Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

When someone is very seriously injured in a car accident, paramedics will take them to the hospital via ambulance. In many motor vehicle accidents, however, a person may not think they are hurt in the adrenaline rush after the crash, or they may believe that any injuries are minor and will heal on their own. The truth is that everyone involved in a car accident should visit a doctor as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. A Lafayette personal injury lawyer will advise you on the best way to proceed after a car accident.

Why Seeing a Doctor is Essential

There are several reasons why visiting a doctor immediately after a car accident is crucial. First, some injury symptoms may not appear until hours after the crash. It is important to confirm with a physician that you are not injured. Tell the doctor about any injuries or symptoms you have, however minor. What may appear minor at first could become much worse before long.

Second, medical documentation is critical after a car accident. Wait too long before visiting a doctor, and the insurance company may allege the car accident did not cause your injuries. If you have medical records proving you saw the doctor promptly and symptoms worsened over time, it is harder for the insurance company to make such an allegation. Keep in mind that it is the insurance adjuster’s job to pay out as little as possible in a settlement, and questioning the seriousness of the injury is one way they do this.

Third, follow the doctor’s orders. If the doctor recommends a certain type of therapy, such as massage or chiropractic, schedule appointments, and attend. If you are supposed to limit your activities for a few weeks, limit them. Make sure to appear at any follow-up appointments. Failure to do so again means the insurance company can argue you are not badly hurt.

Fourth, the doctor will inform you of any “red flags” that may occur, indicating your situation is worsening.

Fifth, you cannot self-diagnose. That ache or pain after the accident may go away in a week or so, or it could indicate something much worse, even life-threatening. Protect your health and well-being and find out what the accident did to you.

Delayed Injuries

Whiplash, technically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome (CADS), is a severe neck sprain caused by the whip-cracking like motion made by the head and neck after impact. Among the most common car accident injuries, whiplash symptoms may not show up until 48 hours after the collision.

Car accident victims frequently experience concussions, which are lower-level traumatic brain injuries. If you hit your head during the crash, tell the doctor about even a mild headache or any visual changes.

Accident victims suffering from internal bleeding may not notice it initially. This is another condition that can kill if untreated.

What Kind of Doctor to See

If you did not see a doctor in the emergency room, consider going to an urgent care clinic for an evaluation. Your primary care physician might prove a good choice, but not every primary care physician is comfortable doing post-car accident examinations.

Chiropractors offer holistic, non-surgical methods of treatment for vertebral and soft tissue injuries. It is generally preferable to consult an emergency, urgent care, or primary care physician first, but a chiropractor can perform many of the same examinations. What a chiropractor cannot do is prescribe medication, which is necessary for some patients.

The Examination

An examination after an auto accident consists of taking a medical history, X-rays to check for broken bones, and a CT scan to look for internal bleeding. In some cases, especially if a neck injury is suspected, the doctor may order an MRI.  

A personal injury attorney will consult with your physician to determine when all injuries from the accident should have manifested. A fair settlement amount for your injuries depends on ensuring that additional issues should not appear.  

You’re Smart. Get Bart.™

A motor vehicle accident not only leaves you injured and possibly without an automobile but may leave you not knowing where to turn. A Lafayette car accident lawyer protects your rights and works hard so you may receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call Bart Bernard today if you have been hurt in a crash. There is no fee unless we win.