Date:February 11, 2018
According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the number of car and truck crashes causing serious injuries continue to rise in New Hampshire despite the fact that there are an increasing number of safety features in automobiles.
Following a New Hampshire car crash, you will be asked by paramedics and first responders how you are feeling. They will likely ask if you wish to be taken to the hospital.
You may not be feeling severe pain immediately following a car crash. It is still a good idea to be examined by the EMT and consider immediately going to an emergency room. Particularly with soft tissue neck, back, and shoulder injuries, the onset of pain and symptoms may not occur until days or even weeks following a crash.
This article will explore some treatment options you should consider following a New Hampshire car crash. We also look at the way insurance companies will likely view these treatment decisions.
Immediately following a crash, if you are injured it is important that you seek medical treatment. You should consider not driving yourself and you may be better off traveling in an ambulance or having a friend or family member (i.e. who comes to the accident scene) take you to the hospital.
If an insurer learns you did not seek treatment following a crash, it will affect how they view your case. The same is true if you drive yourself to an emergency room for treatment. Rightly or wrongly, insurance adjusters believe that if you did not seek immediate treatment following your crash, or if you were “well enough” to drive yourself to a hospital, then you must not have been injured all that badly.
Your best bet is to seek emergency room treatment immediately following a crash if you feel you have been injured. This is true even if you don’t feel intense pain or don’t believe you have been injured seriously. Unless you have emergency medical training, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Ordinarily, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and emergency room personnel will ask you where you feel pain upon examination. Be sure to answer their questions completely and be thorough in describing your present complaints and symptoms. Emergency room physicians and nurses typically dictate a report which is then reduced to writing.
These emergency room reports, along with all other imaging studies (such as x-rays and MRI’s taken at the emergency room) and medical treatment reports following the crash, are forwarded to the defendant’s insurance company for consideration. Be as thorough and specific as possible when describing your symptoms to EMTs, emergency room personnel, and physicians.
Prior to leaving the emergency room, the doctor will likely provide you with some discharge instructions for treating your medical condition (such as taking medication on an as-needed basis, doing home exercises, or following up with your doctor or a specialist). If the ER doctor recommends that you follow up with your primary care doctor – or with a specialist or physical therapist – you should do so as soon as possible.
When a physician makes those kinds of recommendations, it is essential that you follow through. Failing to do so could severely affect your recovery and could have negative ramifications on your case in the eyes of an insurance company adjuster. You should fully comply with any discharge instructions provided by an ER physician prior to your discharge.
If you have been injured and it is not safe for you to be driving, it is important that you avoid driving yourself home from the emergency room following your examination and treatment. Again, from an insurance adjuster’s perspective, driving home from an initial emergency room visit (or to/from any medical or physical therapy appointment following an accident) raises questions as to the seriousness of the injuries you’re claiming you sustained. Following a New Hampshire car crash, if you have been seriously injured and need to rely on others for transportation to and from medical appointments, then you should do so. It is important to limit your activities and give your body (and mind) time to rest and get better.
You may want to keep a journal of your activities in the days following your crash. At a deposition or trial, you may be asked what you were able to do and not do as a result of your injuries. Whether you were home due to your injuries, as opposed to being able to get right back into your regular routine, will be important information.
Initial medical treatment following a New Hampshire motor vehicle crash can be stressful and painful. The best thing you can do is to surround yourself with a support system of dependable family and friends. They will be needed for transportation to/from medical appointments and for care as you begin the injury recovery process. The last things you want to worry about during this initial treatment period are legal filings and deadlines. That’s where the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC will be of assistance to you.
Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!
There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. We are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party.
For a free consultation, contact the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2101 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.
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