Getting prompt medical help after being involved in a car wreck or experiencing an injury can potentially save your life. 

In 43% of car crashes, at least one driver or passenger sustains an injury, and there were over 2 million reported injuries in 2020 alone. Car crash injuries can range from minor bruises to more severe conditions, such as paralysis and traumatic brain injuries

When your injury results from another person’s negligence or intentional conduct, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial. Here’s why. 

Why should you seek care, even without visible symptoms?

Injuries resulting from a car crash may not always be immediately apparent due to factors such as adrenaline or shock. While adrenaline can mask pain, it can conceal severe injuries that may lead to chronic pain or long-term disabilities if not treated promptly. 

These injuries can include whiplash, brain blood clots, bone fractures, internal bleeding, spinal column injuries, traumatic brain injuries and more. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away and can be easily missed, but they can worsen over time if left untreated. 

A prime example of an invisible injury is a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury that can occur from head trauma. Even if the head was not directly hit, a collision can cause the brain to shift suddenly, resulting in a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion can include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headache, nausea, blurry vision, low energy, and sleeping more or less than usual. 

Internal injuries may not present any symptoms, but they could still be life-threatening. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention after an incident, as medical professionals are skilled at recognizing subtle symptoms that victims might not attribute to a car crash. 

Even if you don’t think the injuries are serious, we advise visiting a doctor within two to three days of a car wreck or other incident. By seeking medical advice and treatment, you can prevent the emergence of severe injuries that may appear later and ensure that you receive the care you need to make a full recovery.

How do you find the right medical care?

When it comes to seeking medical care after an injury, the severity of your injuries will determine which healthcare provider is the best fit for you. For severe injuries requiring immediate attention, emergency room or urgent care doctors are typically the best option. Non-debilitating injuries can often be treated by primary care physicians and other medical specialists. 

You may want to consider different types of medical care, such as receiving counseling from psychologists and psychiatrists. You can also explore options such as physical therapy, which provides exercises and techniques that aid in the healing of the body, or chiropractic care, which focuses on injuries to the neck, back, and spine. 

To ensure you receive the best possible care, be sure to provide your doctor with as much information as possible, such as the date, time, and location of the car collision, visible injuries or symptoms, and any medications you’re taking. Don’t be afraid to ask critical questions about your treatment and recovery plan. We recommend scheduling a medical exam as early as possible to avoid any delays and set you on the path to a full recovery. 

How can treatment strengthen your personal injury claim?

Getting immediate medical attention can help document the injuries you sustained, calculate the full value of your case, and comply with your insurance company’s Personal Injury Protection requirements. When medical treatment is delayed, it can be challenging to prove the severity and extent of your injuries, making it difficult to recover the full value of your case. Medical records and expert testimony play a central role in personal injury claims and lawsuits. 

When you delay seeking medical treatment, insurance companies may assume that your injuries are not serious and deny coverage. Moreover, delaying medical attention can make it easier for insurance adjusters to argue that your injuries were not caused by the car collision or incident. 

Contact a Medical Professional and an Experienced Attorney

It’s important to seek medical attention after a car crash, regardless of how minor it may seem. Prompt medical attention can make all the difference in catching hidden injuries, providing legal documentation, ensuring insurance coverage, and more. 

To ensure you get the full value of your case, we also recommend consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help assess your options. Don’t delay seeking medical attention or consulting an experienced attorney if you’ve suffered an injury. 

The majority of the information for this article was sourced from The Mayo Clinic. Please consult with your doctor(s) before making any medical decisions.