Why Should I Visit the Doctor After a Car Crash?
You’ve just experienced a minor fender bender. It seems no one was hurt and you followed the standard steps to report the accident. Once that’s taken care of, both you and the other party are content to go on your way, not giving it too much more thought.
About a week later, your lower back begins to ache a little. It’s irksome, but you try to go about your day without dwelling on it. A month goes by and the back pain has become steadily worse. You visit the doctor only to discover that you tweaked your back in that car accident and it is going to continue causing problems unless you get some help.
Since this back problem was caused by the accident, you figure you can claim the medical bills and insurance will take care of it. There’s just one major problem: The insurance company tells you that since it took you so long to make the trip to your doctor, either this back issue can’t be that bad or that it can’t have been caused by the accident.
While the scenario just described is fictitious, a similar replay of it happens again and again in real life, adding financial stress to the physical pain.
Since the chemicals your body gives off due to the stress of an accident often serve to mask pain, it’s difficult to really know if you’ve been injured in the car accident if the injury isn’t externally visible. Thanks to those masking agents such as adrenaline and endorphins, it can take days or even weeks for some injuries to really show.
Because of this, it’s important to visit the doctor at the first sign that something might be wrong if you’ve been in an accident.
In addition to treating any problems (hopefully before they have the chance to get worse), it’s important to have the medical visit documented should you need to claim any medical expenses. If you wait too long to visit the doctor, it’s likely that the insurance company will either claim that the injury wasn’t actually that bad and you just want more money now, or they’ll claim that the injury wasn’t even related to the accident at all since the doctor’s visit is so far from the date of the crash.
Visiting the doctor if you suspect you might have been injured (even if you don’t feel as bad as you normally would in order to go to the doctor) helps you figure out if you did sustain any injuries or what symptoms to be on the lookout for.
Common delayed injuries
There are two main types of injuries that might not manifest immediately: soft tissue injuries and head injuries.
Since they don’t involve bone, soft tissue injuries can’t be seen on X-rays. Rather, the damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons can take some time to become apparent after an accident, even though the pain from them can be just as serious.
Soft tissue injuries—which encompass strains and sprains—include the following:
- Whiplash/neck pain
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
Head injuries become apparent in a different way. While headaches are certainly one symptom of a head injury, there are a number of warning signs to watch out for that signal something is wrong:
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or remembering information
- Blurry vision
If you were injured in an accident, Bachus and Schanker’s team of personal injury lawyers may be able to help! Contact its Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Denver injury lawyers for a free consultation today.
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