If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your number one priority should always be your health, safety, and wellbeing. But when you’re also handling everything else that comes after a crash, from talking with your insurance company to taking pictures of evidence at the accident scene, prioritizing yourself can be a challenge.
At The Mejia Law Firm, we also understand that there can be sizeable barriers to seeking timely medical attention. Transportation and financial costs associated with receiving health care are prohibitive to many people. However, you should not have to bear the cost of someone else’s negligence all on your own. Medical bills (including the cost of getting to and from your appointment) are compensable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Keeping this in mind, do you know how long you have to go to a doctor after a Houston car accident? The timing of your initial appointment can be very important to your personal injury claim.
When To See a Doctor After a Houston Car Accident
After being involved in a car accident, The Mejia Law Firm recommends seeking medical care as soon as possible. Many serious injuries have symptoms that develop over time, and the severity of your condition might not be immediately apparent.
You have several options for seeing a doctor after a car accident. These include:
- Being transported to the emergency room via ambulance. If you suffered severe or catastrophic injuries, emergency responders may immediately transport you to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
- Going to the emergency room. If you are experiencing significant amounts of pain or something simply doesn’t feel right, do not wait—go to the nearest emergency room. Have a friend or family member drive you if you are unable to do so yourself.
- Going to an urgent care facility. Most urgent care facilities are able to provide temporary care and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses and may be an appropriate option if your injuries are not severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Keep in mind that some urgent care facilities do not treat car accident victims, though.
- Scheduling an appointment with your regular doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor even if you were recently seen in the ER or urgent care. As your primary care physician, your doctor will provide regular guidance, treatment, and care throughout the lifetime of your injury.
Never ignore pain or any other signs of injury after a motor vehicle accident. Serious injuries, including those affecting the spinal cord or brain, can rapidly worsen without proper treatment. Timely medical intervention is key in treating most injuries, even those that you may not think of as a medical emergency.
How Going to the Doctor Affects Your Car Accident Claim
Seeing a doctor after a wreck isn’t just good for your health—it’s also good for your car accident claim. Medical records and bills are often critical pieces of evidence in these types of cases. This means that the sooner you visit the doctor, the sooner you will begin creating a verifiable account of what happened to you.
It is important to note that simply going to the doctor once is generally not sufficient for these types of claims. Be sure to stick to your treatment plan, attending all follow-up appointments as necessary. Take all medications as prescribed, and visit with specialists and physical therapists when you are referred to them.
If you do not go to the doctor soon after an accident, or if you fail to follow your treatment plan, the insurance company may assert that you are not as seriously injured as you are claiming to be.
This can effectively lower the total amount of compensation you can receive, leaving you with hefty medical bills that you’ll have to pay all on your own.
Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
In Texas, the statute of limitations is the time limit in which you are permitted to take legal action. For car accidents, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The clock begins ticking the moment you are involved in an accident.
The longer you wait to go to the doctor, the longer you are delaying your ability to begin working on your personal injury claim. If you don’t seek medical care soon after your accident, you’ll have less time to identify your injuries, connect with a car accident lawyer, and begin building your case.
Medical Evidence That Can Support Your Car Accident Claim
If you are seeking compensation for your accident-related injuries, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that proves what injury you are suffering from, how it is related to your accident, and the losses you have suffered as a result. At The Mejia Law Firm, we rely on a variety of medical evidence when building strong car accident claims, including:
- Patient charts that include diagnoses and doctors’ notes
- Emergency department records
- Surgical notes
- Results from X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other imaging tests
- Laboratory test results
- Physical therapy records
- Prescriptions for medications
- Referrals to specialists, including neurologists and orthopedic surgeons
- Expert testimony from a health care professional
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company is trying to blame your current injuries solely on a pre-existing condition, a lawyer can use supporting evidence from your medical records to prove that your condition was either caused or significantly worsened by the accident.
What To Do With Your Accident-Related Medical Bills
Do not throw away any medical bills related to your accident injuries. The bills and invoices you receive from doctors, specialists, and hospitals are important for correctly valuing the total of your economic (financial) losses. You and your attorney will use these bills to accurately determine how much medical debt you have already incurred as a result of your accident injuries and, based on the extent and severity of your condition, how much you might be expected to spend in the future.
The Mejia Law Firm Is an Advocate for Every Houstonian
Our personal injury law firm is proud to provide tireless legal representation to the residents of Houston, TX. We know that when we first meet with clients, they are often going through some of the most difficult experiences of their lives, and it is an honor to guide them through the legal process of recovering compensation for their damages.
We are also sensitive to the financial distress that many of our clients are experiencing as a result of their accidents, which is why we offer a free consultation and take many cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case for you.
During your confidential, no-cost consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you’d like regarding your case. Whether you’re wondering how long you have to go to a doctor after a Houston car accident or want to know what your claim might be worth, we are here for you. To schedule your free meeting, call our office or fill out our convenient online form today.