Seeking medical treatment after crash.

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Chris DeBari:

Good evening everybody, and welcome to another edition of my weekly presentation, Legalese. I’m your Tampa car crash lawyer attorney, Chris DeBari. Thank you for tuning in to the broadcast today. And I certainly appreciate your feedback and your input. And if what you hear today is good, then hit that like button, smash that like button, please feel free to comment also. Like and share any of this content. I think it’s going to come in pretty useful, some important things that people should know so that you can have a leg up in case something bad happens to you or somebody that you care about. But what I’m going to talk about today essentially, is what you should do in the way of getting treatment if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident. And many of the segments of my show, I indicated are based upon questions people have for me.

Chris DeBari:

And I was just asked this question recently by a friend and client who was involved in an accident. And he said to me, “I’m injured. I feel the pain, I’ve gone to the doctors initially, but do I have to keep treating?” And the answer to that question is, “Well, for as long as you’re feeling injured and as long as the treatment is helping you, the answer to that is yes.” But the other question that seems to kind of be the corollary to that is, do you need to treat every time right after an accident, or does it matter how serious the accident is? That’s a bit of a difficult question, but I’ll try to answer it a little bit. First, I just want to talk a little bit about motor vehicle accidents themselves and how common they are and how we take them for granted.

Chris DeBari:

But according to statistics each year, about 1% of the US population will be involved in a motor vehicle accident. That’s a pretty high number. So accidents are probably the most traumatic event that a person is going to go through, certainly with any regularity. In fact, as far as men are concerned, it is the most traumatic event. And for women, it is the second most traumatic event. So it’s pretty prevalent. And automobile accidents happen all the time. You see them as you’re driving down the highway, they come in different shapes and sizes. You have your rear end collision where one car hits the back of the other. You have the T-bone where one front of a vehicle, broadsides another vehicle. You have your head-on collisions where the fronts of the vehicles come together. So they come in very many varieties of accidents and they could be very, very minor to very, very serious.

Chris DeBari:

They can involve trucks, cars, motorcycles, scooters, whatever it is. Oh, I just want to say hi to the people tuning in. My mother is watching as usual. Thanks mom, for tuning in and Janet, Janet Myers is tuning as well. Thank you for tuning in. I hope you find this information helpful. But no matter what kind of accident you have, whether big or small, or whether with a car, a truck or a motorcycle or a scooter, the aftermath of an accident is often very, very difficult to navigate. You’re not thinking clearly, and shock and trauma can confuse the brain, making thinking difficult. And while adrenaline is pumping, sometimes it can make it very difficult to discern what’s really happening with our bodies. Very difficult to tell, the flow of adrenaline gets you all worked up and all hyped up and may mask the symptoms of injury.

Chris DeBari: So the accident itself is going to cause that physical reaction in our bodies, and we’re going to have to work through that. Sometimes it takes time for the adrenaline to wear off. Unfortunately the disorientation that’s caused by these traumatic events, basically prompts people to walk away from the scene of an accident without seeking medical treatment, because they simply don’t know they need it. They’re not in the frame of mind to really be aware of it unless it’s very, very obvious, which in many cases it is, but not in all cases. So in many cases, victims don’t often discover that they’ve sustained, say even a whiplash injury, which is typically an injury to the neck or any other injuries until much later. And of course, discovering this later on can compound and complicate the condition and compound the suffering further on down the road. A very interesting question I’m asked frequently, very frequently in fact is, “Should I go to the ER after an accident?”

Chris DeBari:

Well, my philosophy is this. You should go to the emergency room after an accident if there are any signs of injury at all. And really, all but the most minor of car accidents, it’s probably a good idea to go to the emergency room, if only to get checked out. Going to the emergency room, it helps you receive the care you need right away. It gets an expert set of eyes on potential problems. They can take a CT scan of you to see if you have any broken, fractured bones or gross dislocations, things that can be life-threatening. And basically you’ll receive the care you need. And you will begin a medical treatment regimen right away. It will begin with the emergency room and it will continue with whatever follow-up treatment may be required or needed because of the accident. But in any event, whether you go to an emergency room or an urgent care or to a primary care doctor or to a local physician or clinic, if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, it’s wise to seek medical care immediately, even if you don’t think you’re injured.

Chris DeBari:

So why is that? Medical providers agree that most injuries respond best when they’re treated within the first 72 hours. And that’s the point at which the swelling for say, a whiplash injury is going to reach its peak. And a soft tissue injury can become a permanent scar and cause permanent scar tissues in the muscles, and they can be hard to fix or to heal unless they’re addressed sooner rather than later. So you don’t want to wait beyond maybe a day or two at the most. Get looked at, get treated. And additionally, these things that may be soft tissue injuries, these scar tissues, they block circulation, they can complicate healing in the future, and they can also predispose you to greater injury in the future if they’re not addressed. So don’t take them for granted, at least for now, you have no-fault benefits under your Florida automobile policy.

