Why You Should Seek Immediate Medical Attention After Your Car Accident

Published On: April 1, 2024

If you suffered any injuries in a car accident in New Port Richey, Florida, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious. Failing to seek immediate medical attention after your car accident could compromise your health and lead to serious complications. Along with any visible injuries, you could have hidden injuries or underlying injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, that may not present symptoms right away. It’s important to go to the emergency room, an urgent care center, or your personal doctor after a car accident as soon as possible to ensure your health and well-being.

Additionally, if another driver or some other party caused the Florida car accident, you may qualify to recover damages through a personal injury claim. If you don’t seek medical care immediately after a car accident in Florida, it can adversely affect your chances of pursuing adequate compensation from the negligent party. The insurance company could deny your claim or the court could dismiss your personal injury case if you do not provide evidence of having visited a medical professional within a specific amount of time following the crash.

An experienced car accident lawyer in New Port Richey, FL, can help you understand your options for seeking compensation. They can also help you navigate the legal process and make sure you get the medical treatment you need. A Florida car accident lawyer can also advocate for you to protect your rights and increase your chances of getting the maximum compensation you deserve.

Florida Law Requires You Get Medical Care within 14 Days

How long after an accident can you claim an injury?Florida is a no fault state for auto insurance. Drivers in Florida must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP covers a portion of medical expenses and lost wages resulting from a car accident, no matter who was at fault. Florida law requires individuals who sustained injuries in a car crash to get medical care within 14 days of the accident to receive PIP benefits.

For most Florida car accident claims, individuals must file an injury claim with their own insurance. Unfortunately, PIP coverage limits are often too low to fully compensate victims for their car accident injuries. However, you may obtain additional compensation if you meet certain requirements.

Understand that most insurance companies don’t like paying on claims since it eats into their profits. Many insurers, including your own, may try various tactics to reduce what they have to pay or deny your claim altogether. You must have an experienced car accident lawyer handle any insurance claims for you, including reviewing your insurance policy prior to helping you file a PIP claim.

Adrenaline Can Mask Pain After a Car Accident

Most individuals involved in a car accident suffer from some kind of shock or adrenaline rush immediately after the accident. When our bodies generate a high amount of adrenaline and endorphins, we may only feel a limited amount of pain or no pain at all despite suffering from severe, or even life-threatening, injuries.

However, even if you feel fine or don’t have any apparent injuries at the accident scene or shortly thereafter, you could be suffering from a serious internal injury that may have serious consequences if you don’t address it immediately. You should always visit a medical professional for a full medical evaluation. A day or so after the accident, when the effects of the adrenaline rush wear off, you may experience symptoms. At the very least, you should seek medical attention promptly when you feel pain or other symptoms, such as confusion, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, nausea, or anything out of the ordinary.

You Could Have a Delayed Onset Injury

delayed symptomsOne reason to seek prompt medical attention after a car accident is the possibility of a delayed onset injury. “Delayed onset” means an injury shows no symptoms at the scene of the accident. Injuries with a delayed onset can be challenging to identify immediately following a car accident and need a thorough medical evaluation from a doctor or other medical professional.

Unfortunately, going about your life as usual with a delayed onset injury can seriously damage your health, or even cause death. Prompt medical treatment is critical for some serious delayed onset injuries such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and traumatic brain injury, for example.  Some of the most common medical conditions with delayed symptoms can include the following:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

According to the Mayo Clinic, a TBI can remain undetected for days or even weeks. Some of the symptoms of a TBI can include persistent headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, mental fog, changes in character, insomnia, nausea, and clear liquid appearing from the nose and ears.


Whiplash can be a common injury in rear-end accidents due to the rapid back-and-forth movement of the head during impact. In some cases, whiplash symptoms can be severely delayed. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the so-called “late whiplash” syndrome can show up as late as six months after suffering an injury in a motor vehicle accident.

Abdominal Injuries

It is possible for serious abdominal injuries to remain undetected for some time. If you were recently involved in a car accident and now have abdominal pain or swelling, you should seek medical advice immediately.

