If you are hurt it is important to get treatment as soon as possible after the injury. Insurance companies discount the value of cases if a person waits more than a few days or so to have the initial treatment or if they fail to return for treatment for weeks after the first treatment. I am not suggesting getting more treatment than necessary, but I have seen too many cases where a person will go to the ER and get a few weeks of prescription medications and then not go back for further treatment until the medicine is gone. The adjuster will always try to use that to lower the settlement value of the case. That is just the way it is.
WHAT TO DO AT THE INITIAL VISIT:
1. Make sure you give a good history of how and when the accident took place. I suggest that if there is significant damage to the car you were in to show the doctor photos of the damage. If you just tell the doctor you were in a wreck, they have no idea if it was a 5 mph. fender bump up or if the car was totaled.
2. Give the doctor a full history of all of the problems that you have had or are having from the accident. Give as much detail as you can. If you have time, write out the problems or type them out to give to the doctor.
3. If you go to an ER or an Urgent Care facility you most probably will need to follow up with additional care within a few days or a week after the accident. If you continue to have problems, you need to see your family doctor or possibly a chiropractor if you have non-severe neck and back problems related to the accident. If you have a family doctor and are covered by health insurance sometimes they will send you for physical therapy, but unfortunately that does not seem to happen too often.
* There is a separate blog on workers’ compensation cases. This blog is for motor vehicle accident cases, slip and fall cases, etc.