Don’t wonder if you should see a doctor after a car accident.
Car accidents can cause significant injuries, many of which don’t appear until hours or even days after the event. People assume that if they do not feel pain immediately at the scene of a car accident, that they are fine. Then they continue normally, aggravating the injury and potentially creating bigger problems. Don’t wonder “Should I see a doctor after a car accident?” Just go.
According to our expert car accident lawyers, one of your very first steps post-accident is to seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel hurt.
Adrenaline and shock can numb your body to signs of pain. Many people in traumatic accidents don’t feel the full extent of their injuries, even if they are bleeding. In addition, some car accident injuries remain hidden for days before the victim notices that they are there. By this time, the damage has been exacerbated and they may be facing chronic pain for the rest of their life.
Save yourself from a lifetime of pain by seeing a doctor immediately after a car accident. Next, call a car accident lawyer to begin the claims process.
When should I see a doctor after a car accident?
See a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. If you notice you are injured immediately after the crash, getting medical assistance is the first thing you should do. If you are not in pain and do not think you’re injured, wait for the police to tell you you’re free to go and see a doctor within 24-48 hours for an exam.
Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may assume that you are fine if you don’t immediately feel any injuries. However, this is not the case. A doctor can verify you haven’t suffered a hidden injury.
Hidden injuries are any injury that does not immediately present itself at the scene of your car accident. Five common types of hidden injuries are:
- Herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychological Injuries
- Seat belt injuries
These injuries can take a prolonged period of time to arise, and even longer to heal once you have noticed them.
Doctors can diagnose these hidden injuries before you accidentally cause more damage or put yourself at risk, such as by sleeping with a concussion.
Symptoms of a Car Accident Injury
Symptoms of car accident injuries vary greatly, depending on where they are located and how severe they are. Hidden injuries tend to have some common symptoms that can help you detect their presence:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme muscle pain
- Digestive pain
If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. These may indicate a soft tissue injury or a traumatic brain injury that could cause permanent impairments.
Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident
Soft tissue injuries are the most common injury to occur due to car accidents, yet many of them go undiagnosed due to victims not seeking medical treatment.
See a doctor so they can rule out soft tissue injuries. Common soft tissue injuries include:
- Damage to a tendon
- Muscle strains
- Shoulder or knee injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common forms of injury after a car accident. It can take weeks to heal for lucky individuals who acknowledge and treat their injury early. For others, the injury can lead to chronic neck and back pain for the rest of their lives.
Since most soft tissue injuries are not immediately obvious because the muscles have not tightened up around the pain point, it can take up to a week to notice that the injury exists. Waiting a week before seeing a medical professional is ill-advised. Go to the doctor early to get the proper treatment.
Concussions After a Car Accident
Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury that occurs when you hit your head on an object, such as a steering wheel or car window. They often come in tandem with whiplash due to violent head movements in a car accident.
It is difficult to diagnose a concussion, as they do not appear on CT or MRI scans. Instead, a doctor will need to examine you personally to test for dilated pupils, dizziness, and other indicators of a concussion.
Concussions can lead to permanent impairments if not properly treated. They require no light, limited sound, and a large amount of rest. If you do not treat a concussion in this way, say when you don’t realize that you have one for a week, it will lengthen the recovery period.
Most individuals can recover from a concussion completely in six months. However, the longer you go without treatment, the more likely it is that you will suffer symptoms for a longer period of time.
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Inability to focus
- Slurred speech
Avoid suffering from these symptoms for the rest of your life by seeing a doctor as soon as possible. Ensure that they test you for a concussion and inform you of best practices going forward,
Do not worry about lost wages due to time off while you rest and recover. You will be able to collect damages for this time by hiring an expert car accident lawyer.
Seek Medical Assistance After Your Car Accident
Our team advises all of our clients to seek medical treatment after a car accident, even if they don’t feel hurt. This allows us to ensure their health and to have a doctor’s diagnosis of their injuries. Once a doctor has completed a formal diagnosis, you can then file a claim for damages against the at-fault party.
You may ask “Should I see a doctor after a car accident?” Without seeking medical attention, you will be limited to pursuing a personal property claim rather than a personal injury claim.
Call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to learn more about pursuing a legal claim for damages.