The Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment After a Car Accident in California

By Ese OmofomaApril 25, 2023
The importance of seeking medical treatment after a car accident in california

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. One of the most critical steps after an accident is seeking medical treatment.

Everyone must learn more about the importance of seeking medical attention, the types of doctors you should see, and the potential damages you may recover after a car accident in California. Remember to find a law firm to support you during this challenging time.

Why Is It Important To See a Doctor Immediately After an Accident?

Why is it important to see a doctor immediately

Seeking medical treatment immediately after a car accident is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Protecting your health: The primary reason to seek medical treatment is to ensure your well-being. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and delaying treatment could lead to complications or worsen your condition.
  2. Documenting your injuries: Receiving prompt medical care creates a record of your injuries, which may be essential for building a strong personal injury claim. The medical records will serve as evidence to support your claim and help you establish the extent of your injuries and their connection to the accident.
  3. Preserving your legal rights: In California, failure to seek prompt medical treatment could be used against you by insurance companies or the defendant in your personal injury case. They may argue that your injuries were not severe or not caused by accident.

All car accident victims should focus on seeking medical care as soon as possible. Then, once you know there is a medical care plan in place for your recovery, reach out to a personal injury lawyer for help. We are here to support you and act as your advocate every step of the way.

Why Are Injuries Often Delayed?

Injuries may not be immediately apparent after a car accident due to several factors:

  1. Adrenaline and stress: The stress and adrenaline from the accident can mask pain and other symptoms, making it difficult to realize the extent of your injuries.
  2. Slow onset of symptoms: Some injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, may only present symptoms hours or days after the accident.
  3. Hidden injuries: Internal or traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately apparent but can have severe consequences if left untreated.

Which Injury Symptoms Are Noticed Later?

Car accident injuries can sometimes have delayed symptoms, which may not be immediately apparent following the collision. It’s essential to be aware of these potential symptoms and seek medical attention if they arise.

Back Pain

Back pain

Back pain can result from injuries to the muscles, ligaments, or discs in the spine. It may not become noticeable until hours or days after the accident. The severity of the pain can vary, and the location of the pain might be in the lower, middle, or upper back. The delayed onset of back pain could also indicate a more serious underlying issue, such as spinal damage or internal injuries.


Headaches can signify a concussion, whiplash, or other head and neck injuries. They may not appear until hours or days after the accident. Persistent headaches could indicate more severe issues, like a traumatic brain injury or blood clot. It’s crucial to monitor the frequency, duration, and severity of headaches and report them to your healthcare provider.



Numbness or tingling in the limbs may indicate nerve damage, herniated discs, or other spinal injuries. These symptoms may take time to develop after the accident. If numbness or tingling persists, worsens, or is accompanied by pain, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety, may not appear until weeks or months after the incident. It’s essential to recognize the signs of PTSD and seek professional help if you’re struggling with emotional or psychological trauma following an accident.

Changes in Personality

Changes in personality

Personality, mood, or behavior changes can be signs of a traumatic brain injury. These symptoms may not become apparent until days or weeks after the accident.

A person with a traumatic brain injury may experience mood swings, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you or a loved one experiences these changes following a car accident.


Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, caused by the rapid back-and-forth movement of the head and neck. Symptoms like neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion may not appear until hours or days after the accident.

Whiplash can lead to chronic pain and other long-term complications if left untreated. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of whiplash after a car accident.

What Types of Doctors Should You See Following a Car Accident?

What types of doctor should you see following a car accident

Emergency Medicine Physician

You should seek immediate care in an emergency room if your injuries are severe or life-threatening. An emergency medicine physician can assess your condition, provide urgent treatment, and refer you to specialists if necessary.

Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician can evaluate your overall health and identify any potential issues related to the accident. They can also refer you to specialists for further evaluation and treatment.


An orthopedist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the musculoskeletal system, such as fractures, dislocations, and sprains. They can help address any bone, joint, or ligament issues resulting from the car accident.


