How Will Failing to Seek Prompt Medical Care After a Car Collision Affect Your Claim?
If you are like many car accident victims, you may not see the need to obtain immediate medical care after the crash. You may not think you were hurt or believe that your injuries are minor and that you can toughen them out. If you are busy, you may not want to take the time to wait in an emergency room to be examined by a doctor.
In addition, worries about how to pay medical bills can be a concern, especially if you do not have health insurance. You may not realize that you have a right to seek reimbursement for your medical care from the at-fault motorist.
However, there are several reasons why delaying getting medical treatment after a car accident is a bad idea—even if you do not think you were hurt. They include:
- Your injuries could worsen. If you delay being seen by a doctor, your injuries could become more severe—sometimes life-threatening.
- You may have suffered a delayed injury. You may not realize you were injured if you suffered a traumatic brain injury, back or spinal injury, or another injury. Adrenaline could mask the symptoms, or the symptoms could take days or longer to develop. However, these serious medical conditions still require immediate medical care.
- Your recovery could take longer. You may need more extensive medical treatments if you wait to have your injuries treated. In addition, it may take you longer to fully recover from your injuries, or you may not make a full recovery.
- You hurt your claim. You will weaken your claim by not getting the medical treatment you need. You would be giving the insurance company ammunition to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve in your settlement.
Have You Lost Your Right to File a Claim With the Insurance Company if You Did Not Seek Medical Treatment Immediately?
You do not waive your right to file a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company if you delay seeking medical treatments for your injuries. You still have three years from the date of your car accident to file your lawsuit against the negligent driver under our state’s statute of limitations.
However, even if you have a long time before the deadline to file your complaint expires, this does not mean you should wait to get medical treatment for your injuries. Being treated by a doctor as soon as you realize you were hurt will give you the medical records and doctors’ statements you need to prove the crash caused your injuries and that your injuries are serious.
How Can Delaying Medical Care Hurt Your Car Accident Claim?
While you still have the right to file a claim, you will hurt your case if you do not seek prompt medical care. The insurance company could fight longer and harder to deny your claim or try to reduce the amount of compensation in your settlement. Some of the disputes they could raise include:
- Your injuries were caused by another incident other than the auto crash.
- Your injuries are not as serious as you claim or you would have sought immediate medical care.
- You caused your injuries to worsen by your delay in seeking medical care, and they are not responsible for reimbursing you for the cost of your medical treatment.
If you were injured in a car accident and delayed obtaining medical care, you should not give up hope of receiving the compensation you are entitled to under New Mexico law. Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn how our experienced car accident lawyers can help you.