While your immediate concern after a car accident may be damage to your vehicle, it’s crucial not to overlook any physical discomfort following a wreck in San Francisco. Even minor car accident injuries should not be ignored as they may evolve into something more serious later on.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
Firstly, it’s important to understand that not all injuries present themselves immediately after an accident. Some may take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest. These can include whiplash, concussions, soft tissue injuries, or internal bleeding. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to long-term health complications.
From a legal perspective, seeking immediate medical attention serves two purposes. It ensures your well-being and it establishes a medical record linking your injuries to the accident. This can be crucial when seeking compensation for your injuries.
The Delayed Onset of Symptoms
In the aftermath of an accident, adrenaline and shock can often mask pain and discomfort. As these effects wear off, you may start to notice symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, neck or back pain, numbness, or changes in personality. These could be signs of serious conditions like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
The Value of Medical Documentation
When you seek medical attention immediately after an accident, your doctor will document your injuries and their potential relation to the crash. This medical record becomes a valuable piece of evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
The Role of Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are businesses looking to minimize costs. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention following a crash, insurers may argue that your car accident injuries are not as severe as you claim or are unrelated to the accident. This could significantly reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
The Insurance Adjuster’s Role
After an accident, an insurance adjuster will review all the details of the case. They’ll look at police reports, witness statements, damage to vehicles, and medical records. If there’s a gap between the date of the accident and the date of your medical treatment, they may use this to devalue your claim.
To protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation, it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process and handle negotiations on your behalf.
The Statute of Limitations
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. If you wait too long to seek medical attention and your injury is discovered after this period, you may be barred from receiving any compensation.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is essentially a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. However, if you didn’t discover your injury right away, you have one year from the date you discovered (or should have discovered) the injury.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are some exceptions to these rules. The statute of limitations can be suspended or tolled. These instances include when the injured party is a minor, the defendant leaves the state for a certain period of time, or if the defendant is released from incarceration.
Call Today for a Free Case Review
Ignoring minor car accident injuries can have serious health and legal consequences. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention and consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Contact our San Francisco Injury Lawyers today at 415-843-7099 for a free case review.