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Can You File A Car Accident Case Without Seeing A Doctor?

Suppose you suffer from an injury from a car accident caused by a negligent driver. In that case, Texas personal injury law allows you to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and liable for the damages. However, the longer you wait to see a doctor after the accident, the more challenging it can be to prove your injuries are a direct cause of the accident. To ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve, consider how seeking a medical evaluation can help you.

Why Should You See a Doctor After a Car Accident in Mesquite, Texas?

Auto accidents can result in significant losses and severe injuries. It is not uncommon for people to fear an ambulance ride or a trip to the emergency room because of the potential for substantial medical debt. However, receiving a complete medical evaluation after a car crash can be critical to your claim and health. Consider some reasons why you should see a doctor as quickly as possible.

Addressing Your Pain Before Injuries Worsen

The human body reacts to the shock of an auto accident by releasing adrenaline. Because of this hormone dump, you can suffer a severe injury and feel only minor or even no pain. Adrenaline masks pain receptors for hours, sometimes days, after the crash. During that brief period, internal injuries can worsen without your knowledge, potentially doing irreparable damage.

Car accident victims who enter the emergency department receive a complete evaluation, including medical imaging and testing, to identify all visible and internal injuries. This does not mean you must take an ambulance to the hospital under any circumstances. You can have someone take you to the emergency room later or visit an urgent care clinic if your primary care doctor cannot schedule you immediately.

Expediting Your Insurance Claim

When you file an insurance claim, the first step they take is to investigate the accident and your claims of injuries and damages. Many offer automated services where you can adjust your claim by adding data about the accident and its outcome. When processing your claim, one significant piece of information they consider is whether you sought medical care and how long you waited to see a doctor.

Remember, when you file a claim, the company assigns an adjuster to your case. Their primary agenda is to protect the company’s best interests, meaning they will poke holes in your claim when given the opportunity. Most insurers define a reasonable timeframe for seeking medical attention as 72 hours from the time of the accident. The longer you wait after that, the easier it is for them to claim that your injuries may not directly correlate with your accident. It can seriously reduce the compensation you receive and give them a reason to undervalue your losses.

Improving Your Legal Claim

Most auto accident claims resolve outside the courtroom through negotiations, either through the claims process or after filing a lawsuit. When you and the insurance company cannot reach an agreement, you may need to take your case to civil court. Even then, you will likely settle before going to trial.

However, suppose you do not seek a timely medical examination. In that case, you can still expect pushback from the insurer and attempt to devalue your claim and diminish the severity and validity of your injuries. They most commonly argue that your injuries were pre-existing or sustained after the accident. The best way to combat these arguments is with detailed medical records linking your injuries to the accident.

Do You Need To See a Doctor After a Minor Collision?

A common mistake people make is not seeing a doctor after a minor car crash. The assumption is that a small collision will not result in severe injuries, but that is far from the truth. Consider some injuries doctors commonly see from low-impact car accidents:

  • Whiplash occurs when a sudden abrupt stop forces the head forward and backward, causing micro-tears in the soft tissue of the neck. Even in minor cases, it can have a prolonged recovery timeframe and be debilitating.
  • Muscle sprains and strains. Victims of minor collisions often sustain muscle injuries, especially in their back. These injuries can also have a lengthy recovery period and hinder victims’ ability to work or even carry out daily activities.
  • Injury recurrence. Auto accident victims with previous injuries, especially knee injuries or herniated discs, can suffer a recurrence in a low-impact crash. These areas of the body are more vulnerable to re-injury.

Even if your accident was a short fender bender with only a few bruises, it could be in your best interest medically and legally to have a doctor document your medical condition in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

What Should You Do if You Did Not Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

Timeliness is crucial when filing a car accident claim. Unless you waited an unreasonably long time, you can potentially still file. However, before you give up and decide it is too late, contact a car accident attorney in Mesquite, Texas, to learn more about deadlines that apply to your case and the rights you have to seek compensation. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years, starting from when the accident occurred.

How Do You Recover Damages From a Car Accident in Texas?

The burden of proof in a Texas auto accident case falls on the victims of negligent drivers. You are responsible for providing evidence to prove the other party’s negligence and your own damages. To recover your losses, you should understand what it takes to do that efficiently.

Proving Negligence

Proving someone else was negligent in a car crash requires you to support three key components:

  1. That the defendant owed a duty of care to you at the time the accident occurred.
  2. That the defendant did not uphold their duty to you, usually by violating one or more traffic laws.
  3. That the defendant’s violation of their duty is the cause of your accident and injuries.

Without a medical examination and documentation of your injuries, proving the causation required of the third component can be challenging.

Proving Damages

Medical records can also be crucial evidence when proving damages. For example, suppose you suffered extreme pain and suffering, which is a non-economic damage, from an injury. In that case, proving the defendant is directly responsible for that may be difficult. In the absence of medical records, keep a post-accident journal documenting your injuries and how the pain affected your daily life. Also, consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible, ideally one with a background in treating car accident victims.

How Can You Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Mesquite, Texas?

It takes nothing more than a quick phone call to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer at Fielding Law. Several factors can affect the complexity of a car accident case, but you deserve the opportunity to recover your losses and rebuild your life. Our team of personal injury attorneys helps victims of careless drivers build their cases without adding to their financial burdens. Contact Fielding Law at (877) 880-4090 to schedule our free consultation today. If you decide to work with us, you pay nothing until we win your case.