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Should You See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Emergency doctor ventilating injured woman after motorbike accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you might be wondering whether you need to see a doctor. While it’s understandable to worry about the hassle of visiting a physician – and the associated costs – if you’ve been in a car crash, it’s almost always worthwhile to get checked out by a proper medical professional.

Read on for a discussion of why it’s so important to see a doctor after a car accident, especially when someone else might be at fault. If you’ve been hurt in a traffic crash in the greater Philadelphia area, call a seasoned Chestnut Hill car accident attorney at Benedum Law for immediate assistance.

You Might Not Recognize Hidden Injuries

If you’ve been in a car accident, you could have suffered any number of injuries: broken bones, cuts and lacerations, concussion, whiplash, etc. Not every injury, however, is readily apparent as soon as the accident occurs. Of course, you will notice if you have a broken bone or a massive gash, but you might not be aware of internal damage that can be harder to identify. Moreover, your adrenaline is likely pumping during and after a car accident, which can render you unaware of injuries. When the adrenaline wears off, you might suddenly find yourself in serious pain.

Many car accident victims, for example, suffer whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the torso is pushed in one direction while the head is pulled in another, causing a whipping motion. The whipping motion puts undue strain on the neck and spine, potentially causing a host of painful, debilitating side effects. The symptoms of whiplash can take hours or days to develop, however; it’s worth seeing a doctor both right after your accident and should any symptoms arise, to ensure you are properly diagnosed.

Other injuries such as concussion, internal bleeding, and organ damage might not present symptoms for hours or days as well. A doctor may be able to identify those injuries much sooner through proper diagnostics. If you wait too long to discover that you are bleeding internally, or that you’ve suffered brain or organ damage, the consequences can be dire. You could exacerbate those injuries with other activities, or the internal injuries can be allowed to fester and manifest until much more serious damage occurs.

Car accidents can be extremely traumatic and dangerous. See a doctor as soon as possible to ensure you protect your health at all costs.

Waiting to See a Doctor Can Undermine Your Case

In addition to protecting your health, seeing a doctor soon after your car accident is important to your financial and legal rights. First of all, you’ll need medical evidence to back up your insurance claims and injury claims. Even just filing for insurance coverage requires the doctor’s notes and other documents. Seeing a doctor will put your insurance carrier on notice that you are taking your accident seriously and that you have sustained injuries that require coverage.

Moreover, if you wait several days or weeks to see a doctor, a savvy insurance claims adjuster or defense attorney will use that to undermine your claims. They’ll argue that whatever injuries or symptoms you are experiencing could have occurred in some other incident after the car accident. They may use your delay to contend that your injuries are not as serious as you later argue. Insurance companies and defense lawyers will utilize any strategy they can find to reduce the validity or value of your claim.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you suffered a serious injury in the accident and require emergency care, wait at the scene for emergency responders to arrive. Accept their help, take the ambulance ride, and get all the emergency care you need. Do not worry about costs; you can figure that out later. Even if you are able to leave the scene under your own power, if you suffered a serious injury, get to an emergency room as soon as possible.

Even if your injuries do not appear severe, you should still try to see a doctor soon after your accident. If you can’t get an appointment with your regular primary care physician, head to an urgent care clinic. Try to get to a medical professional within 72 hours at the absolute most after your accident. You’ll protect your health, your finances, and your legal rights.

Call for Help Bringing a Personal Injury Claim After a Philadelphia Traffic Crash

If you have been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence in the greater Philadelphia area, please contact Benedum Law online or call 215-529-7848 (215-LAWSUIT) for a free consultation. Our experienced Chestnut Hill law firm works to ensure you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve after suffering an injury due to another party’s negligence.

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