Do I need to visit the doctor after a car accident, even if I’m not hurt?

Driver With a Sore Neck After a Car WreckYou should see a doctor as soon as possible after your collision, even if you feel fine. You could have internal injuries that have not yet surfaced, jeopardizing your health. Promptly seeking medical help will also strengthen your vehicle accident claim. Here is a short overview of some common car accident injuries:

  • Internal Injuries. Internal injuries caused by a vehicle collision can worsen over time when left untreated.
  • Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly thrust forward and then backward in a vehicle accident. The chronic pain caused by whiplash may take days, or even weeks, to develop.
  • Concussion. Violent jolts to the body stemming from the impact of a vehicle collision may cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull with tremendous force. This can cause a concussion, leading to symptoms that include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, lack of concentration, and memory lapses. While these symptoms can be very serious, they often do not surface immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Typical soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, and tears to the tendons, muscles, and ligaments of the back, neck, and shoulders. Injury victims may not experience any pain or swelling until a week or more after the collision.
  • Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a jolt to the head, and symptoms can take several weeks or more to emerge. These injuries may result in hearing problems, vision difficulties, and memory lapses.

Receiving a Medical Evaluation

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident, you should obtain a medical evaluation even if you don’t believe that you’re injured. If injury symptoms surface in the future, you’ll need documentation showing that you sought prompt medical treatment. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster will likely argue that your injuries aren’t serious. Your health insurance should cover any necessary medical treatments, and your insurance company can be repaid out of any future vehicle accident settlements you may receive. To protect your right to compensation, consult an attorney as soon as possible. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by using the form on this page.