Yes, but it can affect the amount of damages you can claim. Many accident victims have questions about filing a civil lawsuit before they seek medical treatment for their injuries. The following will provide general information regarding filing a civil lawsuit before you see a physician.
An Oklahoma car accident lawyer can help you with every aspect of your civil lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible After an Automobile Accident
Seeking medical treatment immediately after suffering injuries during an Oklahoma automobile accident can help you receive a proper diagnosis. Also, your injuries will have a better chance of healing sooner if you seek immediate medical treatment. It is also important to determine if you are suffering any traumatic brain injuries or other internal organ injuries.
Medical records are also an important part of your automobile accident case because they establish a record of your injuries and your treatment. You can still seek medical treatment now if you did not see a doctor immediately after the automobile accident. Every personal injury case is unique, but your medical files are the facts needed to show that you were hurt because of your accident.
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Keep a Record of Your Medical Treatment in a Journal
Keeping a journal is one of the best things you can do if you are recovering from injuries caused by an automobile accident. A record of your injuries in your own writing will help substantiate your legal claims, but is not used in lieu of seeking medical attention. You should write down how your injuries affect your daily life, and you can also have your family members contribute to the journal.
An accident journal may also include information such as details about the driving conditions or the speed of the vehicles. You can record any information you find about the nature and extent of your automobile accident in Oklahoma.
It Can Be Difficult to Diagnose Yourself After an Automobile Accident
In the aftermath of an automobile accident, you may not know if you suffered serious bodily injuries or not. Sometimes symptoms of an injury may not become noticeable until weeks or months after an automobile accident. Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible will show your proactive approach to your health.
Do not try to diagnose yourself. A medical professional can help you receive the treatment you need. Also, insurance companies may claim that the automobile accident did not cause your injuries if you delay seeking medical treatment.
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The 72-Hour Rule for Obtaining Medical Treatment
Insurance companies use a 72-hour rule to evaluate insurance claims. Not seeking medical treatment within 72 hours after an accident may cause the insurance claim adjuster to deny your claim. The 72-hour rule is implemented in many different computer programs used by insurance companies to estimate settlement amounts.
Seeking medical care within 72 hours of an automobile accident is absolutely essential. Do not make the mistake of waiting weeks or months to visit a doctor. The sooner you can receive medical treatment for your injuries the stronger your personal injury case will be.
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The Common Types of Damages You Can Seek in an Automobile Accident Case
You may have suffered serious bodily injuries as a result of an automobile accident. You need to make sure that you consult with an attorney so you know what types of damages you can claim in your automobile accident case. Generally, accident victims claim general damages and special damages when they suffer injuries during an automobile accident.
General damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Special damages include lost earnings, medical bills, and property damage. Filing a claim without seeing or intending to see a doctor may affect the calculation of these damages.
It Is Possible for Your Injuries to Worsen if You Do Not See a Physician
You need to understand that injuries may intensify if you do not seek medical attention after an automobile accident. Your injuries may seem benign at first, but it is possible for your symptoms to become more debilitating during the weeks and months after an accident. A physician can help you understand how to treat your injuries so you can recover in a timely manner.
Insurance companies may attempt to claim that your injuries are unrelated to the accident if you wait too long to seek medical treatment. Unfortunately, many accident victims do not know what to do when they try to deal with insurance companies. Retaining a personal injury attorney will help you feel less intimidated by insurance companies and their representatives.
Punitive Damages and Automobile Accidents
Punitive damages are not always awarded in automobile accident cases. Typically, these damages are reserved for cases involving a defendant who engaged in extremely reckless behavior. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and deter the defendant from committing the same conduct in the future.
Speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you understand if you should claim punitive damages in your automobile accident case. Sometimes you may be able to claim punitive damages even if you think the defendant was not reckless. Seeking out the advice of an attorney can provide you with more information about the role punitive damages play in civil lawsuits.
Time Limits for Seeing a Doctor After an Automobile Accident
You do not have to visit a doctor within a specific time period after suffering injuries during an automobile accident. However, the sooner you seek medical treatment, the stronger your civil lawsuit will be. You do not want to delay seeing a doctor because the insurance company will use this against you to weaken your case.
But all automobile accident claims have a statute of limitations period. The statute of limitations is a period of time within which you must file a civil lawsuit. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years from the date of the incident.
Contact BDIW Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
We have more than 65 years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases. We can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case.
We will devote our resources to your case and never accept an unreasonable settlement offer. Our attorneys can stand up to insurance companies, large corporations, and governmental entities. Reach out today so we can help you understand the legal options available to you.
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