Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident Even If I Am Not Hurt?Last updated on: November 14, 2022
Being in a car accident is stressful and frightening, as these situations can often lead to property damage and serious injury. When the dust settles after a collision or other accident, you may find that you feel fine and have not received any injury. While you seem to have made a lucky escape, you may still wonder if you should be going to the doctor anyway, especially if you are considering legal action regarding the car accident.
Going to the doctor can be inconvenient, particularly when there is nothing outwardly the matter. However, it could be in your best interest to go to the doctor after being in a car accident regardless of whether or not you intend to bring a legal claim. If you have been in a car accident and you are considering legal action, contact the car accident attorneys of Zinda Law Group today for a free case consultation.
Do You Always Need to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
There will always be situations in which a car accident is minor enough that no medical harm was caused. Many people experience no injury from automobile accidents and do not need to receive any treatment. However, the human body is unpredictable, and it can be extremely difficult to tell whether or not you have been injured in the moments following a car crash.
Some injuries, such as broken bones or lacerations, are immediately obvious. However, there are many injuries that are more subtle but still indicate injury and could become problems in the long term, especially if left untreated.
When to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
If you are considering bringing a claim for the injuries you have received in a car accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible following the car accident. The reason for this is that in the event of a lawsuit, an opposing party will want to dispute the idea that your injury came from the accident. For example, if you received a concussion in a car accident but you were not diagnosed by your doctor for a week and a half, the opposing party could seize on anything that happened between the car accident and the diagnosis and blame the injury on that, rather than the accident.
Going to see a doctor as soon as possible is not just better for your health, but it is also better for your claim. A diagnosis soon after the accident in your claim will establish a stronger link between the two, which will help your case in the long run.
Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident
A common car accident injury involves damage to the soft tissues which make up the human body. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the body make up soft tissue (as opposed to injuries such as broken bones). Soft tissue injuries commonly occur from blunt force trauma to a part of the body, which is why they are so prevalent in car accidents, even relatively minor ones.
Whiplash is one extremely common soft tissue injury that occurs during a car accident, in which soft tissues in the neck are injured by the sudden, sharp movement of the head snapping forward and back abruptly, which often occurs in a car accident upon collision. Stiffness and shoulder and neck pain are symptoms of whiplash, as are headaches.
Other soft tissues injuries common in car accidents are bruising, which leads to discoloration of the skin where the body was impacted by blunt force, and sprains and strains, in which the tendons are partially or wholly torn after being extended beyond their usual range of motion. Bruising generally goes away on its own, but it could also be indicative of a more serious internal injury, while sprains and strains can also heal on their own in mild cases, but in serious cases could require surgery.
Concussions After a Car Accident
A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain. Any kind of blow to the head or shaking or jolting motion could result in a concussion, and these movements are common in car accidents—often, people hit their heads on the back of their seats or their steering wheels, or could even be struck with debris.
Concussions can be very, very serious, as is any injury involving the brain. If untreated, damage from a concussion can become permanent and impair brain function, leading to lifelong disability.
Just because someone did not hit their head “hard” or lose consciousness upon hitting their head does not mean that they did not sustain a concussion in a car accident. Headaches, disorientation, loss of energy, and sensitivity to light are all symptoms of a concussion and medical professionals should be informed of any developments following a car accident if you suspect someone has had a concussion.
What Kind of Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident?
The kind of doctor you should see after a car accident depends on your injury. If your injury is serious and discovered at the scene of the accident, you may receive treatment from emergency room doctors or EMTs (always call an ambulance if anyone is injured at the scene of an accident). If you later experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or unstoppable bleeding, you should also call 911 and seek emergency medical help in that case.
If you do not think you are injured or you are unsure if you are injured or not, it would be a good idea to start off with your family doctor to be checked for injuries. Generally, regardless of whether or not anything is wrong, you will need a referral from your family doctor before you can see a specialist to deal with a specific injury. If your doctor does find something that requires specialist treatment, you will see a doctor specifically for that injury, such as a radiologist or an orthopedic surgeon.
What Should I Do If My Doctor Doesn’t See Me After an Accident
If you cannot get an appointment to see your doctor soon after your accident, you may want to consider finding another doctor to check you for injuries, because of the importance of receiving any injury diagnoses as soon after the accident as possible.
If you are experiencing serious symptoms like the ones listed above, or any of these, you should call 911 and seek emergency medical treatment, and not wait for a doctor appointment.
What if My Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?
Some injuries do not manifest themselves at the scene of the accident and can take some time to show up. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as a doctor may be able to find initial signs of injury that would not have become apparent to you for a longer time.
Additionally, you should not rush to settle a car accident claim right away or immediately sign a release of claims. You should wait to make sure you do not have injuries that could be relevant to your claim before making any legal decisions regarding it.
Your Car Accident Claim
Being injured in a car accident can cause major disruptions to your life. You may be unable to work for a time, you will have to pay medical bills and receive treatment, and in some cases you may suffer mentally as well. Your personal injury lawsuit for a car accident can ask for compensation for these and other harms resulting from being injured in a car accident.
Statute of Limitations Following An Accident
The statute of limitations for car accident claims varies by the type of harm (property damage or personal injury) and the state you are in, so it is important to discuss with a lawyer what the rules are in your specific jurisdiction. In some states, such as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Louisiana, the statute of limitations for an injury claim is just one year. Getting in touch with a lawyer to discuss your potential case as soon as possible is essential to avoid having your case thrown out on a technicality like the statute of limitations.
When should I contact an attorney?
If you have suffered an injury or damage to property as a result of a car accident, you should contact a lawyer to discuss a possible case. In addition, if you have been informed by another party involved in the car accident that they are contacting a lawyer, or you have been offered a settlement by the other party, you should immediately contact a lawyer before proceeding in order to be aware of all your legal options.
Get Help From Zinda Law Group Today
If you are unsure whether or not you have a case, you can speak to the attorneys at Zinda Law Group for a free case consultation.. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have extensive experience recovering settlements for clients who have been injured in car accidents. In addition, Zinda Law Group’s No Win, No Fee Guarantee ensures that you will only pay anything if you receive a favorable settlement or verdict—otherwise, you won’t pay a thing.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group today and see how our attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.