After an Accident, Should I See a Doctor?
YES. If you have been injured in an accident of any kind, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your health should be the first and foremost concern. Georgia law states that injured parties must "mitigate their damages", which means doing everything you can to recover from your injuries.
Victims are often severely injured and require urgent attention at a hospital or emergency medical facility. However, in many instances the onset of pain and other symptoms of a significant injury are not immediately felt. Only a qualified physician, such as your primary care doctor, an emergency room physician, or orthopedic doctor, will be able to provide you with an appropriate evaluation and treatment protocol.
Furthermore, claims can only be made in relation to injuries for which you actually treat. If you simply do not go to the doctor, it will be challenging to recover any damages on your behalf. It is also important not to miss doctors' appointments that you have scheduled. Failure to appear at appointments can hurt potential injury claims, as it can be argued that your injuries are not significant enough to seek treatment. Listen to your doctors' instructions. This is not a time to take matters into your own hands, as it can be destructive to your case later on.
An issue that often prevents injured victims from seeking medical treatment is the cost of treatment. This should not be used as an excuse to forego medical treatment. You medical bills can be paid by a variety of sources, including your own health insurance, medical payments insurance coverage from either your or the at-fault party's auto insurance, out of your own pocket, via workers' compensation (if injured on the job), by the insurance of the person who injured you, and other potential sources. Doctors often treat patients on medical liens as well, which allows for payment to be postponed until monetary compensation is recovered in your case. Medical providers will usually wait for payment until after the case is resolved if there is no way of gaining payment immediately. Be up front with your medical provider and discuss the options at hand before sacrificing your well-being to save money.