Car accidents are one of the most common and traumatic events everyday people experience in the U.S. Even a minor accident can be disorientating, making it difficult to take the proper steps following a crash—including seeking prompt medical treatment. Yet, it is vital that you see a doctor following any motor vehicle accident, regardless of how minor it might seem. In this blog post, our Honolulu car accident lawyer explains the importance of early treatment after a motor vehicle accident in Hawaii.
Why Early Treatment Is So Important
When a car crash happens, it can be hard to think clearly. Adrenaline starts pumping, which can mask the pain you would normally feel after suffering an injury. Also, shock and trauma can affect your ability to think clearly and make competent decisions.
For these reasons, many people often mistakenly think they are unhurt, and decide not to seek treatment. This is a huge mistake, as refusing to see a doctor can not only hurt your health, but your injury claim as well.
Many doctors agree that car accident injuries respond best to treatment within the first 72 hours after the crash occurs. Otherwise, a latent injury may get worse over time, causing you to experience more dramatic symptoms and pay higher medical costs in the long run. Such injuries can even become debilitating, and lead to long term or permanent damage.
Common car accident injuries that may not reveal symptoms right away include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, like concussions
- Spinal trauma, such as disc herniations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
Seeking early medical treatment also makes it easier to file an insurance or personal injury claim for damages. If you don’t notice an injury until days or weeks after the crash, it will be more difficult for you to prove it was sustained during the accident. If you decide to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they will use this to discredit your claim.
What to Do After a Car Crash in Hawaii
If you are involved in a Hawaii auto accident, stay calm and follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms or feeling any pain, it is far better to be safe than sorry. Your medical records will help with your claim as well.
- Document the crash scene: Photograph or video the accident scene as soon as you can. Make sure to concentrate on property damage, injuries, tire skid marks, and the surrounding area (signs indicating the flow of traffic or bad weather conditions, for instance). Write down or record how you remember the accident happening.
- Get a police report: Call the police to the scene and answer all their questions about the crash, providing as much detail as possible (never accept blame or apologize, however). Ask for a copy of the report for your records. In fact, save all receipts, bills, and correspondence related to the crash and your injuries.
If your injuries are too severe to allow you to take care of the above right away, don’t worry—you can get the information you need later from the police report as well as with the help of an experienced attorney. To learn more about what to do following a car crash, head to our Honolulu Car Accident Lawyer page.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Time is of the essence in car accident claims. In addition to seeking out prompt medical care, you should also do your best to collect relevant evidence and file a claim for damages as soon as you possibly can.
In Hawaii, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is two years from either the date of the crash (or the discovery of relevant injuries). There is another law that states claims will be denied if the deadline is missed, so make sure you initiate a claim as soon as possible if you would like to pursue just compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other expenses.
A lawyer can help you put together your claim in a timely manner, as well as ensure that everything is filled out correctly and includes relevant evidence. An experienced and skilled car accident attorney can also ensure that you request receive the maximum amount in compensation you are entitled to.
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash in Hawaii? Our Honolulu car accident attorney can help. Call or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today!