What should I do if I was in a car accident and suffered a back or neck injury?
If you were in a car accident and suffered a back or neck injury, you may be wondering what you should do. Our team of attorneys at Conybeare Law Office have put together a list of recommendations to make sure you are taken care of.
Get medical attention
See a doctor even if you feel “pretty okay.” People are quick to get medical treatment after a crash for obvious injuries, like a broken leg, but they are often more hesitant to see a doctor for less obvious injuries, like neck or back pain. People often assume it will just go away. Just because you can’t see the injury, doesn’t mean it’s not severe. Get evaluated to make sure you do not have any injuries that require immediate medical attention.
And there is another reason for going…
Make a record
Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to pay your claim. If they find a reason to deny a claim, they will. Insurance companies often list the amount of time that passes between the crash and when the victim first seeks medical treatment for a back or neck injury as a basis for denying a claim. They will say things like, “It didn’t happen in the crash. If it had, you would have gone to the doctor immediately.” In the real world, there are lots of valid reasons for not immediately going to the doctor: it’s time consuming; it’s expensive; and people have other more pressing responsibilities (kids, work, life, etc.). However, if you hurt your back or neck in a car accident, it is important to make a record of your injuries, so the insurance company does not use the delay against you.
Follow your doctor’s advice
You should follow your doctor’s advice. First, and most importantly, it is your best chance for getting better, so you should do it. Second, insurance companies will use it against you if you don’t. Insurance companies routinely list failure to follow doctors’ advice as a reason for denying back and neck injury claims.
There are many reasons you may not want to follow a doctor’s advice. For example, a doctor may prescribe physical therapy and you may have family, work, or financial obligations that prevent you from attending the appointments. Insurance companies don’t care about those things. They care about their bottom line. You can eliminate one of their potential excuses for denying your back or neck injury claim by always following your doctor’s advice.
If your back or neck pain does not improve, go back to your doctor
People with neck and back injuries after a crash tend to go down one of two tracks.
Track one looks like this. You suffer a back or neck injury in the car crash. You are diagnosed with a sprain or strain. You get a little bit of medical treatment, like muscle relaxers and physical therapy. The pain goes away, and you resume your normal life.
Track two looks the same, except that the pain does not go away. When this happens, it is important to follow up with your doctor. They will order additional medical treatment, such as an MRI, injection therapy, or refer you to a specialist. If your pain does not resolve, you may be dealing with a more serious back or neck injury, such as a herniated disk or a fractured vertebra. It is important to get the medical treatment you need to identify the cause of your pain. It’s your best chance to get better.
Call or contact Conybeare Law Office now to speak with an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer
A car accident is a scary, painful, and traumatic experience. If you are dealing with a back or neck injury due to the car accident, you may be able to recoup the expenses that accompany that injury. Talk to an experienced Michigan car accident attorney. We can help alleviate much of the stress and uncertainty that comes after an accident. The knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Conybeare Law Office will help you understand your rights so you feel like you in are in control, and they will fight to get you the money you deserve. To learn more about the wide range of legal services offered to our Michigan car accident clients, talk to our office today. Conybeare Law Office has offices in Saint Joseph and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and proudly serves all of southwest Michigan and beyond. Call or contact us for a free consultation. Remember, if it’s not fair, call the bear.