A neurologist specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders affecting the nervous system, including traumatic brain injuries and nerve damage. A neurologist can provide expert care if you experience headaches, numbness, or other neurological symptoms.

What Are the Important Factors To Consider When Using Auto Insurance Medical Payments Coverage?

Auto insurance medical payments coverage, also known as MedPay, can help pay for medical expenses related to a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. When using this coverage, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

Policy Limits

Understand your policy limits and ensure your medical expenses do not exceed the coverage amount. Medical payment coverage limits can vary depending on the policy you’ve chosen.

It is important to know the extent of your coverage and whether it will adequately cover your medical expenses. If your medical costs exceed your policy limits, you may need to rely on your health insurance or other means to cover the remaining expenses.

Coordination with Health Insurance

Determine how your auto insurance medical payments coverage coordinates with your health insurance to maximize benefits and avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. Coordination of benefits between your auto and health insurance providers is crucial to cover your medical bills appropriately.

Some health insurance policies may include clauses that require your auto insurance to pay for accident-related medical expenses first. It’s essential to communicate with both insurance providers to understand their payment policies and ensure you receive maximum benefits.

Timely Submission of Claims

Submit your medical bills and related documents to your insurance company promptly to avoid delays in processing your claim. Insurance companies typically have strict deadlines for filing claims, and failing to submit your claim on time could result in the denial of coverage.

Keep track of all your medical bills, receipts, and documentation related to your accident, and make copies for your records. It’s a good idea to submit your claim as soon as possible to ensure that your medical expenses are covered.

Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Costs

Be aware of any deductibles or out-of-pocket costs associated with your auto insurance medical payments coverage. Depending on your policy, you may be responsible for a deductible before your coverage kicks in, or you may need to pay a percentage of your medical bills as a co-payment. Understanding these costs upfront can help you budget for your medical expenses and ensure you’re prepared for any financial responsibilities.

Coverage for Passengers and Pedestrians

Auto insurance medical payments coverage may also extend to passengers in your vehicle or pedestrians involved in the accident. It is essential to understand the extent of your coverage and how it applies to others who may be injured in the incident. This information can help you and your passengers or injured pedestrians promptly access necessary medical care.

Potential Impact on Premiums

Consider the potential impact of using your medical payments coverage on your auto insurance premiums. Some insurance providers may increase your premiums if you file a claim for medical expenses, even if the accident was not your fault.

It’s essential to weigh the potential cost of higher premiums against the immediate benefits of using your medical payments coverage to determine the best course of action for your situation.

What Damages Can You Recover After a California Car Accident?

After a car accident in California, you may be entitled to recover two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic. These damages aim to compensate you for the various losses and impact the accident has had on your life.

Economic Damages

Economic damages represent the financial losses resulting from the accident. These damages can be quantified and documented and may include the following:

  • Medical expenses: This includes costs for emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and any ongoing or future medical care required due to the accident.
  • Lost wages: This covers any income you lost due to being unable to work while recovering from your injuries.
  • Lost earning capacity: If your injuries impact your ability to work or earn income in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for the reduction in your earning capacity.
  • Property damage: This covers repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages account for the intangible losses associated with the accident. These damages are more subjective and can be challenging to quantify, but may include:

  • Pain and suffering: This compensates you for the physical pain and discomfort you experienced due to your injuries.
  • Emotional distress: This covers the psychological and emotional impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This compensates you for the decreased quality of life you may experience due to your injuries, such as the inability to participate in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed.
  • Disfigurement or permanent disability: If your injuries result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability, you may be entitled to compensation for the lasting impact on your life and appearance.

To maximize your ability to recover compensation following a motor vehicle accident, contact a law firm for a case consultation as soon as possible. We are here to advocate for your rights and defend your interests.

Contact Our California Car Accident Injury Lawyer at Omofoma Law Firm for Help

Car accident injury lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in California, seeking medical treatment promptly and consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical.

At Omofoma Law Firm, our compassionate team is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.

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