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Kelly & West News

Accident? Don’t Delay Medical Treatment Due to COVID Fears

If you’re in a car accident and hurt, you generally know you should go to the doctor. Obviously, if you’re seriously injured, you know you’ll need care or even an ambulance. But if you’re not seriously hurt, you might think it’s OK to skip the doctor’s visit.

It’s not.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has changed many things about our world. But one of those changes has doctors concerned: people avoiding healthcare because they don’t want to catch Coronavirus the waiting room. Doctors report that people are coming in later for problems such as chest pain or appendix trouble.

We don’t have statistics about those who may be avoiding the doctor after a car accident or work injury or falling in the parking lot. But aside from the medical care you need for a concussion or other invisible health problem, there’s another good reason to go: protecting your right to compensation.

Your insurance company may not pay for your medical care if you delay it. We’ve talked to many people who felt OK after an accident but then later felt that the needed treatment because of the accident. They sought medical care sometimes only a few days later. In that situation, the insurance company may not consider this care as part of your case. The other problem is they may not consider any treatment after that date as related to your case either. So, it is vital that you seek medical attention very soon after an accident.

What to Do After An Accident

After an accident, first, make sure you’re OK. If you’re not, call 911. If you are, you can check on other people. Do not talk about fault or who caused the accident or what happened.

If you’re able, take photos of the accident, including some wide shots to show your location and the location of the vehicles. Take photos of the car damage and your injuries. Write down the contact and insurance information of other people. If a police officer is there, get his or her information so you can access the accident report.

Report the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours. You don’t have to give them all the details, but they need to know it occurred to get the file started.

Seek medical care that same day, even if you feel fine. Talk to your doctor about what happened and ask about obtaining medical records in case you’ll need them later.

Contact us as soon as you can, so we know what’s happening and can offer advice about your next steps. Please don’t avoid medical care you may need. Doctor’s offices and healthcare providers are taking steps to keep people safe inside their facilities.

Questions about an accident or other legal issues? Contact us for help.

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