It doesn’t matter how close you are to home, accidents happen. As a matter of fact, according to statistics, you are more likely to have an auto accident closer to home than farther away. Studies show that more than 50 percent of accidents happen within five miles of home, and almost 80 percent occur within 15 miles or less. According to multiple insurance websites, the most common accidents aren’t the ones that generally make the nightly news: instead, rear-end collisions, hitting a parked car, hydroplaning, animal collisions and side-impact crashes happen more frequently than any other types of wreck.
The issue is one of proximity. One theory is that the closer to home, the more familiar the driver is with the road, and thus the more likely they are to relax and not pay full attention to their surroundings. When an accident does happen close to home, unless it was catastrophic with major damage and obvious injuries, it’s much easier to shake off any potential medical issues and simply go home and call the insurance company. That is a major mistake.
No matter how small the accident or how trivial an injury may seem, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. This is for several reasons.
The first is for safety. During an accident, the body produces massive amounts of adrenaline and hormones called endorphins. These are the same hormones that produce the phenomenon called runner’s high that often masks pain. As a result of this, symptoms may not show up until the next day.
An excellent example of this is one of the most common types of auto-accident injuries: damage to soft tissue. This includes whiplash or injury to the neck due to the trauma of the crash. As the endorphins wear off and the body comes back to its regular state, soreness often increases until it becomes debilitating.
Another example is a concussion. In the chaos of a car accident, behavior is naturally somewhat erratic. A person has, after all, just been through what may have been a life-threatening ordeal, so acting a bit confused may be expected. With a concussion, however, the person may not realize they have been injured and may not notice the difference in behavior. At times it may even take someone else familiar with the person to notice the difference. A medical professional may be able to detect these sorts of injuries through examination and running appropriate medical tests.
It is extremely important that you comply with recommended follow-up treatments or continuing rehabilitation. As well as for medical reasons, there are a series of legal reasons to seek medical help if you have been involved in an accident. The main reason is simply documentation. If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to be able to show the insurance company proof of the treatment you have received and may continue to receive. If the insurance company disputes your treatment, the documentation will support your claim.
Finally, it is always a good idea to seek legal advice. Insurance companies’ interests are not necessarily the same as yours. Their goal is generally to settle any claim as quickly and cheaply as possible, while your goal is good health and vitality. Legal professionals can help you to receive compensation to which you are entitled, including, in some cases, pain and suffering. Seeking medical attention immediately and keeping documentation will help you to pursue such a claim.
Neale & Fhima has over 40 years of legal experience and are proud to have helped thousands of people in Orange County and all of Southern California receive the compensation they deserve. With a 99 percent success rate in all cases, Neale & Fhima are proud to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.