Car accidents happen every day. However, when it happens to you, it becomes real. Suddenly, you understand the forces involved when moving vehicles collide. If the force threw your body around and shook you to the core, you also understand the terror of feeling completely out of control. Even if the accident was minor, you might feel physically and mentally shaken by the experience. Let’s look at what to expect physically after a car accident.
How Do You Feel?
First, let’s recognize the extreme highs and lows associated with a car accident. Mentally and emotionally, you may feel out of sorts. Perhaps you had no real idea of how vulnerable you could feel from a simple car accident. You may make promises to yourself to drive more defensively next time you get behind the wheel. It is normal to need a few days to wrap your mind and emotions around what has happened.
In addition to the stress of the accident, you now must think about filing insurance, talking with claims adjusters, possibly missing work and losing wages, car repairs with a body shop, and maybe even a rental car. If you face substantial injuries, you also have hospital or urgent care documentation and dealing with how to pay those bills.
What to Expect Physically
You may not even realize how badly the other driver injured you until months after an accident. Sometimes, aches and pains that you believe are unrelated to the accident are caused by the accident. It is normal to feel some aches and stiffness after a car accident, but getting checked out is always wise.
For example, perhaps you don’t realize that you have a slight internal bleed until you pass out unexpectedly days later. You finally see a doctor at the hospital and find out that bruising from your seatbelt caused your emergency distress and surgery.
You need to focus on the signals your body gives you in the months after an accident. Don’t stunt your recovery or miss symptoms you need to see. Now is the time to notice these changes: not after the statute of limitations runs out.
Seek Timely Treatment
Whether you feel any pain or stiffness immediately after an accident, it is wise to go ahead and seek out treatment immediately. See a specialist such as an orthopedist if you experience pain and stiffness within the week after the accident. Many times, you sustain injuries that you do not feel yet.
Seeking help early for your injuries indicates to insurance companies and courts that you need the medical treatment you seek. Waiting several months before getting treatment for injuries is often seen as a tactic to get insurance money. Unless you have no possible way to get treatment for injuries, go ahead and take care of your health so that others can see your need. If a general practitioner says you are good to go, but you start experiencing pain later and see an orthopedist, you can say that you’ve done everything right to find help when you needed it.
A personal injury attorney can advise you on whether your treatment is a legitimate response to your accident. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will know if an eventual settlement or your existing coverage will cover chiropractic care costing $3450 for a neck injury.
What About Fault?
In short, a car accident can cause anguish and uncertainty about the future. If you’re found at fault in a severe accident and your insurance limits are low, you can even face lawsuits beyond the amount of your coverage and lose everything you own.
If you are at fault and possess car insurance with the minimum limits, it may cover the fallout from an accident. However, the other driver or passengers may sue your insurance company or you for more money if your insurance payout limits are insufficient.
The minimum amount of coverage in Texas is:
- $30,000 for each injured person
- $60,000 total for injuries per incident
- $25,000 for property damage
If the other driver involved in the crash has no insurance or has low coverage, their insurance may not cover your medical needs. When the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover damages, injured individuals often hire an attorney and sue for damages. However, if the uninsured or underinsured driver has no money, you may get nothing. If the driver is uninsured, you may have to look to your own insurance to cover your medical expenses.
Whether you were at fault in the accident or not, it’s crucial to carefully consider your words when speaking to police or insurance adjusters. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can make all the difference in how your case plays out.
Make no mistake. After a car accident, you are in a legal fight for your rights whether you hire an attorney or not.
On Your Side
If your insurer or the other driver’s insurer believes you to be at fault, they may try to deny your claim altogether. In this case, you’ll need an attorney to represent you in court so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Attorneys understand working for your best interest in first- and third-party claims. If you carry some blame, your lawyer can also appeal decisions and negotiate your best outcome.
If you end up in a courtroom, you’ll need someone on your side with extensive legal training who can research and investigate the accident to prove your lack of liability. You will need your lawyer’s legal competence in the courtroom to make your voice heard.
We Can Help
At Jarrett Law, we work extensively with personal injury cases. If you believe a car accident caused physical injury, we can help. Since your insurance company is not on your side, we work with you to investigate what happened in the accident and handle the claims adjuster’s questions. With our experienced team on your side, you don’t need to settle for less than a fair settlement that covers your expenses. Contact us for a free initial consultation and find out how we can help.