Car accidents can sometimes result in severe injuries, making it necessary to take an ambulance to a hospital. In cases where the injuries are not that serious but still need immediate medical attention, it can be difficult to decide whether or not to take an ambulance.
Victims of car accidents are often concerned about the cost of taking an ambulance and whether or not it will be covered under their insurance plan. They can also be concerned about whether the injuries are serious enough to need an ambulance. In some cases, accident victims are not aware how expensive ambulances can be, and end up with surprise medical bills.
On this page, you will find useful information about when and why you should take an ambulance after a car accident and how an attorney can help get you maximum compensation for your car accident damages.
When is Taking an Ambulance Ride Necessary?
The human body has a natural response to sudden traumatic situations that can temporarily reduce or negate the pain. If you suffer a serious car accident, you may not feel any pain or symptoms immediately. However, your injuries could be much worse than you realize, so it is always better to seek medical attention after any severe car accident. If you have any symptoms after an accident, such as headache or nausea, do not drive to the hospital by yourself, instead, take an ambulance.
Paramedics can give you medical care to treat your injuries until you get to the hospital. If you call an ambulance right after the car accident, the paramedics can ensure you get medical attention according to the nature of your injuries. Not taking an ambulance to the hospital might risk worsening your injuries.
It is also a good idea not to drive after a serious accident, as your driving ability might be compromised. This can increase your risk of being involved in another accident. Another good reason to take an ambulance is that you get immediate medical attention and do not have to worry about being stuck in traffic on your way to the hospital.
Why Do Some People Not Want to Take an Ambulance?
Here are some reasons why people often refrain from taking an ambulance after being involved in a car accident.
They Believe Medical Assistance is Not Needed
Most people misjudge the nature or extent of their injuries in a car accident. They think if they do not feel any symptoms after the accident, they do not require medical attention. Some people believe some pain, like being sore or slightly disoriented after a car accident, is normal, and the symptoms will fade after a while. However, this is not always true.
Being involved in a car accident puts you at risk of life-threatening injuries that might not surface right after the accident. For example, whiplash is a common injury caused by a serious car accident. The symptoms of whiplash might take hours or days to manifest.
They Do Not Want the Attention
Many people think they are causing a scene if they call an ambulance to the scene of the accident. If there are police to address the car accident, they can call the paramedics right away to provide the injured with medical attention.
In most states across the U.S., it is the responsibility of the at-fault driver to stop at the scene of the accident and call an ambulance for the injured driver and passengers. Leaving the accident scene without assisting the injured party and giving your insurance information is illegal and can be charged as a hit-and-run.
They Do Not Want to Risk Paying Expensive Medical Bills
Whether the ambulance called is a state-owned or private service, someone has to pay the medical bills. Many people fear that their injuries will not qualify for an ambulance and therefore, they will not be entitled to claim the expenses of the ambulance in their claim with an insurance provider or in a lawsuit.
Who Covers the Bills For an Ambulance Ride?
In some car accident cases, the injured individuals require the aid of an air ambulance which can be more expensive than any state-owned or private service ambulance. Sometimes the insurance company can cover the air ambulance ride without the mileage, which can still leave you with a huge bill to pay.
According to the laws of most states, the liable party in a car accident is required by law to assist the injured party and pay for their damages, whether it be medical expenses or if their vehicle has any damages. If you cannot locate the liable party, you may have to pay the initial bills yourself until you obtain a settlement from the insurance company claim or the personal injury lawsuit.
Not taking an ambulance may drastically impact your health, but can also affect the outcome of your claim or lawsuit against the offending driver. For instance, if you do not have a medical record from the accident, the insurance company may dispute your claim and argue that you do not deserve compensation for the injuries sustained in the accident. This way, you cannot obtain the settlement you deserve for the injuries.
The paramedics in the ambulance can provide you with documents that support your injury claim or lawsuit. If you are starting a third-party claim with the insurance company of the offending driver, your refusal to take an ambulance to the hospital can make the insurance party reject your application for a personal injury settlement.
In cases where you have PIP (personal injury protection) or collision insurance coverage, your insurance company could pay for the damages sustained, including medical expenses such as ambulance bills. When you have this kind of insurance, you do not need to wait for the liable party to pay you compensation to receive medical attention.
This insurance is beneficial in no-fault states where each person involved in the accident has to pay for their medical expenses and damages to the vehicles unless the losses sustained by the non-liable party exceed a certain monetary threshold. So, you would not have to worry about ambulance bills and can receive proper treatment right after the accident.
When to File a Lawsuit for a Car Accident?
Each state has a different statute of limitations regarding filing a personal injury lawsuit, which is a type of civil lawsuit. It is best to consult with an attorney about state laws and whether you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation. For instance, in many states, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit if it has been more than two years after the accident.
Most people initiate the claim with their insurance company to seek compensation. The insurance company can conduct investigations to check the facts of the case. If there is a lack of evidence, it may lead to a rejection of your claim. If you locate the liable driver and have their insurance information, you can also initiate a third-party claim to seek a proper settlement. If you obtain a fair settlement from your claim and sign a release of liability form, you cannot pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the liable driver even if it complies with the statute of limitations.
However, if you do not agree with the terms of the settlement with your insurance company or the defense attorney of the liable party then a civil lawsuit can be pursued. You can hire an attorney if you do not want to sign the release or agree to the settlement provided by the insurer. Your attorney can help you file a lawsuit in court and obtain the settlement or decision that you deserve.
When you pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, it is up to the defense attorney to submit a response, a counterclaim, or a crossclaim. The case proceeds when the liability party’s defense team has responded. If they fail to respond in a given time frame, it strengthens your case in court.
Why Hire an Experienced Car Accident Claim Attorney?
Insurance companies of the opposition party will try their best to minimize the settlement claim using various tactics. Most people who do not know which documents to provide in a claim or a civil lawsuit often end up signing the release liability forms by accepting unreasonably low settlement offers. Hiring an attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering in a car accident.
An attorney at Mountain States Injury Law can inform you regarding all legal proceedings and how to gather evidence for filing a car accident claim. They can also handle all negotiations with the insurance company or defense attorney of the liable driver, and if the case goes to trial, they will represent you in court. Attorneys that have experience in the car accident field are extremely well-versed in all laws regarding car accident claims and can drastically increase your chances of getting full and fair compensation.