Why You Should See a Doctor After Your Car Accident

Yes, You Should See a Doctor After Your Car Accident

After being in a car accident, many people think that no pain, or only mild pain means they do not need to see a doctor. Of course, they are likely to seek medical treatment immediately if they see a bone sticking out of their arm, have a piece of debris poking out of their leg, or are experiencing significant pain from a cracked skull.

However, a minor back ache, headache, or difficulty breathing are often shrugged off when they shouldn’t be. In fact, accessing the right care after a crash can save lives. That is why you should see a doctor immediately following a car accident.

Why should you seek medical attention quickly after a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car crash, one of the first steps you should take is to seek medical treatment. You should do this as quickly as possible to allow your doctor to look for any injuries that may have occurred during your accident. Less visible or underlying injuries may be present with minor or no symptoms at all. Therefore, if you do not visit a licensed medical provider, your injuries may become worse over time, which could result in life-long complications or death.

Additionally, if you do not seek medical attention immediately, the defendant may use this against you. For example, their insurance company may say that your injuries did not exist or were not severe enough to need medical treatment after the accident, which could negatively impact your case. Your medical records are key evidence that will show the types of injuries you suffered, how you received the injuries, and what type of medical treatment plan you are following. Without this vital information, you will not be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses due to the car crash.

The types of car accident injuries that may appear later

It is crucial that you are aware of the fact that not all injury symptoms show up immediately after a car accident. In fact, many car accident injuries take hours, days, or weeks to show any symptoms. Therefore, it is a bad idea to decide to put off going to the doctor as you may not realize that you are experiencing a serious injury that needs to be treated right away. Here are a few common examples of injuries with mild or late symptoms:

  • Traumatic brain injuriesTraumatic brain injuries are the result of a blow to the head. That said, if you hit your head on an object or the pavement during a car accident, you may have a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries are very dangerous and need to be treated as soon as possible or death may occur. It can take hours or days for TBI symptoms to show up. However, by the time you notice symptoms, it may be too late. This is why it is important for a doctor to assess your head and skull to determine if you have a concussion or any other type of TBI. Some of the mild symptoms that may begin to arise include headache, dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, tiredness, memory loss, and more.
  • WhiplashWhiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the neck experiences “rapid back-and-forth movement.” Symptoms of whiplash usually take days to appear, but if it is left untreated, it can lead to long-term complications as well as chronic pain. Some of the initial symptoms you may notice with whiplash are a stiff neck, pain in the neck area, inability to move your neck, headaches, tingling feelings in the arms, dizziness, and more.
  • Spinal cord or back injuries: Back or spinal cord injuries usually happen when there is damage to any area of the spinal cord or back during a car accident. When these types of injuries occur, individuals usually experience permanent change at the site of the injury and below. Therefore, if you have a spinal cord or back injury, you will most likely deal with life-changing consequences for the rest of your life. However, the sooner you get medical treatment, the more likely you are to have less-severe complications. While these injuries take days or weeks to show severe symptoms, you should get checked out by a doctor immediately. Some of the first symptoms you may begin to notice are difficulty breathing, pain in your back, inability to move or function like before, balance issues, and more.
  • Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding is a very serious matter that needs to be caught as quickly as possible. The bleeding occurs within the body, meaning that you cannot see it. Some people are lucky enough for their internal bleeding to stop on its own, while others need immediate surgery to stop it. Therefore, it is crucial that you seek medical treatment to determine if you have any internal bleeding in any area of your body after a car accident. Some symptoms that you should look out for include abdominal pain, swelling in a specific area of the body, purple skin, dizziness, feeling lightheaded, headaches, seizures, and more.

What should you say to a doctor after a car accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and need to speak with a doctor, there are several key pieces of information and questions you should consider discussing with them to ensure you receive appropriate care and document the incident accurately.

Start by providing a detailed description of the car accident. Explain the circumstances leading up to the accident, the severity of the impact, and any other relevant information. The doctor needs to understand the context of the accident to assess your injuries properly.

