Accident Injury Care
An accident injury requires proper attention, both medically and legally. Remember that the insurance claim and legal issues having to do with your case are temporary, but you are going to live with your body from now on. That is why you must do everything you can to regain your health. The first thing to do after an accident, such as a car accident, is to go to the doctor. If you feel anything out of the ordinary at the scene of the accident, any symptom at all, even just stiffness or feeling shook up, please go to the emergency room and tell the doctor what you are feeling. But don’t stop there unless your symptoms stop there. It is well known that symptoms after an accident injury are often delayed, not occurring until a day or more afterward. Also, symptoms such as pain or soreness frequently develop and change over the days and weeks following the injury. Please don’t wait to see if the pain or other symptoms go away on their own; a delay in diagnosis and treatment is never the best thing for your health. Little Rock, Arkansas Injury Law Firm wants you to know that a delay in diagnosis and treatment is always a bad thing for your claim.
Go to the right health care professional.
Not all doctors understand the nature of injuries to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, the tissues that are most commonly injured in a collision. Many will consider that pain is the problem. But pain is only a symptom of a problem; the problem is the actual injury to the tissues, which gives rise to pain. In addition to pain, there is almost always some functional problem in the injured body part. This technical problem—stiffness or pain with movement, weakness, numbness or tingling, pain that radiates down the arm or leg, or over the head—must be appropriately diagnosed and then treated in a way that restores full function during the healing process. That means that taking pain medication is not enough.
Doctors of chiropractic
are an excellent choice for dealing with spinal pain and stiffness. Their clinical focus is on the musculoskeletal system, and they thoroughly understand the functional problems that result from injuries such as those sustained by persons involved in motor vehicle crashes. The best choice is likely to be a chiropractor that employs rehabilitative exercise along with spinal adjustments and other treatments to improve function and reduce pain.
are well trained and knowledgeable in providing the care necessary to restore normal function to injured body parts. The physical therapist is adept at assessing problems with pain and restricted movement and in prescribing appropriate rehabilitative exercise. Like chiropractors, physical therapists are specialists in helping persons whose muscles, tendons, and ligaments have been injured in a collision.
If you were evaluated by a medical doctor just after your injury, when the chiropractor or physical therapist releases you, it would be a good idea to see your family doctor confirm your recovery. If you still have symptoms after your chiropractic or therapy is concluded, it wouldn’t hurt to have another opinion about why you are still experiencing problems and what you should do about them.
Keep a diary
Memories fade over time, and the everyday problems that can result from having a crash-related injury can be lost from consideration when the time comes to present your case to an insurer or jury. Why not keep a diary? Making a brief note on a regular basis about the pain you are having, the things you have trouble doing, and the costs you find yourself having to bear for over-the-counter medications and other expenses (keep all the receipts!) will be very useful, and maybe the best evidence of the real effects of the injuries you sustained. Get a notebook and use it only for this diary and be sure to date each entry.
Describing a bruise is one thing; seeing it in living color is another. But bruises, swelling, lacerations (cuts) or abrasions (scuff marks on the skin) fade away within weeks, so it is essential to record them before they go away. If you have visible indications of injury, take good photographs and keep them safe; they may be invaluable when the time comes to demonstrate your injury to an insurer, or to prove your injury to a jury. To be useful, they must be clear and sharp, and be identifiable as the body part that is injured (that is, a close-up photo of a bruise on your arm could just as well be on your leg unless there is also a broader view that gives the one looking at the photo some perspective). If the vehicles in the crash were damaged, take photos that clearly show the extent of the damage. If you can, take photos of the other car at the scene, and take plenty of photos of the vehicle you were in. These can be very important in demonstrating the forces you were subjected to in the crash. Like the photos of your injuries, make sure they are clear and sharp, and that they show the scope of damage to your vehicle.
Be careful with your statement to the insurance company.
Often, the insurance company will call and ask for a recorded statement. You are under no legal obligation to give such an account, and it might be a good idea not to agree to provide one until you talk to an attorney. If you decide to provide a recorded statement, remember that your words will be taken down and sometimes taken out of context and used by the insurer to their advantage. In giving any recorded statement, be on guard: no matter how friendly, that person is not your friend. Best bet? Call us before you agree to anything.