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How Medical Records Can Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim

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Posted on January 30, 2024

It can be difficult to keep a cool head after a car accident, especially if you’ve suffered injuries. After the shock and distress of the accident, some drivers who can walk away from the accident just want to go home and recover so they refuse a ride to the hospital. Unfortunately, car accident victims sometimes develop injury symptoms later, after the adrenaline from the crash wears out. While it’s never too late to seek medical attention to protect your physical safety, failing to go to a hospital immediately after an accident can have negative consequences for an injury claim to recover damages like medical expenses and lost wages later.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Go to a Hospital After an Accident

It’s always the best choice to accept emergency service (ambulance) transportation to a hospital after an accident. For instance, some serious brain injuries do not show symptoms immediately after an accident but develop minutes and hours later as bleeding or swelling in the brain increases. Adrenaline may mask other injury symptoms as well. If you refuse to ride to the hospital in an ambulance, you should arrange transportation to an ER directly from the scene of the accident. Why is it so important to seek medical treatment immediately following the accident? Not only does this protect your physical health, but it also establishes “causation” for an injury claim to recover damages.

Unfortunately, insurance companies protect their profits as a priority over paying out on claims. If a car accident victim fails to seek medical attention immediately after the accident and instead goes to a medical provider later, the attorneys for the insurer may plausibly argue that the injury did not occur during the accident but happened sometime later. The longer a car accident victim waits to seek medical attention, the more plausible this argument becomes and the harder it is for your San Diego car accident attorney to help you recover compensation.

Detailed Medical Records Help Your Car Accident Claim

By receiving medical treatment immediately following the car accident, the chain of evidence shows that your injuries occurred in the car accident. It’s important to ask the medical provider for a thorough evaluation as well as treatment for any obvious injuries. During a detailed medical exam, the doctor sometimes discovers other injuries with symptoms that the victim hasn’t yet noticed due to shock and an adrenaline surge. Some injuries take days to develop symptoms.

To protect your financial interests as well as your physical health, ask the doctor to write out a detailed medical report listing every injury, the doctor’s recommendations for your treatment, and your prognosis for recovery. This detailed report prevents an insurance company from claiming that any of your injuries are unrelated to the accident.

How Medical Evidence Can Help With Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Not only does a detailed medical report confirm that your injuries occurred in the car accident, but it’s also a valuable tool to calculate an amount of compensation to claim as pain and suffering damages later. Civil courts assert that injury victims are entitled to compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering after an accident caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness behind the wheel. Detailed medical records of the initial injuries and later painful treatments, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other related medical treatments help a personal injury attorney for an injured victim to make a compelling argument that you’ve experienced significant pain and suffering. In some cases, the medical record as well as testimony from medical experts can also show how long you can expect to endure pain and suffering based on the nature of your injuries so you can recover full compensation.