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How Long Do You Have to Go to a Doctor After a Car Accident on a Dangerous Road?

Published on April 30th, 2020

Personal Injury Lawyer

A dangerous road can place even the most cautious driver at risk. The failure to warn of a hidden intersection can contribute to a collision when an unseen truck pulls into the road. Missing signs also create a danger when drivers are not warned that they need to prepare for hairpin curves.

Danger can be caused by road designs that encourage drivers to make unsafe maneuvers. The failure to erect a median barrier, for example, might create liability when the government knows that drivers are making U-turns into oncoming traffic that the drivers cannot easily see.

Hazardous road conditions can also cause accidents. Potholes, road construction debris, and hazards hidden by water can all cause an unsuspecting driver to lose control of a car.

The law of most states imposes a duty on the government to correct unsafe conditions on public roads. When a tree branch covers a stop sign, for example, the government has a duty to trim the branch. When the government should realize that a dangerous road condition could contribute to a collision, the government must correct that condition.

Different states have different laws that govern liability for the government’s negligent design or maintenance of roads. A car accident lawyer can help injury victims determine whether the government might be liable for injuries caused by an accident on a dangerous road.

Going to a Doctor After a Car Accident on a Dangerous Road

No law imposes a deadline upon an injury victim’s first visit to a doctor after a car accident. States do impose deadlines on bringing or giving notice of claims for accidents caused by dangerous roads. Those deadlines can be quite short when the claim must be filed against the government.

Although accident victims are not required to obtain immediate medical treatment, delaying that visit can impair the victim’s recovery from car accident injuries. Delay can also harm the victim’s ability to recover compensation for the government’s negligence.

If paramedics respond to the accident, the advice they give can be lifesaving. If they recommend that a concussion be evaluated by a neurologist, failing to heed that advice can be a fatal decision.

Some serious accident injuries never completely heal. Nerve and spinal cord damage, for example, cannot always be cured. Treatment may focus on pain management when a condition is unlikely to improve.

Many other accident injuries respond well to treatment when the injury victim follows a physician’s advice. Injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons are more likely to heal when the injury victim follows through on recommended surgery and physical therapy.

Allowing a nagging injury to go untreated may result in a permanent injury. Delaying treatment might delay healing. It makes sense to see a doctor right away after a car accident and to continue seeing the doctor until released from treatment.

Finishing Medical Treatment After a Car Accident Caused by a Dangerous Road

Governments usually have liability insurance, although some are self-insured. Either way, a claims adjuster or claims manager will evaluate the injury victim’s claim before considering a settlement.

Claims adjusters base the value of a settlement on the extent of a victim’s injury. They measure the degree of injury, in part, by the cost of medical treatment. Failing to follow through on recommended medical care reduces medical expenses, but it also reduces the settlement value of an injury claim.

Claims adjusters also argue that the injury victim must have recovered if the victim stops treating. If the victim delays seeing a doctor, the adjuster will question whether the treatment was related to the accident. In either case, seeing a doctor promptly and following through on recommended medical care will help the victim’s car accident lawyer settle an injury claim for its full value.


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