For a Free Case Review Today: Call 516-342-2200

When Is It Too Late To Go To The Doctor After A Car Accident?

When Is It Too Late To Go To The Doctor After A Car Accident?

Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and the aftermath can be a whirlwind of shock, confusion, and pain. Even if you walk away feeling relatively fine, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Seemingly minor injuries can quickly worsen, causing long-term health issues that are far more complicated to treat down the road.

Additionally, delaying medical care can make any potential legal claim much harder to win. Insurance companies will often seize on a delayed medical visit as a way to cast doubt on your injuries and reduce your compensation. So, when is it too late to go to the doctor after a car accident?

Protect your health and your rights by getting checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. The experienced New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers are here to help.

We offer free consultations to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. Visit us online or call 516-342-2200 to schedule yours today.

Seek Medical Care Immediately After An Accident

Some car accident injuries are obvious and require immediate medical attention. If you or anyone involved in the accident shows one or more of the following symptoms, it’s crucial to call 911 or head straight to the emergency room without delay:

Note: The presence of one or more of these symptoms may indicate a life-threatening condition already in the works. As such, it’s critical to get immediate medical care to stabilize any injuries and reduce the risk of serious complications down the line.

When Injuries Aren’t So Obvious

Even if your injuries don’t seem severe enough to warrant an ambulance ride, visiting a doctor or urgent care center within (24) to (48) hours after the accident is essential.

Early diagnosis gives doctors the best chance to provide the right care, helping you heal faster and potentially avoiding long-term health problems.

By seeking medical attention as quickly as possible, you establish a crucial paper trail. Your doctor’s report provides an official record that clearly connects your injuries to the accident.

This becomes critical evidence in any discussions with insurance companies and can be invaluable if you need to pursue legal action.

Why You Should Get Checked Out, Even If You Feel Fine

The adrenaline rush after a car accident can temporarily mask pain and disguise injuries. You might feel perfectly fine at first, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong below the surface.

Internal injuries, whiplash, and concussions are particularly sneaky culprits, often showing minimal or delayed symptoms. A thorough inspection by a medical professional is the only way to pinpoint these hidden problems.

Internal Injuries

Car accidents can cause internal bleeding or damage to organs without obvious external signs. Even minor internal injuries can become serious or life-threatening if left untreated.

Medical exams and tests like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs can help doctors rule out these hidden dangers and provide immediate treatment if needed.


A common soft tissue injury, whiplash occurs when your head snaps violently forward and backward during a crash. This force strains the muscles and tendons in your neck.

While you might not feel significant pain right away, whiplash symptoms like stiffness, headaches, and dizziness can appear hours or even days later.

Seeking early medical care means you get a diagnosis, treatment like physical therapy or medication, plus crucial documentation of the injury.


Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can result even from seemingly minor head bumps. The symptoms — like headaches, confusion, nausea, and sensitivity to light or noise — might take time to surface. A doctor can properly assess if you’ve sustained a concussion, determine its severity, and prescribe a plan to manage symptoms and prevent complications.

To learn more now, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today. One phone call may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road. Don’t wait, call now!

Why Is Documenting Your Injuries So Important After A Car Accident?

Whether your car accident results in a few bumps and bruises or a stack of medical bills, documentation is everything. Having a medical record of your injuries from the start can bolster any insurance claims or legal action you may take.

Insurance companies often try to minimize injuries or argue they were caused by something else — don’t give them the ammunition. A documented medical exam directly following the accident provides concrete proof that your injuries are real and directly linked to the crash.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations?

When pursuing legal action after a car accident, time is not on your side. Every state has a statute of limitations. This is essentially a legal deadline for filing car accident injury lawsuits.

This time frame usually ranges from one (1) to three (3) years. In New York State, the statute of limitations for such claims is typically three (3) years from the date of the accident.

If you miss the statute of limitations in your state, you generally lose the right to seek any form of compensation for your injuries and losses, no matter how severe the accident or how clear the other driver’s fault. In effect, the court door slams shut and stays shut.

The Importance of Timing

Receiving immediate medical care directly after a car accident is crucial for more than just your health. It establishes a rock-solid connection between the accident and any injuries you may have sustained, whether they’re apparent at the time of your initial evaluation or if they surface later on.

This is vital because insurance companies and even the courts can question the validity of claims if there’s a large gap between the accident and your first doctor’s visit.

Accordingly, the sooner you get examined, the stronger the evidence that the accident caused your injuries. Delaying seeking medical care gives the other side ammunition to argue your injuries might have happened somewhere else or existed before the accident. Don’t let that happen.

Seek Professional Legal Advice ASAP

The statute of limitations isn’t the only legal factor to consider after a car accident. Laws regarding insurance claims, filing deadlines, and the legal process in general can get complicated fast, which is why it’s advisable to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

A skilled lawyer can explain the specific deadlines you’re facing, gather relevant evidence, and deal with insurance companies on your behalf, as well as make sure that your rights are maintained all throughout the process.

They’ll also advise you on the pros and cons of litigation and whether a settlement more closely aligns with your personal situation and needs. With this in mind, the earlier you have legal representation, the more time your attorney will have to build a strong case on your behalf.

Are There Any Exceptions To The Statute Of Limitations?

Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may be extended. For example, if the injury takes time to manifest or the party responsible for the accident is difficult to locate, the clock may pause. However, you shouldn’t rely on these exceptions — remember: they’re the exception, not the rule.

And so, the safest course of action is simply taking action. As soon as you’re able to, the ball is in your court. The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the less likely it is for your claim to succeed.

Don’t get caught in legal limbo — instead, contact the award-winning attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers for a free consultation today. We’ll assess your case, explain your options, and fight aggressively to get you all the money and benefits you deserve.

Call us now at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to get started.

What Are Medical Records Important?

Your medical records are the most powerful tool you have to prove the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. That’s why it’s so critical that you undergo a thorough medical evaluation after a car accident.

Without delay, you should go to an emergency room or urgent care center, where you should then explain the details of the accident to the doctor. Once your exam and tests are complete, request copies of all medical reports and test results.

Next, keep a detailed record of all doctor’s appointments, treatments, medications, and any recommended therapy. Also, you should make notes about how your injuries limit your daily life – whether by missing work, difficulty with household tasks, or being unable to engage in hobbies.

Importantly, this documentation is not just for your own reference. In time, it will likely form the backbone of your insurance claim and any potential legal case. As such, the more detailed the medical records, the stronger your position will be when seeking financial compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

Let Schwartzapfel Lawyers Fight For You!

Acting quickly after a car accident can protect your physical well-being and legal rights. To this end, seeking prompt medical attention before discussing your legal options with a qualified car accident attorney is an essential step when considering your health and financial future. Furthermore, as your window to file a claim and recover all the money and benefits you’re entitled to may soon close forever, you shouldn’t put off contacting experienced New York construction accident attorneys like the ones at Schwartzapfel Lawyers.

For a free consultation and so much more, please give us a call at 516-342-2200 today. We know how intimidating the process can seem, which is why we’re here to make it simple.

So, please, don’t wait; your future may depend on the actions you take today. Make them count by calling now and having Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Shortness of breath When to see a doctor | Mayo Clinic

CT Scan vs MRI vs X-Ray | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Statute of Limitations chart | NY CourtHelp

Management of Medical Records: Facts and Figures for Surgeons – PMC | NCBI

Related Posts

We'll Fight For You

Conact us today at (516) 342-2200 of fill out the form below for a free case evaluation.

Schwartzapfel® Lawyers has a 99% Client Satisfaction Rate