The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Truck Accident in Florida
If you have been involved in a truck accident then you have likely suffered serious injuries. Even if your injuries are more minor, however, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention. Failing to do so can potentially result in you receiving less than the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. In some situations it may even result in you being denied compensation altogether.
Obtaining Medical Treatment After a Truck Accident
Most truck accidents involve serious injuries to a victim. The reason for this is obvious, given that the typical passenger car is no match for an oncoming semi. After a wreck, an ambulance will often arrive on the scene to take the victim to an emergency room. It is important that this ride to the hospital, and subsequent care, not be refused. While some may be tempted to refuse this care, out of concern for its expense, cost should not be a deterrent for reasons explained later in this article.
There may be a temptation to avoid going to the hospital if you were involved in a truck accident but were not seriously injured. This may involve a situation in which you received cuts, bruises, or other injuries but the incident was not severe enough for an ambulance to be called to the scene. Reasons for not going to the hospital can include believing that it is not necessary or concern over the expense.
Not obtaining immediate medical care after a truck accident can harm your case for the reasons explained below. It is, therefore, important that you not refuse an ambulance ride if one is offered. If you believe your injuries are not serious, and no ambulance ride is offered, then you should still go straight to the hospital for examination. Many injuries can have symptoms which do not manifest for some time.
Falling to Obtain Medical Care Can Result In the Defendant Claiming That Your Injuries Were Not Caused by the Accident
If you do not seek immediate medical care after a truck accident then the defendants are likely to claim that your injuries were not caused by the wreck. They will typically claim that, instead, your injuries were caused by some event which occurred in between the wreck and the time that you sought care. This can result in the insurance adjuster for the defendant attempting to deny your claim or in their offering you an extremely reduced settlement. If the matter proceeds to litigation, it can result in the jury potentially believing an argument that you were, in fact, not injured by the subject accident.
There are several steps the defense may take to create a narrative that you were not injured by the wreck. Suppose, for example, that two weeks pass in between the accident and the time at which you seek care. The defense can use discovery to request all of your bank records for that time. If they see that you are spending money in public locations, or on activities, then they may attempt to claim that you were in fact injured in a fall or while engaging in some type of event. The best way to foreclose these types of arguments is to go straight to the hospital after any accident.
The Defense May Attempt to Claim That You Did Not Mitigate Your Injuries After a Wreck
A defendant is liable for injuries which are caused by their negligence. A defendant will generally not be liable, however, for additional harm caused by neglecting to treat an injury. If the failure to seek immediate care results in your injuries being worse than they would otherwise have been, then it can be argued that you failed to mitigate your damages. This means, for example, that if your total losses are $1 million, but the jury finds that fifty percent of the harm came from you not going straight to the hospital, then it is possible you may only receive $500,000. While how a jury will rule in any given situation will depend on the facts of the matter, it must be understood that failing to seek immediate care can result in this type of situation.
The Cost of Medical Care Should Not Dissuade You From Seeking Immediate Treatment
It is possible that you may not wish to seek immediate medical care if you are concerned about the cost of treatment. This is understandable given the cost of healthcare in today’s society. Most personal injury victims, however, will be able to receive care without having to immediately pay the costs. Many medical providers are willing to place a lien on any eventual settlement in lieu of requiring immediate payment. This means that the hospital and doctors may wait until your case is resolved to be paid, as opposed to requiring you to pay the costs out of your own pocket. The possibility of utilizing liens, as opposed to paying for your care up front, is something you should discuss with your attorney.
In addition to the fact that costs can be deferred via a lien, it is also important to note that your attorney can often negotiate down the medical bills so that a settlement can be reached. This is common in situations where the high cost of medical bills need to be reduced so that an entire settlement is not eaten up by medical expenses, which leaves a victim with no motivation to settle. Such negotiations are common and an experienced attorney can help you with receiving such a reduction.
Seek Immediate Medical Care and Then Contact an Attorney After a Florida Truck Accident
If you have been hit by a semi-truck then it is vital that you seek immediate medical care. The second step you should take is to retain a lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm understands that this is a serious time in your life and we will give your case the attention it deserves. This includes staying in contact with your medical providers. If you need assistance then contact us online or by telephone at 800-780-8607 to speak with a Florida truck accident attorney.