Clearly communicate any physical or psychological symptoms you are experiencing. This may include pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, anxiety, or any other discomfort. Even if you feel fine initially, it’s essential to mention any potential symptoms, as some injuries may have delayed onset.

Share your medical history with the doctor, including any pre-existing conditions, allergies, and medications you are currently taking. This information can be crucial in determining the most appropriate course of treatment.

If you lost consciousness at any point during the accident, it’s imperative to inform your doctor. This could be indicative of a more serious head injury or concussion that may require specific evaluation and treatment.

Describe in detail any injuries or areas of pain. This information helps the doctor assess potential fractures, sprains, or soft tissue injuries. The doctor may need to perform diagnostic tests, like X-rays or MRI scans, to further evaluate your condition.

Tell the doctor if you’ve noticed changes in your mobility, strength, or sensory perception following the accident. This information is vital for diagnosing potential nerve injuries or musculoskeletal problems.

Car accidents can be traumatic events, and they may cause emotional and psychological distress. Don’t hesitate to share any emotional or psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or flashbacks. Mental health is as important as physical health, and discussing these issues with a healthcare provider can lead to appropriate support and care.

Request documentation from the doctor about your visit. This could include a medical report outlining your injuries, treatment plan, and any recommended follow-up care. Such documentation can be crucial for insurance claims and legal matters related to the accident.

What should you NOT say to a doctor after a car accident?

Exaggerating your injuries can lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments. It’s essential to describe your symptoms accurately without embellishment. Doctors rely on your truthful account to make informed decisions about your care.

Conversely, withholding information about the accident or your medical history can also be detrimental. The doctor needs a complete picture to provide appropriate care. Be open about all relevant details, including pre-existing conditions and medications.

Don’t speculate or assign blame for the accident during your conversation with the doctor. Their primary concern is your health and well-being, and discussions about fault or liability are better suited for legal and insurance professionals.

While you can discuss treatment preferences and concerns, it’s essential not to demand specific treatments. Trust your doctor’s expertise in determining the best course of action. They will consider your input but will base their decisions on medical evidence and your unique situation.

Downplaying symptoms or dismissing them as insignificant can be harmful. Even minor discomfort or delayed-onset symptoms should be reported to the doctor, as they could be indicative of underlying issues that require attention.

Resist the urge to self-diagnose based on internet research or anecdotes. Your doctor is trained to evaluate your condition accurately and recommend appropriate treatments. Self-diagnosis can lead to misunderstanding or mismanagement of your health.

Avoid neglecting your mental health. Car accidents can be emotionally distressing, and psychological symptoms are as important as physical ones. Don’t downplay feelings of anxiety, depression, or other emotional challenges. Share these concerns with your doctor to receive appropriate support.

Discussing legal action or threats against the other party involved in the accident with your doctor is generally not productive. Doctors are focused on providing medical care, and such discussions are better suited for your legal counsel or insurance representatives.

How Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys can help you

Whether you have sustained a spine and neck injury, internal bleeding, concussion, or any other type of injury from a car accident, Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys is here to help you through every hurdle and challenge of the legal process. We know and understand that filing a claim after being in an auto accident can cause stress, frustration, and confusion. Therefore, we will help you navigate the process, explain every detail, and ensure that you are kept up to date and informed about everything going on with your case.

Our team is dedicated to helping clients stand up to insurance companies and negligent drivers who caused their accidents and injuries, and we will fight for your right to the compensation you are entitled to.

For years, the lawyers of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have been working to protect the rights of clients who have suffered injuries and other losses from motor vehicle accidents. If you need assistance from an attorney you can trust and depend on, call our office or submit our contact form today. We will help you file a claim for reimbursement of your losses at our office locations in Kansas City (MO), Lee’s Summit, Parkville, St. Joseph, Olathe, Overland Park, and Kansas City (KS). You can visit our main office at any time or make an appointment at our other offices.