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Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area

You should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Most experts suggest seeing a medical professional or primary care physician within 72 hours of the collision, but legally, you have 14 days to see a doctor after a car accident.

However, car accident victims should be aware that some injuries may not show symptoms right away. Some life-threatening injuries may be masked by other injuries or adrenaline, so it is important to find a doctor, even if you feel alright.

Receiving medical attention and getting it fully documented so you can present it to your attorney quickly after an accident can be helpful in quickly diagnosing hidden injuries. Medical care is also important when you decide to take legal action later.

Sad female driver sitting on street side shocked after car accident

Why See a Doctor Immediately after an Auto Accident?

Some people who have been in a car accident may not want the hassle of seeking medical treatment at the emergency room or an urgent care center.

Or, they may feel too shaken to head to a hospital. They may even feel no injuries and believe they don’t need to be checked.

However, it can be extremely important to get medical help from a reputable provider immediately after an auto accident.

Reasons why seeing a doctor immediately after an auto accident can be important:

  • Adrenaline masks injuries: When you have been in a car accident, you may not know the severity of your injuries due to adrenaline spikes during traumatic incidents.
  • Medical records: It is important to have medical records for your insurance company. If you plan on filing a personal injury claim later, you will need them for your personal injury attorney. When listing damages, they will take into account your physical injuries and other forms of pain and suffering.
  • Insurance time limits: Car accident victims should also be aware that there are time limits on when they can receive medical treatment and have damages covered related to their car accident injuries.

If you need assistance with the personal injury claims process, contact LegalFinders today for a personal injury attorney or law firm in your area.


Car Insurance Time Limits for Seeking Medical Care after an Accident

The amount of time you have to seek medical care after an automobile accident can vary from state to state and from one insurance policy to the next.

Most insurance companies in the United States place limits that range from 72 hours to two weeks to seek medical care after a crash.

In Florida, for example, insurance policyholders who have personal injury protection (PIP) will have only up to two weeks to seek medical care in relation to an injury claim. Personal injury protection insurance covers many of the common medical expenses that stem from an accident.

If you choose not to seek medical care within the 14-day window, you will forfeit your right to your PIP benefits. These benefits include having all of your medical bills and other medical expenses covered, no matter who was at fault for the accident.


Car Accident Injuries That May Have No Signs or Symptoms

It is not uncommon to experience bumps, bruises, and soreness for several days following a car crash. There are many different types of injuries that may not show up immediately or at all — injuries that do not come with clear and obvious side effects or symptoms.

Brain injuries, like concussions, can take time to show symptoms but can be dangerous if left untreated. Seeking immediate medical attention is very important for your well-being, even if you believe you are fine.

Some of these “invisible injuries” include the following:

  • Whiplash: a neck injury caused by rapid, forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck. The main symptom is pain in the neck and shoulders, ranging from mild to severe.
  • Soft tissue injuries: these include damage to tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Symptoms can include contusions, strains, and sprains.
  • Concussions: this is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head that affects your brain function. Symptoms can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination.
  • Internal bleeding: this is bleeding inside of the body, primarily in the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the brain due to trauma or injury. Some signs of internal bleeding include dizziness, extreme weakness, low blood pressure, severe headaches, chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Back/spine injuries: these injuries may not always be immediately obvious, but it is crucial that they are taken care of quickly. Spinal cord injury symptoms can include numbness and tingling, paralysis, pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back, weakness in the body, and difficulty breathing and walking.

Many of these injuries can be severe and lead to long-term or permanent damage if not treated quickly.

Signs of Post-Car Accident Injuries

If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident, you may have experienced injuries. Adrenaline is a common masker of injury symptoms, but once it wears off, you could start to see symptoms of underlying injuries.

Common signs of post-car accident injuries include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Swelling of the joints

These symptoms can cover a wide range of injuries. It is very important that you follow up with your primary care physician after emergency technicians have examined you after the wreck. Next, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you file a personal injury claim to cover the cost of medical treatment and other damages related to the accident.


What Does Car Insurance Cover for Emergency Medical Care?

Other than personal injury protection coverage, there is also the option in most major auto insurance companies to add medical payment coverage (MPC) to your plan. If you are injured in an accident without PIP or MPC, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for your medical bills.

Your insurance may cover the following medical care procedures after a car crash:

  • Doctor or hospital visits, including the emergency room
  • X-rays to look for fractured or broken bones
  • Surgery, if necessary
  • Hospital stays
  • Ambulance rides
  • Co-pays and health insurance deductibles
  • Continuing medical care, like physical therapy

If you seek medical care from a hospital or medical provider outside of your network, it may result in your car insurance company refusing to pay for your medical expenses.


Do I Need to See a Doctor after a Minor Car Accident?

You should see a doctor after a minor car accident if damage occurs during the accident. Even if no damage to the vehicle occurs, you may still risk injuries.

For example, whiplash is the most common car accident injury that does not show symptoms until after the accident, and it can occur with most minor accidents.

You should see a doctor in case symptoms of injuries show up after the initial car crash.

You will be helping yourself by covering all of your bases, making it much easier to receive coverage for related medical bills.

If there was no damage involved in the accident, you may decide not to seek medical attention beyond being checked over by on-scene medical personnel.


Getting Legal Help after a Car Accident

If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident, it is important for your well-being to seek medical treatment. You should also consider hiring a car accident lawyer. Even if you did not receive serious injuries, you may still be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses.

LegalFinders has an extensive network of experienced law firms and personal injury attorneys who have fought successfully against unpaid or underpaid insurance claims for their clients. For a free consultation and free case evaluation, contact LegalFinders today.


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Published: 7 October 2023


Allstate Insurance. “What is Medical Payments Coverage?” Retrieved from: What Is Medical Payments Coverage? | Allstate

Liberty Mutual. “Medical Payments Coverage.” Retrieved from: Medical Payments Coverage | Liberty Mutual

Mayo Clinic. “Concussion – Symptoms and Causes.” Retrieved from: Concussion – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic. “Whiplash – Symptoms and Causes.” Retrieved from: Whiplash – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Spinal Cord Injury.” Retrieved from: Spinal Cord Injury | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (