Is an ambulance ride really necessary?
If you’re asking, “Should I go to the hospital after a car accident?” here’s how to know for sure.
Every day, thousands of car accidents take place in the United States. In fact, 37,000 Americans die in car accidents each year.
Sadly, that number only refers to deaths. There are an even greater number of serious injuries. Nearly 2.4 million people are injured or disabled as a result of a car accident.
If your injuries are significant, you may require an ambulance ride to the hospital. But is that really necessary? And what if your injuries aren’t life-threatening?
“Should I go to the hospital after a car accident?”
Explore the many reasons why taking an ambulance is the best course of action.
1. You May Not Know You’re Injured
After a car accident, your fight-or-flight response will kick in, flooding your body with adrenaline. This natural reaction to stress enables you to fend off a threat (“fight”) or escape (“flight”) by masking any pain or other symptoms until your stress levels return to normal.
This is why many car accident victims aren’t aware that they have been injured until hours, days, or even weeks after the crash.
After a car accident, the police who arrive on the scene may ask you if you require medical treatment. DO NOT SAY THAT YOU DON’T REQUIRE MEDICAL TREATMENT.
Immediately following a crash, you cannot be sure whether you are truly injured or not. Either request that someone call an ambulance or specify that you will seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
2. Hospitals Are Well-Equipped to Initially Evaluate Car Accident Injuries
Many people are aware of how expensive it is to get an ambulance ride to the hospital. But don’t let cost prevent you from getting adequate medical care.
Those medical bills may be intimidating, but the care of first responders may save your life. Your injuries may seem manageable at first glance, but life-threatening issues could be occurring internally.
There are a number of symptoms that suggest you need a car accident ambulance:
- Hearing Loss
- Blurred Vision
- Open Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Severe Headache
- Neck or Back Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
- Loss of Consciousness
For serious injuries, time is of the essence. Calling 911 to have an ambulance transport you to the hospital can significantly improve your prognosis.
3. Delaying Medical Treatment Will Weaken Your Legal Case
If you bypass an ambulance and later ask for compensation for serious injuries, it could negatively affect your legal case.
The defendant’s legal team will argue that your injuries must not be that significant because you did not feel the need to take an ambulance. In some cases, they may even suggest that you are embellishing your injuries for financial gain.
4. Hospital Bills Are Recoverable
Hospital bills (not to mention the ambulance bill!) can sometimes be enough to prevent people from seeking medical attention. But finances should never be an excuse for not getting the proper care.
For starters, basic health and car insurance can help cover your medical bills. In Florida, all licensed drivers must have at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection on their auto insurance policy. This coverage pays for medical bills for you and any other passengers during an accident.
And if the other driver was found to be at-fault, a financial settlement will help with medical costs as well.
Most car accident cases do not reach the trial stage. Instead, both parties come to an agreement where the victim is offered a financial settlement. You and your attorney will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company and arrive at a number that covers all of the expenses related to the accident. In addition to car repair and medical bills, your settlement should include legal fees, future medical costs, and pain and suffering compensation.
Going to the hospital after a car accident is certain to have a positive impact on the settlement value. It bolsters your case that your injuries and your financial state are severe enough to warrant financial compensation.
This is especially true if car or health insurance did not entirely cover your hospital bill.
What If I’m Not Seriously Injured?
If you were able to walk away from your car accident, consider yourself lucky. But this doesn’t mean you should forego medical treatment.
Again, car accident injuries don’t always present themselves right away. You might feel healthy enough to resume your everyday activities and not feel the pain of a slipped disc for another week.
Even if you believe that an ambulance ride and/or hospital visit are unnecessary, you should—at the very least—schedule a visit with a medical professional as soon as possible to evaluate your injuries.
They will be able to diagnose and start treating your injuries right away.
Better Safe Than Sorry
When it comes to your health, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Ambulances and hospitals are equipped with the best medical technology available to ensure your safety and health. By taking your injuries seriously, you show that you are taking your car accident case seriously. This demonstrates to the court that your injury—and therefore your claim—is legitimate.
Don’t let a hospital bill prevent you from getting the emergency medical treatment you need! Rather than asking “Should I go to the hospital after a car accident?”, put your health first and get medical assistance as soon as possible.
If you took a car accident ambulance and need legal representation to recover the money you spent on hospital and ambulance bills, contact us today to schedule an appointment.