Not everyone has a ton of money at their disposal, nor does everyone have generous health insurance plans. So, it makes sense when people try to self-treat injuries sustained in car accidents and in other personal injury matters such as sliding on ice and banging up your head.

However, the reality is that self-diagnosing and self-treating injuries can end up being extremely costly. For example, head injuries may not be immediately apparent, and by the time you realize the severity of your injury and that you need extensive treatment rather than a few visits to the doctor, you may have accepted a lowball offer from your insurance company.

Could hinder compensation efforts

Head injuries and injuries such as whiplash or skier’s thumb can get worse over time. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible helps you set up a medical paper trail and track records that aid any compensation efforts you may seek. For example, say you went to the doctor after being in a car accident and the doctor gave a prognosis that has you functioning at about half your capacity for a year.

Now suppose you did not go to the doctor, and three months pass. You finally seek medical attention, but the insurance company (or whatever other party in a lawsuit) could claim you did something in that three months to cause or exacerbate your injury.

Could make your injury worse

In fact, the insurance company could even argue that had you sought medical attention immediately, your injury could have been resolved already instead of getting worse. Not only does delaying medical attention cost you potential future money in compensation efforts, it could mean more medical bills in the next year or so to treat increasingly worrisome conditions.

It can be tempting to skip a doctor’s visit after a physical injury. However, the money you save up front could end up costing you dearly later.