Should I Get Medical Treatment After A Car Accident?
May 3rd, 2023
Seeing a doctor after a car accident is critical. Adrenaline runs high after a traumatic event, and you may not realize you were hurt. But once the chaos of a car crash dies down, you may find that you are in considerable pain.
Some life-threatening injuries have few symptoms at first. By seeking medical treatment, you protect yourself and your well-being. A doctor will ensure that you are safe and will treat your injuries. In addition, visiting a medical professional after a car crash will provide valuable documentation of your injuries that will be helpful if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Some injuries, such as broken bones, cuts, and bruises, are noticeable immediately after a car collision. However, other injuries are equally as common but not as obvious in the moments after a crash.
Headaches are common after a car accident. Sometimes headaches go away by themselves or are resolved with over-the-counter medications. But other times headaches may linger and can be a sign of more serious medical conditions, such as a traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious and debilitating condition. TBI is caused by trauma to the head, which is created by the powerful forces generated during a car crash.
Symptoms of TBI include:
Sensitivity to light
Blurred or double vision
Slow or fuzzy thinking
Neck and Back Pain
A car accident often causes a person’s body to be thrown violently back and forth. These forces can result in serious injuries like muscle sprains and strains, whiplash, herniated discs, or spinal injuries. Neck and back injuries can be debilitating, and it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after a car accident.
Car accident victims may suffer torn or stretched ligaments in the back, ankles, wrists, knees, and shoulders when those areas are hit or twisted due to the impact of a crash. This is typically evidenced by pain, swelling, stiffness, or weakness in the affected areas. In more severe cases, victims may feel a pop when a ligament is torn. It is important to follow up with a doctor if you are suffering from any of these symptoms, as a doctor can recommend the testing needed to diagnose a ligament injury.
Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident as a Precautionary Measure
Even if you don’t think you were seriously hurt, you should still see a medical professional after a car accident. Often, the injuries sustained in a car accident are not immediately apparent. Many people assume they were not injured, only to be in significant pain days, or even weeks, later.
A doctor will perform an examination and run routine tests to identify injuries you may not be aware of. Many injuries, like a concussion, soft-tissue damage caused by whiplash, or ligament damage due to being hit or twisted, are difficult to detect without advanced medical technology.
Seeing a Doctor Protects Your Ability to File a Claim
Seeking medical treatment after a car accident preserves your options if you decide to file a personal injury claim. If you do file a claim, an insurance adjuster will evaluate your medical records to determine the extent and severity of your injuries.
If you do not seek appropriate medical treatment after a car accident, an insurance adjuster will likely claim that you were not injured or that your injuries were not severe. The adjuster might deny your claim outright, make a low settlement offer, or argue that your injuries were caused by something other than the car accident.
Medical documentation is valuable evidence in a personal injury claim. You can use records from doctor’s visits to document days you missed from work and to prove the nature and extent of your injuries. Make a list of all the places you received medical treatment. Your lawyer will use this information to request your medical records to support your personal injury claim.
Where Should You Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident?
After a serious car crash, many people seek treatment at an emergency room or urgent care center. Be sure to follow the advice of the medical professionals who treat you there. Oftentimes a car accident victim will be advised to follow-up with their primary care doctor, or a specialist with advanced expertise, such as an orthopedic physician or a neurologist. You may also receive a referral to a physical therapist or a chiropractor to address soft tissue injuries.
Regardless of whether you go to the emergency room or your primary care doctor after a wreck, it is important to be evaluated by a physician in a timely manner.
The Personal Injury Lawyers at RKPT Can Help
If you were hurt in a car accident, RKPT’s experienced personal injury lawyers will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We will collect the evidence necessary to prove your claim and will work with the insurance companies to negotiate a fair resolution to your claim.