Many people who are involved in a car accident that is not their fault fail to get medical attention, usually because they do not feel they are injured in any way. While it may not be immediately apparent, a person may incur injuries that only become noticeable at some point after the crash. When someone is injured in a car accident in California that is due to someone else’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation of costs related to their injuries. SLM Law advises those involved in a crash to seek medical attention after a car accident. Those with questions or concerns may want to consider scheduling a consultation at (310) 443-4119.
Who is At Fault in a Car Accident?
An auto accident is not always the fault of another motorist. A crash can occur as the result highway construction negligence, faulty road design, or negligence in vehicle manufacturing. In some circumstances both drivers may be partially at fault in the car accident. California Civil Jury Instruction (CACI) 405 holds that when a motorist is partially to blame in a car accident, that person may still be entitled to compensation of damages. Unlike many other states in which motorists cannot recover damages unless found less than 50% at fault in the accident, injured victims of a car crash in California may recover damages even when they are mostly at fault. This is one of the reasons it is so important to seek medical attention after a car accident.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
There are certain things a motorist should do immediately following a car accident. First and foremost, call emergency services if anyone has sustained injuries. In addition:
- Get to a safe place that is out of the way of traffic when possible; if not, set up flares or turn on the hazard lights of your vehicle
- Call police regardless of whether anyone appears to be injured
- Provide law enforcement with accurate information and details; do not speculate
- Exchange information such as name, address, phone number, insurance companies and policy numbers, driver’s license, accident location, license plate numbers (take photos with cell phone) and other relevant information with all parties involved
- Document every detail and take photos of any damage to your vehicle; get a copy of the accident report, request police officers’ badge numbers and names
- Report the accident to the insurance provider immediately
- Seek medical attention, even when you do not think you are injured
- Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands auto accident cases
Symptoms of Injuries Appearing Days After an Accident
Most motorists do not notice injuries (especially those that are minor) at the time of an accident due to the adrenaline rush they experience. Certain medical conditions may not present symptoms right away and may take several days or longer to surface. Symptoms often noticed later include:
- Headaches, which may indicate a concussion, blood clot, or other issue
- Back pain, which may indicate damage to nerves, muscles, or vertebrae
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen may indicate internal bleeding, which can be fatal
- Whiplash is a very common injury in car accidents and involves pain in the back, neck, and head
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is difficult to diagnose and highly common following a car accident
- Traumatic brain injuries can be minor concussions or far more serious and often affect vision, hearing, movement, and impaired memory; some become depressed
Those involved in car accidents typically do not notice these symptoms right away. SLM Law strongly encourages anyone involved in a car crash, whether partially responsible or not, to seek medical attention after a car accident. It is also a good idea to consider scheduling a consultation with an attorney.
Compensation of Costs Related to Car Accidents
Those who have sustained injuries in a car crash are generally entitled to compensation of costs associated with their injuries. In addition to medical costs, compensation may be awarded for lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, future medical care when an individual suffers long-term injury or disability, and more. It is important to note that if someone waits too long after suffering an injury following a car accident, it may be more difficult to recover damages simply because they failed to seek medical attention right away.
Consider a Consultation with SLM Law
The Judicial Branch of California has a statute of limitations in place which requires a legal claim be filed within two years of discovering an injury. Whether or not you believe you are injured, it is recommended you seek medical attention after a car accident. You are invited to learn more by reaching out to Silva Legal at (310) 443-4119.