You’ve just been involved in a car accident. Your heart is racing and your mind struggles to piece together what went wrong, what led up to the collision. Most of us give ourselves a quick “once-over” to make sure we aren’t injured. But in these crucial moments after a crash, it can be hard to tell.
We’ve seen countless car accident victims who decline medical treatment at the scene of an accident and go on with their daily routine, then soon realize they were injured. In some of these cases, waiting to get medical treatment hurts their chances of being compensated appropriately by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Following an accident, adrenaline is high and you may not even realize you’re hurt. Often, the stiffness and soreness you wake up with the morning after your crash is your first indication that you’re seriously injured. It’s like the athlete who stays in the game until it’s over and only then realizes they had severely sprained or even broken a bone in the second quarter.
Adrenaline and related endorphins that are released in moments of high stress—like car accidents—have the ability to block pain. But in the age of car accidents, they can actually work against you.
Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, and damage to muscle, tendons, and ligaments) and even broken bones may not be immediately apparent after an accident. If you can’t see the damage with your eyes, your brain may trick you into thinking all is well. But in the days following an accident, these injuries can cause significant swelling, pain, and reduced mobility.
Concussions, which can be potentially serious brain injuries, often don’t show symptoms immediately. If left untreated, they can lead to dizziness, nausea, headaches, and even loss of consciousness. A physical assessment can determine if you have suffered a brain injury even before you have a chance to feel these unpleasant effects.
In the world of personal injury claims, your medical records tell the story of your accident. While it would be nice for the insurance company to take your word for it, they rely on these records to tell them how you felt after the accident. If you waited 24 hours following the crash to seek medical attention, they will inevitably argue that this delay indicates you weren’t as hurt as you claim.
In addition to hurting your chances to receive compensation for your injuries, the delay in seeking medical help could mean a longer recovery process. Left untreated, injuries can worsen in the hours and days following your collision.
If an accident caused significant damage to your vehicle, there’s a good chance you are hurt. If you felt your head get whipped back and forth at the moment of impact, you’ll likely be suffering in the days following. You don’t have to wait until the pain hits to seek medical attention. A trained physician, whether in the emergency room or at your primary care doctor’s office, will be able to assess your condition and determine if you’ve been hurt.
Not only is seeing a doctor right away important for your health, it could help you receive compensation for your ongoing treatment. After your injuries are taken care of, call the car accident experts at The Millar Law Firm, for your fast, free consultation.