Yes, the short answer is you should see a doctor after a slip-and-fall accident, even if you think it is only minor. You may be worried about co-pays and the cost of diagnostics at this time. Still, medical providers understand the necessity of providing service first and billing later to ensure the health of the patient. Working with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can help you focus on recovery without fear of financial ruin.
Why should you see a doctor after slipping and falling?
There are many reasons to see your physician after a slip and fall:
If you are suing: the court will see the correlation between cause and effect. If you file a personal injury lawsuit that ends up in court, the fact that you immediately saw a doctor shows that you took the accident seriously from the outset. Sometimes it takes longer for pain and the true nature of an injury to manifest, so you may need to be seen again. What matters most is that you are “on record” for having sustained an injury in correlation with the date of the accident. Therefore, it cannot be attributed to some other cause. Going to the emergency room is best for your case.
If you are settling: the insurance company will not act without a doctor’s opinion. There could be a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance settlement available to cover the cost of your injuries. Still, they won’t pay on the claim until they see a note from a physician verifying the nature and extent of the damage. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more an insurer may surmise you fabricated the whole story. You can go to the ER, a walk-in clinic, a family physician, or a medical specialist.
If you are really hurt: getting an early diagnosis prevents further injury. Soft tissue tears and fractures can feel like dull aches at first, particularly if you have a high tolerance for pain. If you struck your head in a fall, you might feel drowsy, tired, or nauseous– which are all signs of a possible concussion or traumatic brain injury.
How long do you have to see a doctor after a slip and fall accident?
Seeking immediate medical attention is the ideal scenario if you think you may decide to file a slip and fall lawsuit in the future. There is no legal definition for “immediate,” but the consensus is that you should see your doctor within 72 hours. At the most, you want to be seen within four days of the accident, and then contact a personal injury lawyer afterwards.
What else should you do immediately after a slip and fall?
Several steps can improve the likelihood that you’ll receive money:
- Take photos of the injuries and the scene where the accident occurred, including any hazards.
- If there are bystanders who saw what happened, get their contact information as witnesses.
- Keep a calendar of all your medical appointments and follow-ups (and don’t miss any!)
- Maintain a record of how many days you missed from work. Save a recent pay stub, W2, or 1099.
- Write a daily journal of your pain symptoms and how the injury affects your abilities and activities.
- Call a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help investigate and strengthen your claim.
In addition, avoid giving a recorded statement to insurance or signing anything until you have a lawyer look over the offer.
Contact us at Salamati Law for representation after a slip and fall
After seeking medical attention, a lawyer should be the next person you call for a free assessment. Even if you’re not 100% sure what contributed to the accident, or if you suspect there was a hazard the property owner should have known about, we’ll investigate what happened. We can collect evidence by subpoenaing documents, interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, and acquiring experts to testify on your behalf.
If you’re worried about how you’ll cover doctor co-pays while your case is pending, we can often get a letter of promise or negotiate with your creditors to minimize the financial hassle. Contact a slip and fall attorney at Salamati Law for free and confidential legal advice.