Car accident victims often suffer serious injuries that go undetected for years because they felt “fine” right after the accident and didn’t go see a doctor. It is vitally important to get a thorough medical exam as soon as possible after any motor vehicle crash, even if you feel no pain.
Many injuries are not immediately obvious, especially in the chaos and confusion after an accident. The adrenaline pumping through your system can mask many symptoms of problems. A trained physician, however, will know the signs to look for. A minor misalignment in your body may not be noticeable right after the accident, for instance, but it can lead to tremendous and debilitating back pain in your future.
Getting a medical exam after an accident protects your health and it also helps preserve your ability to receive compensation for harm resulting from the accident.
Accident Injuries Your Doctor May Detect After an Accident
It is best to see a doctor the same day as the accident if possible. If you notice pain or an obvious problem right away, have emergency personnel take you to the hospital and request a complete exam. If you don’t feel pain or observe a problem with your vision, balance, or other senses, it is still best to get a full exam as soon as possible to detect hidden injuries.
Your doctor could observe signs of:
- Internal bleeding
- Whiplash and other muscle/tendon/ligament injuries which can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility
- Nerve damage
- Bleeding in the brain or other brain injuries
- Injuries to the spine or spinal cord
In some cases, an injury may not develop until some days after an accident, so the initial exam may reveal no injuries. Slow bleeding in the brain, for instance, may not be detectable until the accumulation of blood starts to cause headaches, seizures, difficulty in speaking, or other symptoms. Another example, X-rays, often used during emergency room visits, are limited in detecting many injuries that may only be seen with more advanced diagnostic tools such as an MRI, CTSCAN or Ultrasound. You may need to do follow up visits with a specialist to have these advanced studies done after your emergency room visit.
Follow Up Visits
Because some injuries may develop later, it is wise to return to the doctor if you notice anything unusual, even if your first diagnosis showed no injuries. Your body experienced intense trauma during the accident and it is likely that the trauma is going to have some harmful effects, even if it is not immediately obvious what those effects will be. Go back to the doctor if you experience any symptoms out of the ordinary.
If your doctor has ordered treatment, or simply requested that you return for a follow-up visit after a certain time, it is vital to follow those instructions. Failure to do so not only impacts your health but also your ability to recover compensation for your losses.
Records from the Doctor Support Your Claim for Compensation
While your physical health is the most important reason to go to the doctor, you should realize that going to the doctor can also help your financial situation after an accident. You may be legally entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and anguish, but you need proof of your injuries to recover a settlement or win a lawsuit.
A medical exam provides evidence to support your claims. If you don’t follow the doctor’s instructions, however, the lawyers for the other side will claim that it was your actions that are to blame for your suffering. So it is important to do as the doctor orders.
An Experienced Accident Attorney Can Guide You Through the Process
A car accident is an overwhelming experience, and it’s hard to know the right steps to take to help get your life back on track. The team at Johnnie Bond Law understands what you are going through and we are ready to help.
We can ensure that you find the medical care you need to make the best possible recovery, while we also work to ensure a full financial recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.