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Importance of seeking medical attention after your accident

There are many reasons New Jersey residents may not see a doctor as soon as they should after a car accident or a slip-and-fall. Some may not think they suffered any injuries serious enough to warrant taking time out of their busy schedule. Others may worry about copays, bills, missing days from work and other valid concerns.

However, in the long run, it is essential to set these worries aside and seek medical attention as soon as you can. Keep in mind that even if you did receive care from first responders at the scene or at an emergency room, this is no substitute for the thorough check-up you need.

Better health outcomes

First and foremost, your health can suffer substantially from a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Just because you feel basically functional does not mean you did not sustain serious injuries. Various types of soft-tissue injuries, as well as traumatic brain damage, present some examples of conditions whose symptoms can develop as long as several months after the injury. Getting a diagnosis and a treatment plan early can give you your best chance at effective management of your injuries.

Strengthening your case

Second, you need to consider the likely impact of postponing your check-up on any lawsuit you may want to file based on your accident. The law entitles a plaintiff to compensation if he or she proves the defendant acted negligently, thereby causing the accident which resulted in the plaintiff's injuries. Receiving a check-up soon after a car crash or a fall is an effective way to show the injuries stemmed from the accident. This way, your medical records will also reflect the extent and potential ramifications of the injuries. Remember to inform your health care provider about your accident.

Because delaying medical care can increase the severity of injuries and resulting conditions, doing so can cause a reduced damages award under New Jersey's comparative negligence law. The defendants may be able to argue that your own negligence in failing to get appropriate care caused part of your injuries.

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