You’ve just gotten into what you think is a minor fender bender in downtown Miami. You’re a little shaken up and your car will need some repairs, but you don’t believe you’ve gotten hurt. Is it okay to skip a trip to the doctor?
Not all car accidents result in injuries. However, many do. Not going to the hospital or doctor could be a risky move. It could put your health in danger and potentially jeopardize your ability to recover compensation from an insurance company or whoever causes you to crash.
Even a Minor Crash Can Cause Injuries
Any accident, no matter how minor, can be traumatic. However, that trauma might not always be apparent right away. Many times, injuries take a while to become symptomatic. These might include:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Ruptured organs
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Soft tissue injury, and
However, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t hurt or that those injuries aren’t affecting your body in some way.
When you don’t seek medical attention after an accident, you risk allowing injuries to go undiagnosed. In some cases, this could cause dangerous – and potentially life-threatening – complications down the line.
Seeing a doctor for a medical exam after an accident will help to ensure that all of your injuries are discovered, diagnosed, and treated right away.
You Have a Responsibility to Mitigate Your Injuries
When you get hurt in an accident and someone else is to blame, you may have the right to recover compensation. However, the person responsible for your accident will only be liable for the damage they’ve caused. You can’t let your injuries get worse and expect someone else to foot the bill. You have to mitigate your injuries.
Mitigation means that you have to take reasonable steps to prevent your injuries from getting worse. In other words, see a doctor and get checked out as soon as you can after you’re involved in a car accident.
What Happens If I Don’t Mitigate My Car Accident Injuries?
You have a legal obligation to mitigate your injuries and damages after you get hurt. If you don’t, you will have a much harder time recovering compensation. The defendants and insurance companies involved in your claim will point out your failure to mitigate and refuse to pay for your injuries.
Even if they do agree to negotiate, you’ll find that it’s much more difficult to value your claim. How much of your damages are directly related to your accident, and how much of your damages are a result of your delayed medical care? Insurers and defendants will do everything they can to prove that your damages are a result of your delayed care, rather than the crash.
A Trip to the Doctor Can Establish Causation
When you’re involved in a Miami car accident and someone else is responsible, you may be a to file an injury claim or lawsuit to get money for your injuries. When you do this, you’ll likely have to prove that this other person was negligent. This involves proving:
- This other person owed you a duty of care
- This other person breached this duty of care, and
- Their behavior caused your injuries.
Going to the doctor immediately after an accident can help to prove this last element: causation. How? If you let time lapse between the accident and your medical evaluation, there could potentially be a lot of explanations for your injuries. At the very least, you’ll give defendants and insurers more ways to argue that they’re not liable for your injuries.
By seeking treatment as soon as you can, you generate a medical report. This report will.help to link your injuries to your accident. In turn, this can make it easier to get the money you need and deserve.