A motor vehicle collision is a very disruptive experience. Depending on when and where a collision occurs, someone might be stuck on the side of the road for hours waiting to file a police report. Then, they may need to arrange to tow their vehicle and address numerous other practical concerns.
A car crash can lead to someone missing a full day of work or an important appointment. Those already frustrated by the delays and inconvenience of a crash often hope to move on as quickly as possible from the incident. Unless they have obvious, severe injuries, they may decline to see a doctor after the wreck. This mistake can put people at both medical and financial risk.
Some conditions aren’t easy to spot
Even those vaguely aware of medical science can overlook potentially severe injuries right after they occur. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may not create immediate symptoms because it takes a while for the injury to worsen. The same could be true of internal bleeding in the torso or abdomen. Even stable injuries to the musculoskeletal system could worsen if people don’t receive a prompt diagnosis. The more violent the crash was, the more likely it is that the people involved may benefit from proper medical evaluation.
Delays in diagnosis create challenges
Obviously, the longer someone goes without proper diagnosis and treatment, the harder it may become for them to make a full recovery. They may also find themselves facing more of a challenge when they seek financial compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. The longer the gap between the original collision and someone’s diagnosis, the greater the chances that the insurance company could raise questions about the actual origins of the injury.
In some cases, when the source of the injury is undeniable, insurance companies and other defendants in personal injury cases may try to allege that someone’s delay in seeking treatment significantly worsened their prognosis. They may be able to place some of the blame for an individual’s medical expenses and lost earning potential on their refusal to seek treatment initially.
Even if it means a few additional hours of delay or frustration, it is often a smart move to seek out professional medical evaluation after a crash severe enough to injure others or require major repairs to a vehicle. Getting a timely diagnosis can have a long-term impact on someone’s financial circumstances and recovery.