Herniated Discs and Other Back injuries

A slipped disc, nerve damage, torn muscles, or damaged ligaments will eventually cause pain once the adrenaline rush has worn off after an accident. If left untreated, these injuries can result in serious or even lifelong complications.

Emotional Injuries

Emotional injuries after car accidents are often underestimated. However, mental disorders can have a detrimental effect on all aspects of a victim’s life. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may not show up until triggered by some event unrelated to the accident. If you find yourself suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other emotional symptoms after a car accident, you should seek professional help.

Failure to Seek Medical Immediate Evaluation Could Lead to Loss of Compensation

Injury Expectation after a Car Accident

One of the major reasons to get prompt medical care, in addition to protecting your health, is protecting your legal rights and right to compensation. Waiting too long to see a doctor or other medical professional following a car accident in Florida could complicate your claim for damages or even prevent you from obtaining any compensation at all. If you do not have adequate and timely proof of your injuries, such as a medical report dated within two weeks of the car accident, insurance companies (including your own PIP insurance provider) may try to minimize or deny your claim completely.

The insurance company could argue that the reason for your delayed doctor’s visit is that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. The insurance company may also assert that your injuries stem from an unrelated event or pre-existing condition rather than the car accident in question. When it comes to a lawsuit, if you do not have a medical report clearly showing your injuries’ connection to the car accident, you may lose the ability to receive the amount of compensation you would have had a right to obtain under the law.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

If you did not receive medical attention at the accident scene, you should visit a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible thereafter. This is true even if you feel only minor pain or stiffness, as this could point to a more serious condition. While injuries can potentially take weeks to fully manifest, medical professionals have a variety of tests that can diagnose many conditions you may not even know you have after a car accident. Receiving a complete medical evaluation after a car accident not only gives you a better chance of recovering adequate damages after an accident, but you could also receive prompt treatment and protect your health or even your life.

How Can I Get Additional Compensation After a Florida Car Accident?

If you sustained injuries or damages in a Florida car accident beyond what your PIP insurance covers, you may seek additional compensation through various avenues. Although Florida follows a “no-fault” insurance system, you can step outside of this system and sue for damages if your injuries meet certain criteria outlined in the law. To recover losses for pain and suffering in Florida, you generally need to meet one of the following thresholds:

  • Significant and Permanent Loss of a Bodily Function: If you’ve suffered a permanent injury that significantly impairs an important bodily function, such as the ability to walk or perform daily tasks, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement: If the accident has left you with permanent scarring or disfigurement, you may be eligible for compensation for the physical and emotional pain associated with these injuries.
  • Death: If you’ve lost a close family member in a Florida car accident and you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death, as well as the emotional suffering experienced by surviving family members.

It’s important to note that Florida law sets a specific threshold for recovering non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in personal injury cases. If your injuries meet one of the above thresholds, you may pursue compensation for pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

To seek additional compensation after a car accident in New Port Richey, you need to speak with a Florida personal injury attorney who handles car accident cases. Your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault party to seek compensation for damages insurance doesn’t cover.

Keep in mind that Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits in the state. It’s important to act promptly if you believe you’re entitled to additional compensation after a car accident.

The Experienced Pasco County Attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm Can Protect Your Legal Rights

Auto Accident Attorney Christopher Dyer
Christopher C. Dyer, Car Accident Attorney

Even if you did not immediately seek medical attention after a car accident, our compassionate and experienced car accident attorneys in New Port Richey, FL could still help you recover compensation if another’s negligence or carelessness caused your injuries and losses. While we generally recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, having failed to do so does not mean that you cannot file a claim for compensation.

Delaying medical help can, however, make it more challenging for you to prove your case and fight for a full settlement package from an insurance company. Our seasoned car accident attorneys have years of experience in helping car accident victims fight for fair compensation and receive the justice they deserve. Our legal team can pursue everything you are entitled to and protect your best interests both in and out of court.

You can count on us to protect your legal rights, file a legal claim for you, and advocate strongly on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation at (727) 849-5353.