A fender-bender may not seem very serious, as our Orange County car accident lawyer explains. Oftentimes, we may walk away from a minor accident thinking we have suffered no greater loss than a damaged door or busted headlight. However, the shock of a car crash can mask serious, life-changing injuries. Even if you do not think you were hurt in an accident, you should always seek medical treatment immediately afterward.

doctor finding car accident back injury

Not All Injuries Are Created Equal

Personal injury attorneys frequently hear from people who walked away from a car accident feeling fine. Since they did not think they were hurt, they did not go to the doctor or seek any further treatment.

Days, weeks, or months later, the same person may start experiencing new problems: neck stiffness, back pain, a throbbing headache, or worse.

The truth is that some injuries take time to manifest. Internal bleeding, for instance, may not be immediately evident. But once its symptoms are recognized and diagnosed, it can be harder for doctors to treat than if it were caught earlier on.

Similarly, traumatic brain injuries may present slowly, making themselves known only through feelings of general dizziness and confusion. However, these symptoms may escalate, turning what was once an easily treatable problem into a life-changing disorder.

Why You Should Always Visit a Doctor After an Accident in California

A physician can help you identify injuries you did not know you had. Depending on the circumstances of your wreck, your doctor may ask you to submit to different tests, including X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. While these tests can be time-consuming, they are intended to ensure that you have not suffered serious harm.

Beyond being able to diagnose physical disorders, your doctor’s visit serves another critically important purpose: if you ever do need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, seeking prompt medical attention demonstrates a clear correlation between the accident and your injuries.

If you wait too long to visit a doctor, the insurance company or the other motorist’s attorney may accuse you of fabricating complaints to secure a larger settlement.

In fact, even if you have indisputable evidence that your injury is real, the opposing counsel may simply suggest that you were hurt sometime between the accident and the day you appear in court. While you may be certain there is no other way you could have been hurt, a skilled attorney’s argument may persuade a judge or jury otherwise.

Keeping Track of Your Medical Records Is Key

Even if you are not sure whether you will ever need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you should always keep track of any and all medical records related to a car accident. You should preserve:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Medical bills
  • Physician’s notes and written diagnoses
  • Hospital intake and admission forms
  • Recommendations for corrective surgery or physical rehabilitation

Your medical documents will assist your personal injury lawyer in creating a compelling case. By preserving, collecting, and later reviewing evidence, you may be able to argue for a higher settlement with the other driver or their insurance company.

How a California Car Crash Attorney Can Help

Taking a car accident case before a California court is not an easy feat. The other driver’s insurance company—or their attorney, if they have one—will undoubtedly do their best to save their client as much money as possible. They may ask you to provide a never-ending list of records, bills, or documents, hoping you will run out of time, money, or patience, and either drop your claim or agree to a lower settlement offer.

When you have been injured by a negligent driver, you should never get into bully tactics. A California personal injury attorney knows just how to push back against aggressive insurance agents and will fight for the justice you deserve.

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law