The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident in Florida
Car accidents can result in serious injuries and even the wrongful death of a victim. There are many instances, however, in which a victim does not seek immediate medical care. These can include situations where one either believes that they are not seriously injured or that they are completely uninjured. Failing to seek medical attention can limit the ability of a Plaintiff to gain the compensation which they deserve. Accordingly, this article will discuss why it is important to seek medical care and how failing to do so can hurt your case.
We will be addressing four different issues as part of this discussion. These issues include:
- Claims the defense will make if you fail to seek care
- Why you should seek medical care even if you believe you are uninjured
- The fact that many Floridians fail to seek care
- The ability to obtain medical care on a lien against your eventual settlement
Each of these topics will be discussed in turn.
The Defense Will Claim You Were Not Injured by the Accident if You Do Not Seek Immediate Care
If a car accident victim does not seek immediate care, then the defense is likely to claim that they were not hurt by the subject accident. The defense will often claim, instead, that the Plaintiff was injured sometime in between the accident and the time at which they went to the hospital. Such a delay in treatment may lead to an insurance adjuster denying liability. If the matter proceeds to litigation, then the jury may possibly believe that the injury was not the result of the accident. This can result in you failing to be compensated.
Consider the following example. Joe is involved in a car accident in which his head snaps forward. His neck is slightly sore, but he believes he is not seriously injured. He decides not to go to the hospital. Over the course of the next several days, Joe attempts to go to the gym and live his life as he normally would. Joe’s neck continues to get worse. Upon going to the doctor, it is revealed that Joe has suffered neck damage. While the damage was, in fact, caused by the accident, the defense will likely claim that Joe had hurt himself at the gym. If the jury believes this argument, then Joe will recover nothing.
It is Important to Seek Medical Care Even if You Believe You Are Uninjured
Those involved in large-scale car accidents often believe they are not injured at all. In May of 2023, a Florida man caused a multi-car pile-up on US-331 when he stopped in traffic to help a turtle. It was reported that there were no major injuries. It is understandable that some believe they do not need medical care when a) they believe they are uninjured and b) they have just been involved in an event that involves odd facts; the truth of the matter is that it is important to gain an immediate medical opinion. There are many forms of injuries that may not show symptoms for some time until after the accident. These can include head injuries, damage to ligaments or joints, trauma to the neck, and more.
Many Floridians Fail to Seek Care Following a Car Accident
Florida has some of the most dangerous roads and highways in the country. Crash statistics from these areas demonstrate the fact that many Floridians fail to seek care immediately following an accident. In June of 2023, it was reported that Miami-Dade County had experienced over 25,000 crashes year to date. Less than 12,000 people, however, reported being injured. While hopefully it is true that many people were not injured in these wrecks, there is a good chance some people have, in fact suffered injuries which simply did not lead to immediate symptoms. If these individuals failed to seek immediate care, then they potentially hurt their chances of gaining compensation.
Medical Providers Will Often Accept a Lien In Lieu of Immediate Payment
One possible reason for which people may decline immediate care is a concern of having to immediately pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. Most care providers, however, will accept a lien against an eventual settlement. This means that the victim of an accident will often not have to pay upfront for the care they receive – the bill will not be due until the case settles. As such, concern about having to pay out money today should not prevent one from seeking the care they need.
Accident victims will often end a case without having to incur medical debt. As part of negotiating a settlement, personal injury attorneys will often negotiate the amount of any medical liens so that a settlement can be obtained. This is best explained by example. Suppose Jack is seriously injured and incurs $150,000 in medical expenses. There is a serious issue as to liability, however, and the maximum settlement Jack is going to receive is only $200,000. By the time Jacks’ legal expenses and medical expenses are paid, there may be little left for him. Fortunately, Jack’s attorneys are able to convince the care providers to accept $50,000 as payment in full. This allows Jack to receive settlement proceeds while having no medical debt. It is important to remember that the ability to negotiate a lien will always depend on the specifics of the matter. This example, however, does illustrate that liens can often be reduced.
Contact Us To Speak With a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you have been hit by a car, then the first step you should take is to seek immediate medical care. The second step is to contact a lawyer to protect your interests. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals, and we will make your case a priority. We will work to stay in regular contact with your medical providers and, if necessary, will attempt to negotiate down any medical liens. Contact us online or by telephone at 800-780-8607 to speak with a Florida car accident attorney.