Seek Immediate Medical Attention
When people are hurt they go to the doctor.

In the "smell test" of personal injury litigation, if a person is hurt he gets medical treatment. If he is not hurt, he doesn't. Insurance companies and juries look skeptically at people who claim injuries but who don't do anything about them. Indeed both "smell" a logical reason why your claim is not worth much. In the case of insurance companies, they set your claim's mandatory reserve requirements, or expected financial outlay, based upon the "smell test." Once set, it is tough to get them to change it. In the case of juries, they arrive at their verdict, or financial decision, based upon the "smell test."

Sometimes, the reason people don't go to the doctor right after the accident is logical and objectively reasonable, "I thought the pain would go away in a couple of days." Then it doesn't. Then the insurance company, using it's "smell test" says, "you couldn't have been hurt all that badly or you would have gone to the doctor right after the accident." Or, "How do we know
what caused your injuries?" "So much time has passed before you sought treatment." "You may have received these injuries from some other activity or accident."

Other times, people say they don't go to the doctor right away because "I don't have any transportation," or "I don't have the money." While these are logical excuses, and truthful, the insurance company and juries "smell" a case with "no injuries" or only "minimal injuries" for which they must compensate you. Don't let this happen!

Your personal injury attorney can help you avoid the negative results of the "smell test" by assisting you in your search for medical treatment on credit, with obtaining a rental car and with getting your car repaired.

The moral of this story is that if you are hurt or think you may be hurt, go and get checked out by a doctor, and let your attorney help you as needed. This documents the fact that the accident caused your injury or complaint and preserves your claim during your convalescence. If the pain goes away in a couple of days, great-- but you're protected if it doesn't.
Copyright 2011, Noble & Quinn, Attorneys at Law, P.C.
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