- Ibrahim J. Awad, Esq.
Should I go to the hospital?
Should I go to the hospital after I've been in a car crash?
We get asked this question all the time from individuals who've just been in a crash, and the short answer is, if you're injured, then yes!
But why? I didn't black out or anything like that. Plus, I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I can take it.
The reason: you have a duty to mitigate your damages. Check out our video below!
What the heck does that even mean?
Suppose you have home insurance (we hope that you do), and you see a fire erupt in your kitchen. You cannot just ignore the fire and walk into your backyard like nothing happened. You have a duty to extinguish the fire, even if it means, at the bare minimum, picking up your phone and calling the fire department.
How does that translate when I'm in a crash?
Let's say you're in pain, but don't think you need to go the hospital. You wait it out for a week, but the pain is relentless. You start taking some ibuprofen or some other form of over the counter pain medication, but two weeks later, you just can't function. You then decide to go to the ER.
You have just hurt your chances of getting a fair resolution with the insurance company because you failed to mitigate your damages. The insurance adjuster will jump up and down yelling there was a gap in treatment. Not only that, they will question whether you are really in pain. If you were really hurt, you would have gone to the hospital. To add insult to injury (no pun intended), they will question whether your injury was even caused by the crash. Maybe you slipped in the bathtub after the collision (an adjuster did once say this to me).
Regardless of their assertion, they will fault you for waiting that long. In other words, you have a duty to go to the hospital and get checked out! If not, the insurance company will say that they're not responsible for the pain you endured for the two weeks after the crash, since it was your fault for not getting treatment. Be safe rather than sorry and seek medical attention as fast as possible.
To all the Star Wars fans- Resilience is futile, and may the force not hit you. :)