After an Auto Accident

Advance Health Blog

After an Auto Accident

Chris Goetz - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Do Not Wait to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident

Goetz with CaptionCommon wisdom states that you should visit a doctor no more than 72 hours after being involved in an accident. You could be suffering from an injury that you are not aware of, and that can be dangerous. But there is also the effect that waiting to seek medical care can have on a potential case. A serious delay or gaps in treatment can cause a reduction in any money you may be entitled to from your insurance company or the party at fault.

Medical doctors and chiropractors are trained to examine patients after an accident to determine the extent of any injuries suffered. With the proper diagnosis you can make an educated decision about how to proceed with your treatment and any claim you may want to make against the responsible party.

Fault and No-Fault States

States have different laws regarding who pays for personal injuries when an automobile accident has occurred. The majority of US states are “Fault States.” In this system the insurance companies pay claims according to whose negligence caused the accident, or who is at fault. Fault can sometimes be divided among more than one party. If you disagree with the insurer you may need to file a law suit to try to receive compensation.

No-Fault states, like Florida, employ a different system where each insurance company will pay for its own clients’ medical bills. In these states, auto insurance policies include personal injury protection or PIP. In most cases No-Fault states have adopted this system in response to a high number of court battles involving fault in auto accidents.

Statutes of Limitations

Your own safety is not the only concern that should hurry you to visit a doctor after an accident. Many states also have statutes of limitations which limit the time you can wait to file a lawsuit if you have been injured in an automobile accident. Once that time has expired, your legal options will be severely limited. In Florida the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is two years.

After an Accident

Even if you do not have PIP or think you cannot afford to visit a doctor, call one anyway. Many chiropractors and medical doctors have long term, professional relationships with attorneys that may be able to help you. Here are some other suggestions of what to do immediately following an automobile accident and during treatment for injuries:

  • Insist on obtaining a police report even if the other involved parties do not want one.
  • Take photos of the accident scene if you are able.
  • Keep a journal of your injuries and treatment.
  • Keep copies of all communications regarding your accident from your doctor, lawyer and insurance company.
  • Keep detailed records of all of your expenses related to the accident and your medical treatment.
  • Don’t accept a settlement until you have completed all of your medical treatment.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, and whether you believe you are at fault or not, contact Advance Health Services right away. Our doctors can perform a complete medical examination that will reveal any injuries you may have experienced. After that we can get you started on a treatment plan and get you in touch with an attorney if you need one.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.