Should I See a Doctor After My Car Accident?

If you’ve recently been involved in a minor car accident, you may be asking yourself if you need to go see a doctor. Of course, it’s important to say that if you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or any other effects in the aftermath of a car accident, you should absolutely go to see a doctor right away. If, on the other hand, you were only involved in a minor fender-bender and you aren’t feeling any physical effects, you might be considering whether or not going to the doctor is really necessary.  Below are some important things to consider when making this decision.   

The Immediate Aftermath

In many cases, those involved in a minor car accident don’t notice symptoms of an injury immediately following the crash. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you’ll likely be feeling a rush of adrenaline which can significantly decrease your ability to accurately assess your condition. Just because you physically feel fine after a crash doesn’t mean that you actually are fine. In fact, as soon as the adrenaline subsides, you may start to feel the pain and discomfort that was there all along. It’s important that you take this into account after an accident and go to see a doctor right away, as avoiding the doctor may end up costing you in the long-run.

Soft Tissue Damage

Apart from bone, most of your body is made of what’s known as soft tissue. Soft tissue refers to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Car accidents, because of the considerable force involved even in minor ones, can often cause damage to soft tissue. One of the most common examples of soft tissue damage is whiplash, where your head is thrown around due to a sudden, unexpected stop in momentum. Whiplash can cause a great deal of pain, so if you think you’ve experienced it during your accident, you should promptly consult a medical professional. One thing that’s important to note about soft tissue damage is that the negative effects can often take time to manifest; sometimes it can take days before you start experiencing the full symptoms and pain.

Concussions

If you hit your head at all during a car accident, you should certainly go see a doctor right away. Concussions can be very serious and are not something to be taken lightly. Symptoms of a concussion include disorientation, clouded thinking, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident, it’s important that you go to a doctor to avoid any potential long-term damage. Most concussion symptoms last between 7 and 10 days, but some post-concussion symptoms can last up to 3 months. A common misconception is that air bags protect against concussions and other injuries. Even if you were involved in an auto accident while driving a car with air bags, you should still seek medical help. 

How Going to a Doctor Affects Your Personal Injury Case

Because there are many factors for determining fault in a personal injury case related to a car accident, it’s important to remember that seeing a doctor right away is an important step. Not only is it important for your health, but in the legal case you may be facing or pursuing. Often times, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and ask you to sign a release of any claims. If you do so, and injuries show up afterward, it’ll be very difficult to resolve.

It’s important to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible after an accident and also wait until all of your injuries have been resolved and all of your bills have come in before signing anything provided to you by the insurance companies. If you’ve been in an accident and want to speak to an Oregon auto accident attorney about your next steps, schedule a free consultation with Nelson MacNeil Rayfield today. 


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