Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
What happens to my body in a car accident?
Car accidents are serious shocks to the system. Our bodies weren’t meant to sustain the amount of force and impact that most car accidents generate.
Even if you were only in a low-speed collision in which neither car was badly damaged, you still need to worry about injuries. In side impact collisions, you can hit your head on the door frame or the window, and you may not even realize it happened. A rear-impact collision can cause sudden and violent twisting of your head and neck. Any blow to the head or injury of the upper spine can be serious, especially when caused by a car accident, when you may not have time to brace yourself for impact. Bottom line: after a car accident, get yourself checked out.
Some people don’t realize that chemicals in the body can mask pain and discomfort for a certain amount of time after a high-stress incident like a car accident. It may take a while for injuries to show up. This is why you should get medical attention immediately after a car accident.
Where should I go for medical treatment after a car accident?
If your accident was minor, visiting an urgent care center can save you time and money. Wait times are shorter than those of a hospital emergency room.
Urgent care centers and emergency rooms can treat injuries like broken bones, cuts and lacerations, neck sprains, fractures, seatbelt injuries, and whiplash. If your injuries are more serious, an ambulance is likely to take you to a Trauma Center.
What types of injuries can car accidents cause?
The area of the body that is most often affected by a car accident is the spinal column (the neck and back), including the muscles supporting the spinal column. The most common neck and back injuries from car accidents are whiplash-type over-extension injuries, muscle and ligament strains and sprains, and disk injuries.
Broken arms and legs, broken jaws, burns, and head injuries are also frequent results of serious car accidents.
But car accidents can also cause injuries that may not be accompanied by any visible symptoms.
Can lack of medical treatment after an accident become a legal issue?
Unfortunately, insurance companies generally assume that, if you did not seek medical attention immediately, you weren’t hurt at all. Insurers have standard criteria that they use to evaluate all types of car accidents. One criterion is how quickly you sought and received medical treatment after the accident.
Insurers feel that the more time that passes between the car accident and the initial treatment, the more likely it is that the claimant or plaintiff could be faking or exaggerating the extent of his or her injuries. Insurers also know that, if you go directly from the accident scene to the hospital, then nothing else could have happened to explain your injuries.
So, the best course of action is to go to the doctor and get yourself checked out right away.
Some people avoid going to the doctor after an accident because they just want to collect auto accident information from the other driver and go home to rest.
But if you delay seeing a medical professional, any injury you have could get worse. Without the right treatment, a minor injury could turn into a chronic problem with lasting complications. Seeing a doctor right away is the best way to minimize your risk of developing accident-related complications in the future and avoid having the insurance company question your claim.
Do I need to have a medical examination before I file a claim?
Yes, you do. It is especially important to get a post-accident exam if you plan to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim related to the event. Having a medical professional document your car accident injuries and recommend the right treatments can help you show the insurance company that you received the injuries in the accident. You need the responsible party to pay for your medical expenses and lost work time. If you did not seek medical attention, representatives from your insurance company – or the other driver’s attorney – might assume you weren’t really injured in the accident.
Call your local “Attorney Big Al” at 1-800-hurt123 for a free consultation today.