Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident Even If I Am Not Hurt

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Almost any automobile accident is a traumatic event, even if you do not sustain severe injuries. Most people think car accident injuries are immediately apparent, but this is not the case. Some of the most severe car accident injury symptoms may not appear for days or weeks following a collision. Thus, it is essential to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you do not think you are hurt. Here’s more information on the importance of seeing a doctor to protect your physical health and legal rights. 

Car Accident Statistics

Automobile accidents are common on U.S. roadways. According to statistics, almost 40,000 people die each year in car accidents. Thus, the U.S. traffic death rate is approximately 12.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. This is one of the highest rates among industrialized nations. An additional 4.5 million people are seriously injured in car accidents each year, with injuries severe enough to warrant medical attention. 

The societal and economic impacts of car accidents are immense. It is estimated that auto accidents cost U.S. citizens nearly $870 billion in medical costs each year. Further, car accidents cost the U.S. more than $400 million in direct medical costs annually. Car accidents are a significant public health concern, and meaningful measures should occur to address this issue and ensure victims receive proper care. 

Most Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents cause a wide variety of injuries. However, there are common injuries that occur in a high percentage of crashes. While surface bruises and lacerations are easily identifiable, the most obvious damage to your body may not be immediately visible. Here are the most common car accident injuries: 

  • Neck injuries: Neck injuries are common in car accidents because the neck is particularly vulnerable to jerking movements caused by unexpected collisions. Your neck provides backward and forward flexion, but sharp neck motions can lead to lasting discomfort. Whiplash and long-lasting neck discomfort are common after car accidents.
  • Back injuries: Back injuries are among the most common car accident injuries. From pinched nerves to damaged ligaments, a back injury can be devastating. Specific injuries to the back can present life-long complications, such as broken vertebrae. These back injuries can prohibit individuals from holding down a job and performing many daily duties independently.
  • Concussion: A concussion is a severe brain injury that is common after a car accident. Symptoms vary from mild headaches to severe cognitive impairment and brain damage. Concussions are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention.
  • Broken ribs: The rib cage protects the body’s organs from damage but still allows mobility for breathing. The impact can easily break the bones in the body’s rib cage of a car accident. Minor damage often heals fairly quickly, but severe damage can take longer, making breathing difficult and damaging internal organs.

Other common car accident injuries include internal bleeding, broken bones, and contusions. 

Reasons To See a Doctor After a Car Accident 

Car accidents involving two or more vehicles come with a great deal of force applied to the cars and the occupants. This force can cause a great deal of trauma to the body, the most damaging of which is often not apparent for several weeks. Only a trained medical professional is qualified to diagnose your injuries following a car accident properly. Here are five reasons it is essential to see a doctor after a car collision: 

Reason #1- Doctors Diagnose Pain Before it Starts

Most people seek medical attention if they experience pain or discomfort following a car crash. However, seeing a doctor is still a must, even if you are not experiencing any pain. The human body is remarkably resilient, but it cannot withstand the force involved in an automobile accident. Our bodies react to traumatic events by releasing hormones that can temporarily dull pain. What may seem like a minor injury can quickly get more severe without much notice. The nature of the damage may mean injury symptoms do not come to the surface for weeks or even months after the accident. A timely examination by a trained specialist can identify issues that are not yet causing pain. 

Reason #2- Reports are Crucial For Insurance Claims

Insurance companies require several pieces of information to process a compensation claim. A critical piece of data insurance companies seek is whether you saw a doctor within a reasonable timeframe. Three days is generally considered the acceptable window of time to seek medical attention. 

Insurance companies also require evidence of your injuries. A medical report taken soon after the car accident is crucial to documenting your health, even if you do not think you are hurt. Your doctor can note any burgeoning injuries and provide all of the details within the proper window of time required by the insurance company. 

Reason #3- Treatments Must Occur Within a Narrow Window

Car accident injuries such as internal bleeding and concussions do not usually come with immediate symptoms, but they must be treated immediately to avoid more severe problems. Many injuries that do not have immediate symptoms come with a narrow treatment window. If you wait to see a doctor, your condition may worsen and become harder to treat. Further, you risk further damage if you resume your daily activities without first seeing a doctor. 

Reason #4- Your Initial Visit Can Be Covered by Insurance

Michigan is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. In no-fault states, motorists need to have personal injury protection coverage. Basic personal injury coverage pays for up to $25,000 of your medical expenses after an accident. Thus, your insurance policy will likely pay for your initial medical insurance. Therefore, you shouldn’t wait to seek the care you need or worry about using your health insurance. 

Reason #5- Medical Evidence May Help Your Legal Claim

The negligent party’s insurance company may try to pay as little as possible on your claim by diminishing your injuries. Some insurance companies may even try to discredit your claim by arguing your damages were pre-existing or happened in the days after the accident. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it is to prove the crash caused them. Timely and detailed records can bolster your medical claim and help ensure you get the amount of money you deserve.

Ensure your doctor keeps meticulous records and makes note of all your injuries. 
Seeking medical attention after a car accident is essential, even if you do not think you are injured. Some injuries do not have immediate symptoms, and the shock of the accident may prevent you from feeling pain for a few days after the collision.

Contact Mike Morse Law Firm

Were you recently involved in a car accident in Michigan? You should first seek medical attention, even if you are not experiencing any pain or discomfort. After seeing a doctor, you should seek the advice of an attorney. You must understand your rights and how much compensation your injuries deserve. Our team has experience in personal injury cases, and we can help you understand your present and future medical costs. Don’t wait to see a doctor or to seek the advice of any attorney. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. 

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