A question commonly asked by people involved in car accidents is whether or not they should bother to see a doctor after the accident if they did not sustain any injuries. You may believe that your accident was just minor, and may think seeing a doctor is a waste of time and energy.
The reality is that you should see a doctor right away, regardless of whether you are in pain. There are numerous reasons why you must see the doctor after your accident:
Period of shock
The first reason is because your health could be at risk. Many serious injuries result from car accidents, but a number of them may not be immediately noticeable. A doctor will be able to examine you thoroughly and assess your condition. He or she will be in the best position to conclude whether you have sustained any serious injuries in your accident. If you are injured or feel any discomfort or pain, then the doctor will be able to treat your injuries and help you fully recover.
Often, individuals go into a period of shock following an accident, possibly causing them to feel no pain. Unknown to many is that shock can mask injuries that manifest several days or even weeks after an accident. These include traumatic brain and head injuries, face injuries, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Even if you did not suffer any physical harm, being involved in an accident can lead to psychological damages—particularly if you witnessed the life of another individual injured or endangered.
An experienced physician should be able to detect any issues right away. If you do not appear to have any injuries, a doctor will be able to relay any symptoms or red flags of potential injuries that you should monitor or watch out for later on.
Legal Necessity to Document Treatment
Another reason to see a doctor after an accident is because delaying medical attention could jeopardize your chances of receiving full compensation for any damages sustained. If you opt to file an injury claim after the accident, it is necessary to document the fact that you obtained medical treatment within a reasonable period of time. Insurance adjusters consider many variables when assessing the value of a claim, including whether the victim sought medical attention right away.
If there was a delay in treatment, then the insurance adjuster may argue that you couldn’t have been seriously injured if you waited too long to see a doctor, thus greatly reducing the amount you will be paid on your claim.
If you opt to do without medical assistance after an accident in an effort to save time and money, keep in mind that your decision may cost you even more. Apart from your injuries potentially being more difficult to treat, the insurance company may decide to completely deny coverage for them if they have any reason to believe your injuries were not the direct result of your accident. If this happens, then you will have to pay the full cost of your medical expenses.
Car accidents can cause life-threatening injuries, some of which can take a long time to manifest and heal. If you have been injured in an accident, see a doctor as soon as you can.