06 Nov Should You See A Doctor After A Minor Car Accident?
When people walk away from a car accident, they are instantly relieved if they do not feel any broken bones or suspect any internal injuries. They then ask themselves why should they take the time to visit a doctor – when everything feels OK. However, there are at least three people who will be extremely alarmed if you do not visit a doctor right away or at your earliest opportunity. We’re talking about your doctor, your lawyer, and your insurance agent.
There are critical reasons to see a doctor right away that go beyond your immediate needs. Among these – perhaps the most critical factor – is the idea that a car accident often includes a delayed physiological response. As strange as it sounds, your body can take a severe jolt and seemingly come away unscathed. However, the pain of spinal injuries, including back and neck injuries, and the pain of some muscle damage can be delayed. You might feel fine after the accident. A few days later, you hurt all over.
While this is certainly the most important reason for seeing a doctor right away, there are other very important reasons for seeing an automobile accident medical specialist immediately. While the health of anyone involved in an accident is the immediate, No. 1 priority, few people are capable, in the shock after an accident, of thinking clearly of steps that will occur down the road. Car accidents include legal reports – from police, from doctors, from lawyers. Delaying a visit to the doctors makes all of this more difficult and needlessly complicated.
You might end up in court. The judge or the jury or the opponent’s lawyer is certain to ask why you didn’t see a doctor immediately. How can you be seeking compensation if you weren’t hurt enough to see a doctor right away?
So, here are the most frequently cited reasons for seeing an automobile accident specialist immediately after being involved in a car accident.
Muscle and spinal injuries often show up after a delay
One of the most common injuries sustained during a car accident is called whiplash. This occurs commonly with rear-end type accidents in which the body is jolted forward, while the victim’s head has room to whip around.
A whiplash injury can be devastating. The pain can be excruciating, and the effects can takes weeks, months, and even years to heal. However, one of the telltale signs of whiplash is that the body feels no pain for up to one, two, three, or more days after the accident.
Injuries left untreated will become worse
Injuries such as whiplash often get worse before they get better, and they might continue to worsen without proper treatment. If bones are knocked out of alignment, they may never move back into alignment by themselves. Meanwhile, if the body is out kilter and the injury affects neighboring joints, muscles, and ligaments that are overcompensating because of the injury. A knee out of whack eventually creates a hip that is out of whack or a back, neck, ankles, or feet.
Legal documentation may be critical
A simple accident could turn into a legal battle. Perhaps you need to collect compensation from another driver or dig yourself out of a legal jam. Documentation from the get-go is your best weapon in a court of law.
Have someone on your team
Documentation is also critical when dealing with other doctors and insurance companies. A doctor who specializes in automobile accidents knows the correct terminology and the proper explanations to help claims go through smoothly.
A delay will affect your settlement
As mentioned above, you could be entitled to a settlement to offset medical expenses. If you delay going to a doctor, this could greatly affect the size of the settlement, as the defendant will certainly question the severity of your claim if you didn’t even seek medical help immediately after the accident.
A lifetime of pain
Whiplash pain might not show up for a day or two (or even longer), but that doesn’t predict the severity of the injury. You will undoubtedly want treatment to begin as early as possible no matter how hurt you are, but the effects of some car accident injuries are life-long. Certainly, you should start treatment as soon as possible to secure the best prognosis for your injuries.