I’m shocked at the number of new calls we receive that involve a major car or truck accident where the victim states, “I’m not hurt” when it’s not actually the truth. Most people are not litigious. The idea of a lawsuit frightens most people. I usually get a call back a few months later. Now, the accident victim is not only experiencing pain, but is also frustrated because the insurance company won’t pay to get their vehicle fixed. So, how do people end up in this position?
The first reason is time. You’re in an auto accident. Your car is totaled. You are traumatized. You go to the emergency room and sit for hours. You are frustrated. So, you rationalize. “I’m not hurt.” “I’m going to get better.” “I just want my car fixed and my life back.” Most of us don’t like change, especially in our daily routine. Getting treatment is a bother. It takes time and work. That’s a bad attitude to have and may end up causing you a life of pain. It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a health care provider. Early is always best. Torn tissue is harder to repair later if you let it heal incorrectly. Even simple range of motion exercises that take only minutes to perform could mean the difference between misery or feeling pain free for the rest of your life. What’s that worth to you?
If your injury is serious like traumatic brain injury, delay and swelling could cause permanent loss. When you injure an extremity, the tissue can swell freely. Your head is enclosed. There is nowhere for the swelling to go. Think of the damage even a minor brain bleed could cause over time if there is no way to relieve the pressure. If you’ve been in a car or truck accident and you have a headache, you owe it to yourself to get checked out. Traumatic brain injury can be easily diagnosed with an MRI or a CT Scan. In addition, insurance companies use a software program that counts against you the longer you wait after your accident until you see a health care provider. Don’t let yourself become a statistic that will induce the insurance company to fight against your claim.
The truth is that most accident victims don’t know when they are badly hurt. The last thing on your mind after an accident is getting treatment or hiring a personal injury attorney. Be smart and protect yourself. We see sore shoulders that are actually torn and require surgery. We see sore backs that need physical therapy to stop pain and restore normal motion. Get evaluated immediately after an accident and get documentation as proof of what could be a serious injury in case you need treatment. It can take days before you know you are hurt. If you wait longer than a week, an insurance company is going to say the injury is not related to your car or truck accident. When in doubt, see your doctor and increase your chance for a successful recovery and pain free life.
Ron Voyles is an attorney and a chiropractor with over twenty years of experience in the litigation of personal injury and the defense of drug and alcohol crimes. Ron practices in Montgomery, Harris, Walker, Grimes, Madison, San Jacinto, and Leon Counties.