Do you really need to see a doctor right after a car crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2021 | Personal Injury

Maybe you have a meeting with a client or an appointment scheduled with your accountant. Car crashes don’t care about your daily schedule. The person texting at the wheel or running a red light engages in that behavior without consideration for how it will impact you.

After a crash caused by someone’s irresponsible behavior, you probably feel frustrated and stressed out, especially if you have somewhere you need to be. Rushing to meet with a client or to get to work as soon as possible is an instinct many people have after a car crash, but it can be a mistake that has lingering effects that last for years.

However inconvenient it may be, anyone involved in a crash severe enough to damage their vehicle significantly should see a physician at least briefly after their crash.

You can’t identify the signs of an injury on your own

There are certain injuries that anyone could diagnose at the scene of a crash. A compound fracture where the bone has ripped through the skin will be obvious, as will a spinal cord injury that prevents someone from getting out of a vehicle. Other, even life-threatening injuries may not have noticeable symptoms right away.

Internal bleeding either in your abdomen or on your brain might not create symptoms for hours or even a few days after the crash. You might not notice the pain or other warning signs that you took a blow to the head or abdomen because of how your body reacts to the stress of a crash.

Seeing a doctor quickly after a collision can rule out internal bleeding, a concussion or any other kind of traumatic brain injury. If you do have one of these injuries, a fast diagnosis can mean you get better more quickly and have fewer long-term symptoms.

Delaying your diagnosis could make it harder to get insurance benefits

When the other driver is clearly at fault for the crash, their insurance policy will potentially reimburse you for your medical costs and other losses.

However, you have to be able to conclusively connect your missed wages and medical expenses with the collision. The longer you wait to see a doctor after a crash, the easier it will be for an insurance company to claim your injury either wasn’t a result of the crash or got worse because you neglected it.

Although seeing a doctor when you have already had to push back your schedule by an hour or more may feel like another unnecessary delay, it will serve to protect you if it turns out you have a serious injury from a recent collision.