Should I see a doctor after a car accident?
“I feel fine. I have a few scratches, but I am okay. Do I still need to see a doctor?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions not only online, but also to friends and relatives of the person who got into a car accident. Most would answer, yes, you still need to go and see a doctor, but it is not just because they care but also because it is the right thing to do. There might be no blood and you might look fine, but who knows what is going on inside your body?
A car accident might be a traumatic event, there will be a lot of things you need to take care of– from insurance claims, property damage, police investigations, and legal consultations. However, you should never forget to take care of yourself first, and by that, we mean your health. No matter how big or small the accident is, you should see a doctor, not only for legal claims or lawsuits but also for your own good. You need to know whether there are hidden health concerns that need to be treated. Let us discuss a few common injuries that will not show themselves immediately right after the accident.
Back and neck injuries
Back and neck injuries are usually common because of the impact of the car crash, however, some think they are too common and think that the pain will just go away. Most people think the pain they feel from their back or neck is just sore because of the impact of the crash. But in reality, it might be more than a sore, car accidents might include injuries such as spine injuries, disc injuries, fractures, or sprain.
If not treated properly, a sore might become a serious injury. You should see a doctor for an x-ray and a proper diagnosis. An untreated injury will more things harder and more expensive, do not risk it.
Whiplash will not immediately show after the accident. It might take days or weeks after the accident before the injuries will present themselves. Whiplash occurs when a neck is forced but then snapped quickly in its original place. This occurrence can cause neck pain, back pain, headaches, and result in a significant strain on the spine.
See a doctor for x-ray services, and you will know whether your spine is okay or not.
After the accident, you might look okay and there might be no blood at all. But internal injuries exist, and they are hard to detect because they are not visible. There might be soft tissue injuries after being involved in an accident, such as torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments. These can lead to extreme pain if left untreated. That is why you need to see a doctor to know whether there are internal injuries.
Discussions with your doctor
Now that we have established that you need to go and see your doctor after being involved in an accident, let us talk about the things you need to discuss with your doctor.
- Your complete health history
You need to disclose it to your doctor if something happened to you even if it was years ago. Let the doctor know if you are currently taking medications, or disclose if you have any illnesses. This might be crucial in the next steps if an injury was determined.
- What happened in the crash
Do not just tell them which part of your body is in pain, let them know what happened in the accident. In that way, the doctor will determine how you got hurt in the crash and run the necessary tests. But do not say inaccurate statements, as this might cause confusion.
- Your injury and your treatment
If it is determined that you are indeed injured, discuss your future treatments. The road to healing is long, and you will need to be physically, mentally, and financially ready for it. You have to know how long it is going to take, and how much it will cost. Is it covered by your insurance? If the other driver is at fault and they will pay for it, what will be the payment terms?
If you will be compensated, you need to know how much everything will cost so your lawyer can present it in court.
- Can you go to work or should you rest?
Most people after the accident or checkups go back to work and think that life does not stop. It is true that we should all move forward, but the question is how you will move forward? You need to know whether you are fit to work or not.
Medical bills might come at a price but if you will go to work when the doctor advised that you should rest, then your condition might worsen. Your health will be at risk and your medical bills might just be more expensive. Hence, discuss your health situation, your limitations, and what you should do moving forward to healing.
This is also important if you will be compensated by a lawsuit. Let your attorney know if you will lose your salary because you are not fit to work.
- Your healing outcome
You need to know what will happen to you when you are completely healed. Because complete healing does not mean everything goes back to normal. There might be instances where an injury might have caused a permanent disability. You might be able to do the things you are doing before the accident, you might have a limited range of motions.
Whatever the case is, you should know. This is for your own good, so you will know how you can move forward with your life. Moreover, this information might also be needed if you are filing a lawsuit and claiming compensation.
See a doctor today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident recently, call us today to schedule a checkup. We are dedicated to providing individualized care for each patient. Elite Sport and Personal Injury Centers of Atlanta are here for you.