Car accidents can be distressing and disorienting experiences that leave you unsure of what you need to do to ensure your well-being and protect your legal rights.
Understandably, one of the most common questions prospective clients ask is, Should I go to the hospital after a car accident? Seeking medical treatment after a Florida car accident is crucial, especially if your injuries are significant. However, you may not always need to go to the hospital for medical treatment.
Read on to learn more about what factors should influence your decision to go to a hospital after a car accident, the potential consequences of waiting, and how these choices might impact your personal injury claim.
Signs You Should Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident
Start by assessing the severity of your injuries. Visible injuries, such as fractures or deep lacerations, warrant emergency care. Less obvious symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, disorientation, or persistent pain, could indicate more severe conditions like concussions or internal injuries. In these scenarios, visit the hospital as soon as possible for a comprehensive evaluation.
Regardless of the potential impact on a personal injury claim, your health should always be the primary concern. Delaying medical treatment can lead to complications and the exacerbation of existing injuries. Early intervention helps ensure proper diagnosis, treatment, and documentation of your injuries, which may be crucial for your case.
Urgent Care or ER After a Florida Car Accident?
Going to urgent care after a car accident is sometimes a better choice. If your injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant emergency medical transport from the scene directly to the ER, you can go to your local urgent care. If something more serious develops, they will recommend a transfer to the hospital.
Suppose you don’t think your injuries warrant a trip to the emergency room or urgent care. You’d like to see your doctor. But getting an appointment to see your primary care doctor might take days or weeks. If that is the case, go to urgent care to get checked out instead of waiting. The doctor there will recommend whatever follow-up care you need with your primary physician or physical therapist.
Should I Go to the Hospital After a Minor Car Accident?
This question is tough to answer without additional information. Only you know how you feel. Some minor car accidents with seemingly minor injuries can fool you. A “minor” injury can turn out to be something more serious down the road, so it’s almost always a good idea to have a doctor examine you sooner rather than later.
However, even if your accident was minor, if you have pre-existing health conditions or have struck your head, going to the hospital is likely the best choice. Otherwise, visiting urgent care near you might be the better option.
Implications of Waiting to Seek Medical Attention
Delaying medical treatment can significantly undermine both your health and your future personal injury claim. It opens the door for insurance companies to argue that the injuries you claim are not as severe as you allege. Or the insurance company might claim that the elapsed time indicates that your injuries were not caused by the accident—but by an unrelated incident that happened after the crash.
Also, some injuries may not manifest immediately after an accident. Waiting to seek medical attention can allow these conditions to worsen over time. A delayed diagnosis may result in inadequate or untimely treatment, potentially leading to chronic pain, disability, or other long-term complications. This not only adversely impacts your health, but it can also harm your personal injury claim because you contributed to the severity of your own injury by not seeking help.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state. Drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which will pay some medical expenses and lost wages resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. To qualify for PIP benefits in Florida, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident. You must seek treatment in time to avoid your insurance company denying your claim.
Only certain severe injury cases qualify to pursue a fault-based claim in Florida. If you meet the serious injury threshold, you must prove negligence and damages before collecting compensation. That means even if you can prove liability, you could fail on damages if you didn’t seek treatment immediately.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer For Help
Should I go to the hospital after a car accident? We hope we have helped answer that question for you today. And if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact our skilled legal team at Nonni Homola. We have years of experience helping injured Florida car accident victims.
We understand the nuances of Florida’s PIP system and know what it takes to meet the serious injury threshold. If you need assistance with a car accident injury claim in Florida, let us help. Schedule a free, initial consultation by calling (850) 601-1111 or sending an online message today to learn more.