After a car crash, you’re often overwhelmed. Most car crashes happen unexpectedly, so you may feel you were powerless and unprepared.
Often, relief that the traumatic event is over and no one seems injured may give you a false sense of safety and you may choose to move on without undergoing a medical examination.
You wouldn’t be the only one making this choice. Many car accident survivors skip going to the doctor because they think they do not need it. And even when they do go, sometimes they don’t recount the full story. These are dangerous decisions.
Making one of these mistakes could lead to prolonged ailments or potentially life-threatening injuries. Car accidents can cause unseen physical damages that you may begin to feel days, and sometimes even weeks, later. That is why it’s always wise to see a doctor after a car accident, even if the collision was minor.
Potentially deadly injuries
Being in a car accident can be a life-threatening experience that can result in physical and emotional traumas. Put simply, sudden impacts can harm your body in many ways because you are not built for this type of trauma.
Some of the injuries you may suffer during a car accident may not cause pain at first, even though the injury is real, may need immediate treatment, and may cause you serious damage. What is worse, in some cases, avoiding medical treatment until you feel pain may be a fatal decision.
Let’s look, for example, at partial organ damage and internal bleeding. Partial organ damage occurs when one or more of your organs suffer damage during the accident. Your body is resilient and can keep an organ functioning even if it has some damage, at least while it attempts to heal.
Unfortunately, if one of the organs shuts down, it is common for others to shut down as well. Although an accident victim may not have seemed too sick or injured, once they suddenly enter organ failure, they will very quickly need emergency medical attention to avoid death.
Internal bleeding is another life-threatening injury that may or may not cause pain. If you sustain a small wound internally, you may not notice any pain or soreness in the area for several days. After a time, however, a small internal injury may cause organ failure, shock, and even death, depending upon where it is located in the body and if not recognized.
For example, if there is uncontrolled bleeding in the abdomen, the body may lose enough circulating red blood cells, the body’s organs may begin to fail and the injured victim can die.
|Read also: How to Avoid Car Accidents|
When to see a doctor after a car crash
Although in many cases, pain and medical problems are delayed up to several days or even weeks after the accident, it is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible.
For example, Florida’s No-Fault motor vehicle law and other states with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage require that you see a doctor within 14 days to be able to claim PIP benefits.
You don’t want to wait and then find yourself having to pay your bills out of pocket because the deadline for filing your PIP claim has passed.
Generally, the length of time you allow to pass before you go see a doctor differs on a case by case basis.
However, if you were in an accident and waited several weeks, insurance companies will often argue that this gap is an indication that you were not seriously injured. Thus, you should consider seeking immediate medical treatment after a crash.
The rush of adrenaline you may experience after the accident can also prevent you from feeling the full extent of your injuries. Therefore, you don’t know that issues won’t arise in the future.
See a doctor who specializes in car accident injury treatment
Photo Credit: Pexels
When your physical injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention, you should go to the emergency room (ER) because they are equipped to handle emergencies.
However, their medical professionals are not set up to help you after the emergency is over. They will not be there for follow-ups or to re-evaluate the severity of injuries.
If you try to see your primary care provider, you may find that they will not see you. Most primary care doctors are not set up to bill car insurance companies because they only work with health insurance companies. This means that you’ll likely have to pay if they do agree to see you.
Also, primary care doctors may choose not to see you because your case can take time away from their practices. They usually treat everyday medical problems and refer to issues beyond this to specialists.
For these reasons, if you were involved in a car wreck, you should see a medical doctor who specializes in motor vehicle accident injury treatment.
They are better equipped to both evaluate and treat your injuries and they are better able to deal with insurance company claims and bill auto insurance companies directly.
|See also: What Is Physical Therapy And Why Is It Necessary After A Car Accident?|
Talking to your doctor after a car crash
The more detailed information you provide to your doctor about the problems you are experiencing as a result of your accident, the more accurate the documentation of your claim will be, and the better care you will receive.
That is why you should tell your doctor of any previous injuries or conditions. In the state of Florida, for example, if you have pre-existing conditions, you’re entitled to more recovery, because you injure more easily, and often take longer to heal.
An insurance company may have reasons to contest the extent of your injuries if you don’t disclose pre-existing conditions and might claim you haven’t been truthful or forthcoming.
Every time you see your car accident doctor, they will chart your history and symptoms and will document the clinical findings, and the treatment plan.
This information can help connect your medical condition to the crash and, in the end, help you when you will have to calculate your damages.
What’s more, a car accident doctor will know how to meet insurance requirements and feature the specific details that everyday health care providers may not know to include.
Protect yourself after an auto accident
After any car accident, it is important to protect yourself and your rights. That is why you should always continue medical treatment as long as you have pain and other symptoms; therefore, you must avoid gaps in treatment. Also, you should follow your doctors’ advice to the best of your abilities and follow up when needed.
In conclusion, a prompt full medical examination helps identify hidden injuries for timely treatment, while high-quality medical care can help keep yourself protected.
About The Author:
Sean M. Cleary is a car accidents attorney, founder, and president of the Miami, Florida-based The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. Mr. Cleary approaches his cases with knowledge and professionalism and uses his in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry to create positive results for clients and help them get the compensation they deserve.