One of your first steps after you’ve been in a car accident should be to visit a doctor’s office. Approximately 2.35 million people in the U.S. every year suffer from injuries and disabilities after they’ve been in a car crash, and these injuries aren’t always immediately apparent.
That said, even if you didn’t need to visit the emergency room or be treated by EMTs, it’s a good idea to have yourself checked out by a medical professional. But many people who get into a car accident and don’t suffer from visible injuries often believe they’re fine. This can be a major mistake if your insurance company denies your claim or you need to file for personal injury damages in the future.
Why is it so important to see a doctor after a car accident?
You may think you’re fine after you’ve been in a car accident because there’s no visible injury and nothing immediately hurts. However, car accidents can be traumatic. Adrenaline and shock can keep you from feeling injuries and you may not feel the pain until days later.
Unfortunately, if you wait for the pain to subside before deciding something is wrong, you can end up hurting your car accident claim even if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Insurance companies and the defendant’s personal injury lawyer will use the amount of time between the accident and your visit to the doctor to claim your injury came from another cause or that the accident didn’t cause the injury at all.
To avoid insurance companies from doubting you, it’s a good idea to see a medical professional within three days of the crash. When in doubt, it’s always better to see a doctor sooner rather than later. In fact, it’s best to see your doctor the same day as the accident or the next day.
Rapid medical attention and treatment is important for your health and for your car accident claim. The risk of a concussion, fracture, or internal bleeding is high after a car crash.
If you can’t get in to see your primary care provider the same day or next day after your accident, consider visiting your local urgent care clinic or the emergency room. Once your adrenaline starts to wear off, your body will start to let you know that something is wrong.
Should I see a neurologist after my car accident?
After you’ve received medical attention after your accident, you might be recommended to visit a neurologist. You can also ask your PCP about recommending a neurologist if you continue to suffer from headaches or dizziness.
Neurology is the study and treatment of disorders of the entire nervous system. During a car accident, your brain and spine are the most vulnerable parts of your body. Many people suffer from concussions, neck injuries, or back injuries after a car crash.
A neurologist can examine your body to determine if you have the early stages of an injury related to your nerves before the injury gets worse. Neurological injuries can take on many forms, but common symptoms include:
- Weakness in an extremity
- Tingling in an extremity
- Numbness in an extremity
It can also help to visit a neurologist to get to the bottom of your injuries for your personal injury case. Your doctor’s office may document certain injuries and symptoms that were caused by the accident, but a neurologist may be able to pinpoint why you’re suffering from those symptoms.
Your neurologist will also help you design an individuals treatment plan for your specific symptoms and injuries so you can find relief.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
Another reason why it’s so important to visit a doctor after you’ve been in a car accident is that car accident injuries vary from concussions to fractures to emotional trauma. Your injuries can vary based on the position of your car, where you were hit, whether you were wearing a seat belt, and the force of the collision.
You can even suffer an injury from a car accident that seems minor. Symptoms aren’t always immediately apparent, which is why it’s crucial to get checked out.
Here are a few of the most common types of car accident injuries:
- Whiplash. Whiplash is the number one most common type of car accidentinjuries. Whiplash is when a car turns or is hit abruptly and causes the driver or passenger’s next to move back and forth sharply. This sudden movement causes injury to the tendons and muscle in the neck, which can result in injury. Whiplash can heal over time, but some cases can be severe. Symptoms include neck stiffness, neck pain, loss of range of motion, and worsening pain when you move your neck.
- Concussion. Concussions are caused when the brain hits a part of the skull because the head has been thrown back and forth. Concussions are serious injuries and can happen even if you don’t hit your head against anything. Symptoms include dizziness, ringing in the ears, headache, head pressure, temporary loss of consciousness, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty remembering things.
- Emotional injuries. Although physical injuries are often apparent or become apparent over time, emotional injuries that occur after the accident may not be immediate. Emotions injuries can include PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Anxiety is especially common after a car accident because of the trauma and abrupt release and withdrawal of adrenaline. However, if your anxiety lasts for long periods of time and you experience painful memories of the car accident, you may be experiencing PTSD. It may be a good idea to see a psychologist who specializes in car accident trauma if you’re experiencing emotional difficulties after your accident.
- Bone fractures. In a car accident, bone fractures are caused by blunt force or compression. Any bone can be fractured in an accident. However, the most common types of fractures include the legs, arms, feet, and hands. In a rear-end accident, the force of the impact can cause the driver’s wrists, hands, or arms to fracture. This is because of their position at the steering wheel. It’s not always apparent when you’ve suffered from a bone fracture. Symptoms can include redness, bruising, swelling, loss of function in the extremity, severe pain, and deformity.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries happen to the body’s tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Anywhere that your body was stretched, bent, or compressed in a car accident can be damaged in a car accident. Musculoskeletal injuries can be just as painful as a bone fracture. They can limit your ability to perform tasks and can worsen with activity. Symptoms may include redness, inflammation, and swelling.
Injuries after a car accident can vary over a wide range. That said, even if you don’t believe you have any of the injuries listed above, it’s important to see a doctor after your accident to be on the safe side.
When you see a doctor after your accident, you can also feel secure knowing that your personal injury lawyer will have the medical papers documenting your injuries. But before you can give your personal injury lawyer your medical documents, you need to find the right personal injury lawyer for you.
Where can I find personal injury lawyers Odessa TX residents trust?
It’s important to go see a doctor immediately after your car accident to make sure you don’t have any injuries or nerve damage. If you do have injuries or nerve damage, it’s important that a medical professional document them early on so you can use them in your personal injury case.
If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney Odessa TX trusts, Heriberto Ramos is the lawyer for you. For more information, schedule a consultation at the law offices of Heriberto Ramos and Associates today.