injury is not serious.
We understand the rationale. If people are in severe pain, they are unlikely to wait for three days. However, this thinking is tough on people who have persistent discomfort but put off seeking medical attention only to find out later that they suffered a significant injury. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer can still take on these cases but it becomes more difficult to convince the insurance company you suffered a serious injury because of the car accident.
You should see a doctor within 72 hours of an auto accident in Maryland, the sooner the better. On occasions, the full extent of the pain and discomfort caused by a car accident injury doesn’t show itself for a day or two after an accident. Err on the side of caution and make an appointment if you believe you suffered an injury.
Stress the urgency of the matter. If you cannot get an appointment with your family doctor for a week or two go to the Emergency Room or an urgent care facility. There are numerous urgent care facilities in the Baltimore area.
What to Do About Delayed Car Accident Injuries in Maryland
All of us are different and our bodies react in a unique way to trauma. Some people experience few signs of injuries for days or even weeks after a car wreck. Soft tissue injuries, for example, are not easy to diagnose.
The tell-tale pain might not show itself until a week after the accident. Always see a doctor as soon as the pain sets in. One common mistake many car accident victims make is to tell their doctor they have back or neck pain without mentioning the car accident. Tell the doctor about the auto wreck you were in. It gives context to your injury. It’s also important from the legal aspect to get a record that ties your injury to the wreck.
If you make a claim or file a lawsuit an insurance company may try to claim your injury was not related to the wreck, particularly if the symptoms were delayed. In certain cases, an injury may not become apparent for months. Sometimes the only indicator of a concussion-related injury is a change in mood and behavior. These injuries are notoriously difficult to diagnose.
Talk to a medical professional if you suffer behavioral changes after an accident and consult car accident lawyer Randolph Rice.
Can Waiting to Seek Treatment for a Car Accident Injury Harm Your Case?
The insurance company may penalize you for a gap in treatment between the time of the car accident and an appointment with a doctor. There’s a second type of treatment gap that can harm your case. This is when you see a doctor about your injuries and don’t follow up with a second appointment for months.
A doctor may have referred you to a specialist but you fail to keep the appointment or your treatment lapses for months before you start it again. The insurance adjuster will likely use any gaps in treatment to claim your original injury was not serious.
Many auto accidents cause complicated back and spinal problems. You may need the help of orthopedic and pain management physicians for ongoing back pain and have to undergo surgery for procedures like lumbar fusions. The insurance company looks for any evidence of missed appointments or treatment that drags on too long to deny or reduce payouts. You should meet regularly with doctors and specialists and keep a journal that details visits, your pain levels, and all the physical and emotional symptoms you are experiencing.
How Can I Explain Gaps in Treatment After an Auto Accident in Maryland?
People who were injured in car wrecks sometimes have legitimate reasons for gaps in treatment. They may have suffered an unrelated illness the caused them to miss appointments, a family emergency, or a vacation. Reschedule as soon as possible and always follow your doctor’s orders. Keep your injury lawyer in the loop and make sure not to get off track on your treatment plan.
Following a doctor’s orders should speed up your recovery. It also strengthens your injury claim if you are doing exactly what the doctor told you to do.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer Randolph Rice Can Help You Today
An experienced Maryland auto accident lawyer will advise you on when to see a doctor after a car collision. We will also look at your treatment schedule and advise you of any gaps and any potential problems the insurance company may find to harm your case.
We can make sure you don’t say the wrong thing to the insurance company, help you get your medical bills paid and your car repaired or replaced after a car wreck. Please contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (410) 431-0911.