Chris DeBari:

And those are $10,000 worth of benefits that when they are paid, you don’t owe them back. The insurance companies don’t have the right to collect that back from you. In addition, they cannot cancel your insurance policy for making a no-fault claim. They can’t raise your rates for making a no-fault claim. There’s a statute, right on point that tells insurance companies they can’t do that. So don’t be afraid to use your PIP benefits if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident. When in doubt, get checked out. I just thought of that, it’s pretty good. Anyway, but seeking treatment is important. And if you’re the accident victim, you want to get initial diagnosis and instructions on how to safeguard your health from a licensed physician as soon as possible. Important not just for you, but obviously for your loved ones. So if there’s any doubt as to whether someone, a passenger in your vehicle, a relative or one of your children is injured, or whoever your passenger is, take them to the doctor and encourage them to get treatment right away, certainly within the first 72 hours.

Chris DeBari:

So basically if this happens to you, if you’ve been involved in motor vehicle accident, the first thing you should do… The first thing to do is call an attorney. Somebody like me, law offices of Chris DeBari, area code (727) 656-7852. We’re not medical doctors, but we can advise you on what you need to do. And we’ll start protecting your rights from the get go. But seek medical attention shortly after talking to your attorney, or seek medical attention first. This really is a priority. If you’re experiencing any symptoms or, if you’re not certain if you or somebody who’s your passenger or a loved one are experiencing symptoms, or if you’re not certain, and you have the no-fault benefits. At least for now, unless the legislature decides to take them away from us, which they’re considering right now, it’s looking like that may happen, but for now you have them.

Chris DeBari:

So it’s wise to use them and you don’t pay them back. And like I said, your carrier can’t raise your rates or cancel your policy for making a no-fault claim, so use those benefits. They’re there for you. Two, you want to get a police report and you want to contact the police. Make sure that they appear at the scene and take a detailed description of how the accident happened. You want to be honest about what happened to the officer, but don’t admit fault. That’s really something that the insurance company should determine. And one of the reasons it’s important to have a police officer document what happened at the scene of an accident is because, they are the first responders. They are the ones with the most tactile input into the accident itself. They’ll investigate, they’ll collect witnesses at the scene, and you want to make sure the police arrive, even if it takes time.

Chris DeBari:

And if for some reason, the officers are taking a long time, get the names of the accident witnesses and their identification. Take a photograph of their business cards. Take photos of the vehicles. Take photos of injuries and of the scene, because the insurance companies will start working against your claim from the minute they find out about it. So you need to make sure that this evidence is collected because you can’t count on the police officer to do it when they get there possibly an hour, maybe two after an accident happens. But you can make sure that all of the information that can be collected is collected and done in a timely manner, because once it’s lost, it’s lost. Very unlikely, if somebody perhaps had a camera in a business facing the street, you might see something about liability, but that’s not going to tell you who the witnesses are or what their information is.

Chris DeBari:

You got to take a little bit of time if you’re in any kind of state of mind or body to do this. And take notes. Like I said, take photos of the injuries, if possible. You want to also keep detailed records of the healthcare providers that you visit to provide for your attorney. It’s very important that the attorney knows who you’re going to see. And it’s the best way to leave a paper trail is to treat with your providers, let them make detailed notes of your complaints. It’ll exist. It’ll be memorialized and be very, very important because, if you need to bring a claim for bodily injury or uninsured motorist coverage later on, you will have left the paper trail. You have covered your bases. And one of the important reasons why to contact an attorney right away after an accident is because attorneys can best advise you as far as what your needs are going to be.

Chris DeBari:

Perhaps even direct you toward medical treatment with providers that they may know. We can suggest providers we know are reputable, and that would be worth looking into. Obviously you can treat with whomever you want, but attorneys have experience in this area and we can at least help you get set up, so that moving forward you’re going to have what you need. And you’re going to be able to get better because that’s really your responsibility as an injured person. The only thing the law requires an injured person to do is make themselves better. And my motto is, “You get better, we’ll do the rest.” That’s something you’re going to have to do. And like I said, call a lawyer to protect your rights. Right away, the insurance companies start working against your case from the moment they find out about it. Even your own insurance company really doesn’t work for you, they work for themselves.

Chris DeBari:

But they’re supposed to act in good faith toward you, their insurers. Sometimes they don’t, and in those cases sometimes they become subject to the bad faith laws, which we have in the state. But your lawyer will be your guide and help you how to properly proceed in a case, how to preserve your claims potential, get you back on track, get you seeking appropriate diagnosis and treatment and can help save you a lot of time and trouble and protect your ability to bring a claim. In fact, early intervention by a skilled attorney can often affect the outcome of a person’s claim. So once you’ve called the attorney and you’ve gotten sided with medical care, adhere to the reasonable directives of your physicians, make sure you get adequate rest and do everything you can do to manage your pain.

Chris DeBari:

And as I’ve indicated, if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident or you or somebody you care about, or somebody, you know has, have them contact me at the law offices of Christopher DeBari, they’ll speak to me personally. Have them call me at area code (727) 656-7852. That’s my cell number, they can reach me directly. And thank you very much for tuning into this presentation this week. As I said earlier, if you liked what you heard, please smash that like button, feel free to share or comment below. As I indicated, I often devote entire segments to questions as with today. I hope this information was useful and I hope you all have a happy and safe evening and enjoy the rest of your week. Thank you very much.

For more information please call

Chris DeBari

727-656-7852

or Email

Chris@CDBinjurylaw.com

Chris Debari

Chris Debari

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Tampa Injury Attorney Chris DeBari Can Help You!

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident in Florida, whether as a pedestrian, driver, bicyclist or passenger in a motor vehicle, please call Chris the personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Christopher DeBari right away and begin the process of protecting your legal rights.

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