If you go on-line, you can quickly locate all sorts of helpful “Advice.” You can find “Dating Advice,” and “Job-Interviewing Advice,” “Marriage Counseling Advice,” and “Home Improvement Advice,” and – of course – “Fitness Advice.”
But what about “Auto Accident Advice”? Sooner or later, it’s going to happen … the odds are definitely against you driving for forty (40) straight years in Los Angeles, without ever being involved in an automobile accident. As soon as that inevitable auto accident actually happens, you are – very suddenly – going to meet a bunch of professionals for you to deal with, all at once. This “swarm” of professionals other than your Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer, will likely include: Emergency Medical personnel, Doctors, Nurses, Insurance Adjusters, Attorneys, Mechanics, Car Body Repair Shops, Car Rental Agents, and the list goes on and on.
DO I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?
I still remember my only major auto accident. I was Car #2 in a Seven (7) Car chain reaction crash on West Olympic Boulevard, near the intersection with Westwood Boulevard, in West L.A. The car ahead of me suddenly stopped dead in the middle of rush-hour traffic. I slammed on my breaks, and stopped a few inches from the bumper in front of me. At least for a fraction of a second, that is.
Before I could even take a breath, the car behind me rear-ended me, pushing me into the car ahead of me. In fact, it all happened so fast that – for a minute or two – I actually thought that I had hit the car in front of me, directly. But then I realized that I had not hit the bumper ahead, until I was hit from behind. When the car behind me braked, and skidded into me, it stopped so suddenly that its front end went down, and its rear end went up. Its front end slipped under my rear bumper, causing very slight damage to my car, but totaling the car that hit me.
I went on to my office, which happened to be a law firm, and for some reason, I relieved my stress by joking with my co-workers, saying with a smile, “gosh … I’m feeling pain in my neck, and back, and butt” …. Despite the fact that I was feeling fine. My intended “gallows” humor was the idea that I would contemplate (sort of) feigning injury. But I really was NOT injured, or so I thought, so this was just office banter. To make a long story a little bit shorter, of course, I did not bother to go see a doctor or chiropractor.
What a difference a day makes!
By the next morning, my neck and left shoulder were hurting really badly, and my back just did not feel right. Sheepishly, I had to explain to my co-workers that although I was making a bad joke the day before, today, I really was in pain.
By the time I got to a Physician, it was three (3) days after the accident, and I was having difficulty even getting around. Just getting in and out of a car was torture. My doctor then sent me to a Hospital Emergency Room, in order to get X-Rays, a CT-Scan, and an MRI. I knew something was wrong, because of the severity of my pain. The X-Rays and Scans showed all sorts of problems … problems which could best have been evaluated immediately following the accident. It turned out that I had a fractured shoulder bone, which had to be re-broken, since I had waited too long.
Just like the saying goes, “by the time you actually feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated” … and by the time you feel like you desperately need to go to an Emergency Room, you are already making your injuries worse.
Of course, it’s also helpful to go to a doctor immediately, because they are the very best person to evaluate your injuries, determine which diagnostic tests you require, begin to help your body heal, and to document all of this, in terms that mean something.
Doctors, Nurses and Medical Technicians are Critical to Your Recovery and Future Good Health.
Realistically, some injuries can only be treated properly within twenty-four (24) hours of the accident occurrence. I know of a ten-year-old girl whose Finger was very badly broken, fractured in multiple places. This happened at school, and it was a while before her Mom could arrive to get her. By then, it was clear that she had to be rushed to an Emergency Room. Once at the Hospital, it was determined that the Surgeon she needed could only be found at another Hospital, so she was transferred, by Ambulance. Luckily the Surgery was performed, and hopefully, in time. The fractures were so severe that she is now wearing a cast that goes from her Finger-tips to above her elbow. There’s a separate piece at the Finger-end of the Cast that can be removed from time to time, so that she can move and wiggle her fingers. Of course, time was of the essence in that case.
Doctors, Nurses and Medical Technicians are ALSO Critical to Your FINANCIAL Recovery and Future FINANCIAL Well-Being.
In a recent, three (3) car accident, the experienced Los Angeles Lawyer that I work for, represented the Driver of the middle car, of a 3-Car Accident (Car #2). Fortunately, this Driver was not too seriously injured, and he hoped to recover without requiring medical attention. But because he waited more than THREE (3) WEEKS to see a Chiropractor, even though his total Medical Bills were ultimately significant in amount, approximately Four Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($4,700), he recovered very little, because the Los Angeles Insurance Defense Attorney used that delay to support his contention that there were NO significant injuries at all. After months and months of fighting it out in Court, that Driver’s TOTAL Settlement was just Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500), which had to pay the Doctor’s Bills, and the Attorney’s Bills, so there really wasn’t much left over for the Client. All three were very disappointed … mostly because the Driver waited too long to seek Medical Attention.