I Didn’t Go to the Doctor After My Car Accident. Do I Still Have a Case?

Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys

A man with neck and back pain after an accident

The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. There are so many things to think about. Are you or your passengers injured? Is your car totaled? Can you still make it to your destination or is your whole day changed? Do you have groceries in the car that are going to spoil?

Believe it or not, it can be easy to overlook car accident injuries. You had a busy day planned, and you don’t feel like you need to seek medical care. It’s just a few bumps and bruises, right? But in the following days, you might feel worse and worse as aches and pains show up.

If you delay a visit with a medical professional after you were the victim of an auto accident, can you still file a personal injury claim? If you didn’t see a doctor after a car accident, your case will probably be more difficult to argue. The most important thing to do right now is seek medical attention, and follow the recommended treatment plan.

Talk to a car accident lawyer like those at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys to see what else you can do to help your case.

RELATED: How Much to Expect from an Oklahoma City Car Accident Settlement

You Should Seek Medical Treatment Even if Your Injuries Feel Minor

When you are the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the insurance company of the at-fault driver should pay out to cover your medical bills, lost wages, personal property damage, and more.

However, accident victims that try to recover compensation after delaying medical care face an uphill battle.

If you do not see a doctor very soon after a car accident, the insurance company will probably try to argue that you do not have serious injuries, or maybe that your serious injuries were the result of something other than the crash. They have a simple (but for many juries, very persuasive) argument: How could you be hurt that badly if you didn’t see a doctor right away?

There are many reasons why you should seek immediate medical care following an accident even if you don’t think you’re hurt that badly:

  • Traumatic brain injuries may not present any symptoms right away, but they can be very serious and sometimes deadly. If you hit your head during an accident, or lost consciousness, go to the ER immediately.
  • Adrenaline can mask pain. You may not feel injured, but in the hours or days following your car accident, you may realize that your injuries are worse than you thought.
  • Soft tissue injuries typically take time to show up. Have you ever hit your shin and thought “That’s going turn into a colorful bruise tomorrow!” It takes time for those injuries to become apparent.
  • Many injuries common in car accidents, such as whiplash, take hours or even days to reach their full magnitude.

If you are considering whether you have a car accident case, the first thing a personal injury lawyer will tell you to do is to visit the doctor. That may mean going in to urgent care if your regular doctor cannot see you right away.

RELATED: How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

4 Tips for Building A Car Accident Case If You Didn’t See a Doctor Right Away

 A woman talking with a medical professional

The sooner you start documenting your injuries, the easier it will be to make an insurance claim. If you didn’t seek medical attention right away, it gets harder to prove that the accident caused your injuries.

However, it is not impossible. Unlike criminal trials, the burden of proof in a personal injury case is “preponderance of the evidence.” That means you don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. You only have to prove that it’s more likely than not that your accident caused your injuries.

Follow these tips to improve your personal injury lawsuit case, even if you didn’t see a doctor after a car accident.

  1. Go see a medical professional right away. A doctor’s visit will create medical records to build your case. Follow their treatment plan, including any physical therapy, which can be used as evidence for your case.
  2. Compile any evidence that you have. Did you take photos of your bruises? Did you miss any work? Did you purchase pain relievers? Can you get a copy of the police report?
  3. Write down everything you can about when the injury pain set in and how it affected you. When did you start feeling the pain? When did you start taking pain relievers? Did your injuries cause you to miss work, skip a social event, or lose sleep at night?
  4. Be honest about why you delayed medical care. If you are caught in a lie, it will hurt your insurance claim.

Again, the longer you wait to get a medical opinion on your injuries, the more difficult your claim can be. Not only can the insurance companies argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident, they also may try to say that you made your own injury worse and they are not at fault for that.

Work with experienced personal injury lawyers to help show that the car accident is what caused your injuries. The insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, and having an attorney on your side can help you receive fair compensation following your accident.

RELATED: Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Oklahoma City?

Call Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation

If you didn’t visit the doctor for your car accident injuries or other injuries, the time is now to start building those medical records. At Colbert Cooper Hill, our legal team can advise you on the best course of action to build your case as a car accident victim. A car wreck can dramatically change your life, even if your injuries are not permanent. With a compassionate, experienced lawyer on your side, you can focus on your personal life instead of negotiating with insurance companies.

With locations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Ardmore, our team serves fellow Oklahomans every day. We offer a free consultation to talk about the specifics of your case. Get started by calling 405-218-9200 or filling out our online form today. We’d love to hear from you and give you impartial advice about your legal options.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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