When it comes to how long after your car accident you must go to the hospital, there’s no set deadline. However, if you later seek compensation for your injuries, an insurer or jury may determine whether you sought treatment in a “reasonable” timeframe. This timeframe is generally 72 hours, give or take, but ideally the sooner treatment is sought, the better.
Why Should I Seek Medical Care As Soon As Possible After a Car Accident?
Documentation of your injuries is one reason to seek medical treatment. The insurance company may question the severity of your injuries if you wait to seek treatment. The sooner you receive treatment, the more credible your claim may be seen.
You should also seek medical care because:
- You may have underlying injuries: Serious injuries aren’t always obvious. Symptoms may take time to emerge. By seeking medical treatment, you can rule out (or receive treatment for) any less-obvious injuries.
- You can receive verifiable diagnoses: It’s generally better to have a clear, precise diagnosis than simply stating that you were “in pain” after your accident. A medical professional must generally provide such diagnoses.
- You may receive images of injuries: A medical facility may take images of your injuries – X-rays, a CT scan, or other types of medical imaging. These images can be strong evidence during settlement negotiations.
It’s not a given that insurance will cover your losses. You should accumulate as much evidence of injury as possible. Whatever path your case takes, this evidence will be helpful. Obtaining this evidence – and protecting your health – means seeking medical attention.
What Is the Harm in Waiting to Get Medical Care?
There is no benefit in waiting to receive medical treatment. In fact, there are many potential negative consequences to delaying treatment, including:
- Your injuries becoming more serious: Your health is the priority after a car accident. If you forego treatment, mild or moderate injuries could become serious, and serious injuries could become life-threatening. Don’t assume that aches and pains will go away with time and rest. Seek treatment to prevent a worsening of your health.
- The insurance company claiming that your injuries are not accident-related: You may know that certain injuries are accident-related – even if you waited to get a diagnosis. By waiting, though, accident victims give the insurance company a reason to reject their claim. The sooner you get a diagnosis after your accident, the less able an insurance company will be to deny your damages.
- Your legal case becoming weaker: You may file a lawsuit related to your car accident. During that suit, we’ll aim to prove that your injuries are accident-related. The closer your diagnosis is to your accident, the stronger your case for coverage may be. Make no mistake: how long you wait after a car accident to go to the hospital matters.
Even if it has been more than 72 hours since your car accident, see a medical professional. When it comes to documenting injuries, it’s better late than never.
While you may not necessarily have to go to the hospital, seek medical treatment. You may go to an urgent care center, your primary care doctor, or another healthcare provider. If you’re uncertain of where to receive care, the emergency room may be a safe choice.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Claim?
Yes. Pa. C.S.A. § 5524 generally allows adults to file a car accident claim within two years of the accident to either settle or file suit for your injuries. There are many unknown variables in car accident cases. The sooner you seek medical care and start a case, the stronger your case will be.
Should I Have a Personal Injury Lawyer File My Claim or Lawsuit?
You may want to hire our firm for your car accident case. Pennsylvania has a no-fault insurance system. This system means that you will need to deal with both your insurer and the insurer of the at-fault motorist. If you cannot receive fair compensation through an insurance claim, we can assist you throughout the claims process and may file a lawsuit for you.
A personal injury lawyer will deal with every step of your case, including:
- Investigation of your car accident
- Collection of evidence
- Witness interviews
- Dealing with insurance companies
- Filing your claim
- Combatting any challenges to your claim (from insurance companies, attorneys, or other parties)
- Settlement negotiations
- Going to trial (if necessary)
Car accident victims should focus on rest, treatment, and recovery. By hiring a lawyer to lead your claim, you remove a mammoth responsibility from your shoulders.
Call Berger and Green for a Free Consultation Today
Berger and Green serves car accident victims throughout Pennsylvania. We have many positive client reviews and know how to obtain justice for our clients. You’ll pay us nothing upfront and no fee at all unless we secure compensation for you.
Call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 for a FREE consultation. Don’t wait to call our team. We can help you find medical care, file your case, and manage all other case-related deadlines.