Yes—and as soon as possible. Severe injuries can result from an accident involving a large commercial truck and a smaller car or SUV. The occupants of the smaller vehicle often sustain broken bones, whiplash, lacerations, musculoskeletal disorders, internal organ injuries, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Getting a diagnosis and treatment for any such injury as soon as possible is very important for more than one reason.
In recent years, the number of car crashes with semi-trucks across the U.S. and South Carolina have been on the increase. If you were involved in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. The first step toward receiving fair compensation is generally asserting a claim for damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The Importance of Immediate Medical Treatment
While some truck crash injuries like lacerations and broken bones are immediately obvious after an accident, symptoms of internal injuries might not surface right away. The adrenaline resulting from the experience of the wreck can mask such symptoms for days or longer, so you might have a serious injury even if you don’t feel like you were badly hurt. A timely doctor’s examination and diagnostic tests can reveal hidden injuries before they become symptomatic, allowing you to get started on treatment right away for the fastest possible recovery.
A timely medical exam also gives you very important documentation of the injuries caused by your accident. You need such documentation to pursue your insurance claim successfully. If you put off seeing a doctor and getting this documentation, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can cite your delay as evidence that you were not badly injured in the accident or that you sustained your injuries in some other way after the crash. It will use this evidence to dispute or deny your claim in order to save money.
Where to Seek Treatment
You can receive medical treatment at one or more of a few different facilities, depending upon the severity of your injuries and other details. Your options include the following.
Hospital Emergency Room
If you are clearly injured in the crash and EMTs or law enforcement can transport you to a hospital emergency room, you should go. At the ER, you’ll be examined, given appropriate treatment, and perhaps prescribed medication. If you’re released, schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your primary doctor for follow-up care. If your injuries are serious enough for admittance to the hospital, you should cooperate and follow the doctor’s advice. Refusing any medical treatment could aggravate your injuries and hurt your insurance claim for damages.
If your injuries are not catastrophic or if you have no symptoms yet, you can probably get into an urgent care facility quickly. There, you can get a diagnosis, basic treatment, and documentation of your condition while waiting for an appointment with your primary doctor or a specialist.
If you don’t have obvious injuries right away, you should seek treatment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. There, you will get a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment plan. If you explain that you have been in an accident, you might be able to get an emergency appointment quickly with your own doctor or someone in their office.
An urgent care facility or your primary doctor might refer you to a specialist for treatment of your specific injuries. If this happens, you should make an appointment with the specialist as soon as possible.
Wherever You Go, Be a Good Patient
Wherever you receive treatment, it’s very important to follow all the doctor’s advice and treatment guidelines to the letter. Keep all your appointments and follow up on all referrals to specialists or physical therapists. Take all medication exactly as prescribed and keep receipts and documentation of all your treatments to strengthen your insurance claim.
When You Will Probably Need a Lawyer
Because truck crash injuries often result in high medical bills and significant lost income, they are expensive for the at-fault party’s insurer, which will look for ways to delay, devalue, or deny your claim. An experienced truck crash attorney knows how to:
- Counter these tactics and move your case along for a timely resolution
- Use your medical documentation to prove your injuries resulted from the crash
- Investigate your wreck to establish clear liability
- Identify all liable parties in the crash and determine their respective percentages of fault
- Evaluate your case, put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, and demand fair compensation from multiple defendants
- File lawsuits and seek a fair award in court if reasonable settlements are not offered
Have You Been Injured in a Florence, South Carolina, Truck Accident?
If you've been hurt in a truck accident, you should speak with an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florence office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach, Charleston or North Charleston office locations.