A car accident is often a traumatic experience. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may be disoriented, and adrenaline might be coursing through your body.
This can prevent you from realizing you’ve been injured. Thus, if someone at the scene of the accident asks whether you’re okay, your impulse might be to confirm that you’re unharmed.
This is a mistake. Even if you feel fine at the moment, it’s crucial to see a doctor before making any claims about your health. This overview will cover some critical reasons why:
Delayed Onset of Symptoms
Symptoms of injuries resulting from a car accident aren’t always immediately noticeable. Sometimes, they don’t manifest until hours or even days have elapsed.
For example, whiplash is a common type of accident injury that victims often don’t notice until days after their collisions.. By saying you’re unharmed in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may be inadvertently dismissing injuries that have yet to reveal themselves.
Concussions are another common injury in car accidents. The symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately apparent, and a delay in seeking medical attention can be dangerous. Concussions can cause serious long-term damage, including memory loss and cognitive impairment.
Internal injuries are not always immediately apparent, and may not show symptoms for several days after an accident. For example, internal bleeding may not be visible on the surface, but can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated.
Staying safe and healthy is the most important reason to not simply assume that you’re unharmed in the aftermath of a car accident. Even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously injured, it’s essential that you speak with a doctor. If you are in need of treatment, they can ensure you receive the proper care right away, improving your odds of making a swift and smooth recovery.
That said, it’s also worth noting that saying you’re unharmed after an accident can negatively influence your chances of receiving financial compensation later. If it turns out that your accident did result in injuries, and your accident was the result of another party’s negligence, in Washington State, you can file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
However, if you stated that you were unharmed after your accident, these statements could come back to haunt you. The insurance company might argue your injuries were sustained after your accident if you said “I’m okay” when asked about your condition in the immediate aftermath of a crash.
Always remember that the insurance company’s goal may not be to offer you the compensation you deserve in these circumstances. It’s often more likely that an insurance company’s goal is to convince you to settle for as little money as possible. If an insurer can avoid paying you entirely, they’ll likely strive to do so.
This is one of many reasons it’s wise to enlist the help of a lawyer when seeking compensation after an accident. At Russell & Hill, our Washington State car accident attorneys are on hand to help you pursue what you may deserve. Learn more by calling us at 800-529-0842.