Those involved in motor vehicle accidents usually experience an incredible surge of adrenaline in the moments following the crash. Unfortunately, adrenaline and other hormones can prevent accident victims from realizing an injury occurred.
Even if you seem fine after your car accident, you should still consider having a medical evaluation. Doing so can help you address an overlooked injury, and it can strengthen your auto accident claim.
Delayed symptoms are common
Not all accident injuries show symptoms right away. Many can take days or even weeks to manifest symptoms. Examples include:
- Head/brain injuries
- Unexplained back pain
- Neck injuries like whiplash
- Ligament, tendon and muscle injuries
If left unaddressed, the problems above can worsen into a long-term condition that requires ongoing medical and rehabilitative treatment.
Medical opinions support insurance claims
Insurers use data from several sources when determining how much to pay an insurance claim. One thing they scrutinize is if (and when) you saw a doctor about possible motor vehicle accident injuries.
A medical appointment within 72 hours after a crash alerts insurers that your claim may involve accident injuries. It also rules out or confirms a severe injury that was initially overlooked.
Sets the stage for litigation (if necessary)
Under Missouri law, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver instead of filing an insurance claim (you cannot do both). If you choose litigation, you need accident-related medical records to prove another driver caused the crash and thus your injuries.
Injury and accident compensation laws are complex in Missouri. We suggest learning more about them when deciding which solution you wish to pursue.