If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know those moments immediately following the wreck are some of the most difficult minutes of your life. You aren’t sure exactly how you got there, you’re waiting for help to arrive, and you don’t know what will happen next.
You’re also trying to figure out how you feel. Does anything hurt? If so, how bad is it? Who can help you figure it out?
Once help has arrived and things are being sorted, you should have a minute to breathe and take a mental inventory of your physical condition. Unless something major has happened, you may think you’re okay if you aren’t in a lot of pain. This might make you think you don’t need to see a doctor.
This is a mistake.
Getting a medical evaluation from a trusted physician is one of the most important things you can do immediately after you have been involved in an auto accident. Here are a few reasons why.
If you are in a car wreck, your adrenaline is going to be sky high afterward, so you may not feel any pain right away because you are so amped up. As time wears on after the accident, however, symptoms may begin to show up that could indicate hidden injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, soft tissue damage, or whiplash.
You don’t want your health to be compromised by not seeing a doctor simply because you “felt fine” after the accident.
When you see a doctor after a car accident, they will examine you thoroughly for potential problems. (Make sure you tell them you have been in a wreck.) They should conduct a neurological exam and depending on any symptoms, they may want to run tests such as an X-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI to determine the best course of action.
If you do have an injury, treatment as soon as possible gives you the best chance of recovery. Delaying treatment because you didn’t go to the doctor right away could cause your injuries to worsen, which could delay your recovery and make your life much harder than it had to be.
Protect your insurance claim
Going to the doctor immediately after a car wreck is also important when it comes to paying for treatment of your injuries and for replacing your vehicle. Some insurance companies may look for reasons not to pay your claims, so if you do not see a doctor, they could use that as a reason to deny payment.
On the other hand, if you do head straight to the doctor, this will provide proof for your claims. The doctor can determine the severity of your injuries and can confirm that they were caused by the accident. The medical records they produce can be used as evidence to support your claims in the future.
Dealing with the pain of an injury from a car accident can be difficult in the midst of all the practical arrangements that need to be made. If you need to see a doctor right away, call SamWell Institute for Pain Management. Dr. Shah and his team will be happy to evaluate your condition after the accident and recommend a treatment plan to return your body to normalcy in the days ahead.