Don’t Delay: 3 Reasons to Seek Treatment After A Truck Accident
After a truck wreck, many victims are overwhelmed and unsure of what to do first. They need to get information from the driver, contact work, get a tow, figure out who is going to pick up the kids from practice, maybe call their insurance — the list goes on. All these thoughts run through the victim’s mind, and they sometimes push their aching neck to the end of the list of things to worry about, but this is a mistake.
Some victims assume that if they don’t have broken bones or gashes, they don’t need to worry about their health. However, although there are likely a thousand things on your mind after a truck wreck, taking care of your physical and psychological health should be your top priority.
Seeking medical treatment immediately after a car crash is crucial, both for your wellbeing and your potential personal injury claim. Keep reading to learn three reasons why.
1. Seeking Treatment Protects Your Physical and Mental Health
You should always seek treatment immediately after a truck wreck to ensure your health, even if you don’t think you are injured. Sometimes, delays in treatment can have devastating effects, especially if you wait days or weeks before going to the doctor. For example, heavy bruising may be a sign of more than a contusion — you may have life-threatening internal bleeding and organ damage.
However, it sometimes takes time for serious conditions to develop. First, your body is pumping with adrenaline after a truck wreck and can mask the initial symptoms of your injuries. Second, some injuries, like herniated discs and milder brain injuries, don’t cause immediate symptoms. Therefore, you should keep an eye out for worsening pain or changing symptoms. Commonly delayed or misdiagnosed injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): TBIs are common after large truck collisions. When a forceful impact causes the brain to hit the skull, victims may suffer internal bleeding and pressure buildup, bruised tissue, and torn blood vessels. Untreated, severe TBIs can cause permanent damage, including coma, paralysis, or memory loss.
- Spine and Back Damage: Delayed back, shoulder, or spinal pain after a crash could be a sign of something more serious than whiplash or a strain. Herniated disks, soft tissue injuries, and pinched nerves can all cause debilitating pain and decreased mobility. These conditions will only worsen the longer victims go without getting treatment.
- Internal Bleeding: Internal bleeding is a life-threatening condition that might not present initial symptoms other than minor abdominal pain and bruising. The bruising is often a deep purple, and other signs may include dizziness and fainting. Never assume anything you feel after a truck wreck is temporary or unimportant.
- Mental Health Issues: Stress and anxiety are common after a life-threatening event. Sometimes these psychological side effects are minor and fade quickly, but other times victims suffer from severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. What might start as a minor psychological reaction can develop into a full-blown phobia or panic disorder if not treated right away.
2. Visiting a Doctor Helps Prove the Validity of Your Claim
At the core of a personal injury claim is the fact that the negligent party caused you harm. If you can’t prove that their negligent actions caused you harm, you will not be able to file a personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters, judges, and juries all value medical records — especially those that doctors collected soon after your crash. Ideally, your emergency department records will link your injuries to the truck wreck and document their severity.
Unfortunately, the insurance company will search your medical records for inaccuracies. For example, suppose you experience neck pain after a crash, but think it will go away on its own. At every post-wreck doctor’s appointment, you talk to your doctor about your other injuries, but never mention the neck. Three months later, your neck pain is now shooting down your arm. You finally seek treatment and discover that you need surgery. Under these circumstances, a skeptical insurance adjuster may question your credibility and refuse to cover your neck injury.
3. Consistent Medical Records Can Increase the Strength of Your Claim — and Potentially Your Compensation
When you meet with a medical provider, they should always document your symptoms, your clinical presentation, their treament recommendations, and your restrictions. Your truck wreck lawyer can use this information to help calculate your damages, estimate your future medical needs, and assess your ability to return to work. Based on this information, your injury lawyer can build an accurate settlement strategy for your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Medical Documents Do I Need to Provide to File a Successful Truck Wreck Claim?
You’ll want to provide copies of any medical treatments and diagnoses in addition to proof of when you first sought medical treatment. The documents you’ll have and want to include will vary depending on your particular injuries and the circumstances surrounding your case, but could include:
- Paramedic and ambulance records
- Notes from your physicals, medical exams, and doctor visits
- Any past or future treatments, prescriptions, or surgeries
- Past and future physical or psychological therapy requirements
- Official diagnoses and projected long-term effects
- Current care needs or long-term care needs
Seattle Truck Law: We Take Our Clients’ Health Seriously
Truck wrecks are traumatic events. And while there may be a lot on your mind after a crash, protecting your physical and psychological health needs to be a priority. At Seattle Truck Law, we urge clients to seek medical treatment as soon as possible — not only to build a stronger case but to ensure their wellness and safety.
Please contact the attorneys at Seattle Truck Law to schedule your free consultation to discuss how your injuries and medical records might affect your truck accident personal injury claim. Call 866-580-HURT (4878) or complete this brief online form to speak with an attorney today.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.