Our Skilled Accident Attorneys Explain Why Seeking Prompt Medical Attention Will Help Your AZ Car Accident Claim

You should always see a doctor after a Flagstaff or Northern Arizona car accident, even if you do not believe you were hurt. You could have suffered a severe injury and not realize it until days or longer after the crash. Why you should seek medical attention after an accident

Seeking prompt medical care will strengthen your claim for compensation against the negligent driver. You should also obtain legal counsel from an experienced Flagstaff personal injury lawyer at Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC. We’ll explain your options, help you take other steps to build a winning case, and handle the insurance company so you’re treated fairly and receive as much compensation as you deserve. 

You never know when a routine drive can turn into a life-altering auto collision. Car accidents caused by negligent drivers can result in serious injuries, some of which may not be immediately apparent. It is crucial to be examined by a physician promptly after a car collision, even if you do not think you were hurt. Our skilled personal injury lawyers explain the importance of seeking medical attention soon after a car accident in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona and the other steps we can help you take to strengthen your case against the driver who caused your injuries.

Hidden Injuries You Could Suffer in a Flagstaff Car Accident

After an auto crash, it is not uncommon for car accident victims to be unaware that they were hurt or to underestimate their injuries, especially when symptoms may not manifest immediately. However, you could suffer a long-term injury but not experience symptoms until days, a week, or months after the collision. Here are some hidden injuries you could suffer:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is forcefully jerked backward and forward, causing strain on the neck. Symptoms may take days to appear, and they include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result from a sudden blow or jolt to the head or an object penetrating the skull. You could suffer long-term symptoms, such as mobility issues, reduced vision, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Back and shoulder injuries. You might suffer injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back or shoulders that may not cause discomfort right away but can lead to pain and limitations of movements later. Swelling, bruising, and restricted movement are common signs of these injuries.
  • Internal injuries. Damage to internal organs, such as the spleen or liver, and internal bleeding might not be apparent initially. Delayed symptoms may include abdominal pain, swelling, dizziness, fainting, or seizures.
  • Herniated disc. A herniated disc is caused when the jelly-like cushion between the spinal vertebrae ruptures or pushes out through a tear. In the days after a car accident, you could suffer symptoms such as pain in your back, arms or legs, numbness, and muscle weakness.
  • Psychological trauma. You could suffer depression, anxiety, insomnia, or other psychological conditions from coping with the terror of the car accident or your injuries.

Why You Should Be Examined by a Doctor Soon After a Car Accident

Some car accident victims make the mistake of not seeking prompt medical care, and they also make other errors that weaken their personal injury claim. These errors can make it more difficult for a personal injury attorney to obtain the full value of the claim in the insurance settlement.

A doctor should ideally examine you within 72 hours of your car crash. Here are reasons why this is vital:

You Protect Your Health

Early detection and treatment of injuries can improve the likelihood that you will make a full recovery and prevent long-term complications. Some injuries may worsen over time if they are not treated promptly.

In addition, you avoid the risk of having a life-threatening medical emergency. Some injuries, such as a TBI or internal organ damage, can quickly jeopardize your health if you leave your injuries untreated or wait for symptoms to develop.

You Build a Winning Case

To receive fair compensation for your injuries, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your car accident and your injuries, the severity of your injuries, and the amount of your financial losses. Medical documentation serves as crucial evidence in car accident claims. If you seek medical care soon after the auto collision, your skilled personal injury lawyer will have a much easier time proving that the crash caused your injuries and that they are serious.

You Avoid Disputes About Your Claim

The negligent driver’s insurance company may not treat you fairly or want to pay you what you deserve under Arizona law, even if you have a strong claim. They are a business and will do all they can to find reasons to deny your claim or convince you to accept a lowball settlement offer. If you delay obtaining the medical care you need, you are giving them ammunition to argue another incident caused your injuries or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.

Another mistake we see car accident victims make that gives insurance adjusters ammunition to dispute their claim is having gaps in medical care or not following a doctor’s instructions about medical treatment. Be sure to attend all doctor and physical therapy appointments, get the diagnostic tests they recommend, and comply with their treatment plan. This will help you recover from your injuries and give you stronger evidence to dispute any bogus claims by the insurance company about the seriousness of your injuries and the reasonableness of your medical expenses.

Other Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident in Northern Arizona

In addition to seeking medical attention, there are other crucial steps you need to take immediately after a car accident that will help prove your claim. Here are the initial steps we recommend our clients take:

Contact Law Enforcement

Call the police to the accident scene and obtain a copy of the police report. The police officer will conduct an investigation and provide helpful information you may be able to use to convince the insurance adjuster of the at-fault party’s liability. Useful information a police report could contain includes:

  • Date, time, and location of the auto collision
  • Details about how the crash occurred
  • Statements from the other driver, witnesses, and you
  • Diagram of the scene
  • Officer’s conclusions about who was at fault
  • Any traffic citations issued

Obtain Contact Information

You should obtain the contact information of any drivers involved in the car wreck and their insurance companies. You will need this information to file a claim.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

Take photographs to document the accident scene. Be sure to take photos of the location of your crash, the damage to the vehicles, road and weather conditions, and your injuries. Ask someone to take pictures for you if you are too hurt to do this yourself.

You also need to gather contact information from witnesses so your attorney can obtain their written statements. Eyewitness statements and testimony can be powerful evidence to help you refute any arguments by the insurance adjuster about who was the at-fault party.

Seek Legal Counsel

Consult with an experienced Flagstaff personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. At Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC, we will conduct our own investigation into the car accident and gather evidence that can help you prove the other driver caused the collision. We will also assist you in preserving medical documents, bills, receipts, and documentation of your wage losses. Our skilled attorneys will accurately value your claim and fight with the insurance company to ensure your rights are protected and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We are not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.