If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in North Carolina, you are likely feeling all types of emotions. Confusion, concern, and stress are just a few of the many feelings you will likely be experiencing. The reality of being involved in a car accident is that your life could be flipped upside down in one fell swoop. Just yesterday, you were healthy and carefree, whereas today, you may be nursing your bruises, cuts, or worse.
As the victim of an automobile accident, you should treat your car accident-related injuries as you would any other distressing illness or injury. Start first by asking yourself whether or not you need medical treatment. If you are experiencing any type of pain, it is essential to address whether you need emergency medical services, such as an ambulance, as soon as possible.
One of the most common mistakes that accident victims make, is to refuse, resist, or delay needed medical treatment. Most people delay seeking medical care because of the costs associated with seeking such treatment. It is recommended that after an accident you seek medical treatment regardless of the cost, so long as the treatment you receive is reasonable and necessary to address your injury or condition. While treatment may be expensive, there are several options available that could provide you with a way to receive treatment with no money required upfront on your part.
If you require emergency medical care following your accident, and assess that your injuries are severe, it is important to go directly to the emergency room. Seeking medical treatment immediately after your accident is important because your injuries should be treated as soon as possible and your injuries need to be adequately documented. If you delay seeking treatment, recovery could prove difficult, or even result in a failure to fulfill your duty to mitigate your own damages. Generally, any accident claim involving an individual who has not received some kind of medical treatment within the first seven (7) to ten (10) days will experience difficulty in making a strong claim and/or proving damages. However, even in those instances where you may feel you do not need emergency medical care, you should still call your primary care physician and make an appointment. If you have called your primary care physician and your appointment is longer than two weeks away, you should seriously consider visiting urgent care or finding another available primary care physician for an earlier appointment.
If you are unable to drive or if your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in the collision, you should first seek the assistance of your friends and family to get to and from your medical appointments. However, if those loved ones are unavailable, you may have to resort to taxi or bus transportation to get to your appointments. These out-of-pocket expenses may be claimed as part of your recovery. However, be sure to keep your receipts, track your mileage, and the length of the appointments so that you can evidence the money that was spent.
If you do have health insurance, whether it is private health insurance like BlueCross BlueShield, Medicaid, Medicare, TriCare, or the State Employee’s Health Plan, it is recommended that you inform the medical provider of your insurance policy when seeking treatment. If you do not have health insurance, the medical provider providing treatment will likely either: (1) bill you directly or (2) place a lien on the proceeds of your settlement for the services provided.
After your accident and while seeking medical treatment, it is key to follow your doctor’s instructions. If your physician recommends that you should not work while recovering, you should refrain from working. You should always follow-up or adhere to the treatment plan. If your physician recommends that you follow up in a week, or that you receive physical therapy 3 times per week for 4 weeks, it is important that you do so. Failing to follow your doctor’s instructions will likely be used against you in pursuing your personal injury claim.
It is essential to keep in mind that any treatment you receive for your accident is the most important evidence for a successful personal injury claim. Your medical treatment will be reviewed, analyzed, audited, and even debated by the insurance company and their own medical experts. There are always conflicting considerations among your doctor and the insurance companies’ as to you’re the value of your claim. As such, it is paramount to ensure that each and every aspect of your treatment is as appropriate and reasonable as to the extent of typical injuries sustained from like accidents. This section of the website focuses on how to seek medical treatment following an auto accident, providing helpful tips on successfully navigating your personal injury medical expenses claim.