Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Should I see a doctor after a car accident? Following a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you sustained injuries. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, they could worsen later and cause life-threatening complications. In addition to facilitating a full recovery, seeking immediate medical care could help you prove the nature of your injuries in a car accident claim.

Elder woman injured with bandage on her foot and arm sling talking to a doctor in her clinic. should i see a doctor after a car accident

There were over 5.4 million medically consulted accident injuries in the U.S. in 2021 alone. If an accident resulted from another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver or another liable party. However, these cases can be challenging to navigate and win, which is where the attorneys at Ankin Law can help. Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys by calling 312-600-0000.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Illinois?

One element to consider that can affect your case is the statute of limitations. All civil cases in Illinois and other states have a statute of limitations that determines how long people have to file a claim or lawsuit. The statute of limitations differs from state to state and by case type.

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for car accident claims and lawsuits is two years from the time of the accident. This statute means you have two years to file a case before you’re unable to recover compensation, with some exceptions.

While two years may seem like a long time, this period can pass quickly. To ensure you don’t pass the statute of limitations for your case, seek medical attention as soon as possible and prepare your case early on after an accident. Seeking immediate care will also help prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries and help you support your claim.

Why You Should Always Seek Immediate Medical Attention After an Accident

You might wonder, “Why is it important to go to the doctor immediately after an accident?” The main reason is to begin seeking medical care for faster recovery and proper diagnosis. Injuries may seem minor at first, but they can develop into more serious conditions later on without sufficient treatment.

Get Started on Your Road to Recovery

The sooner you seek medical attention after an accident, the sooner you can begin recovering. Seeing a medical professional can provide you with an early diagnosis and treatment plan that works for you, helping you make a full medical recovery. You might discover that your injuries are more serious than you initially thought, saving you from more suffering and medical expenses in the future.

Prove That Your Injuries Resulted from the Accident

The longer you wait to seek treatment after an accident, the harder it can be to prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries. This is especially true if you fail to seek treatment before the two-year statute of limitations passes for Illinois car accident cases.

When you seek medical care, doctors will provide you with medical records, receipts, and other documentation that can help support a future claim, including economic and non-economic damages.

Other Key Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

In addition to seeking medical care, you should take other critical steps following a car accident to increase the chances of succeeding with an accident case.

These steps include:

Contacting Law Enforcement

If the accident resulted in injuries or property damage, you must contact the police to report it. Getting law enforcement involved will help create an official report of the accident, and it could support your claim in addition to other evidence from the scene of the accident.

A police report will include the details of the accident, witness statements, and other information that you could use in your own personal injury claim. Your local police department can provide you with a copy of the police report once filed.

Collect Sufficient Evidence

To succeed with a personal injury case after an accident, you must have ample evidence to support your claim. There are multiple crucial pieces of evidence that can go into a claim, including:

  • Medical records and receipts
  • Police reports
  • Photographs and video footage of the accident scene
  • Photos of injuries
  • Receipts for repairs or replacement belongings
  • Witness statements

However, collecting all of this evidence can be challenging, which is where an experienced personal injury lawyer in Chicago can help. An attorney may be able to obtain relevant evidence and organize it into a case to help you recover total compensation.

You may also recover non-economic damages in a personal injury case, which will require its own evidence. In many cases, victims can maintain a pain journal detailing their experiences. In turn, they can prove that they’re experiencing physical pain and suffering, trauma, and other types of personal anguish. An attorney could then factor these damages into the total amount of compensation.

Avoid Critical Mistakes During the Claims Process

There are mistakes to avoid in a personal injury claim after a car accident. For example, if you sustain injuries, try to refrain from using social media while your case is pending. Even a seemingly innocuous post could make it appear as though your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim they are, which could compromise your case.

Also, never admit fault after an accident occurs, even if you truly believe you’re liable. Apologizing for the accident and admitting fault in any fashion could hinder your chances of succeeding with your case.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Rights

If you want to increase your chances of success with a claim after an accident, or if you’re wondering “is it worth suing after a car accident,” a reliable personal injury lawyer can help you determine where you stand.

There are several benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney to help handle a case, including:

The Ability to Identify and Calculate All Related Damages

One way an attorney can help is to determine what kinds of damages are involved in your case and how much compensation they warrant.

For instance, you might have a combination of economic and non-economic damages for which you can recover compensation. Economic damages include direct costs such as medical bills and lost income. Meanwhile, non-economic damages account for the personal losses endured because of an accident and a liable party’s negligence.

In addition, you might qualify for punitive damages if the defendant in the case acted with gross negligence or malice. Only the courts can award these damages through a judge or jury, but your attorney may be able to include these in the total settlement, depending on the nature of the accident.

Facilitate the Claims Process in Chicago

Without adequate experience with personal injury cases, you could compromise your case. An attorney with a history of success, on the other hand, can help you put together a strong case that’s built to succeed.

Attorneys know the different tactics insurers and other lawyers might use to minimize your compensation or deny your claim, leading them to find ways to circumnavigate these tactics and keep the process moving along.

Ensure You File on Time

You must file a personal injury case before the statute of limitations ends. As a result, it’s crucial to begin your case as soon as possible following the accident and waste no time in putting your claim together. An attorney will work closely with you to complete all the necessary paperwork and file on time, keeping your case well within the deadline. Did you sustain injuries in a car accident? Don’t go it alone. The legal team at Ankin Law is here for you when you need a personal injury lawyer by your side, helping you determine the options available to you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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