If you are involved in an automobile accident, you may walk away from it feeling like you escaped unscathed and perfectly fine. Unfortunately, however, some types of injuries may hide under the surface, failing to reveal themselves for a long time. Without prompt medical evaluation and treatment, you can’t be certain that you don’t have an insidious affliction lurking. There are several reasons to see a doctor after a car accident even if you are not in pain.
Ignorance May Be Dangerous
The first concern with failing to seek medical attention is that some types of injury can have devastating consequences but few outward signs to reveal their existence. Unfortunately, many conditions can follow this course.
For example, if your vehicle was T-boned, perhaps you were then slammed sideways into the gearshift on your center column. It rammed into the soft tissue below your ribs. You may feel a bit bruised, but otherwise think you’re fine. Left unexamined, you may find out later that the pointed impact against your gearshift introduced a small rupture internally, such as in an organ, and what would have been originally treatable with minor surgery suddenly becomes a life-threatening emergency few days down the road.
A common type of injury associated with car accidents is a concussion. A concussion occurs when the brain is jolted, leading to swelling and other complications. Hitting your head against the steering wheel, side window or headrest could result in a concussion. Initially, a concussion may not present with pain or other apparent symptoms. However, without proper monitoring and treatment, concussions may lead to brain damage or death.
As you can see, there are certainly ways hidden injuries can seem misleading. To rule out the possibility of invisible dangers, seeing a doctor right away is a must.
Persistent Effects May Worsen Without Treatment
Besides the fact that certain conditions could become an emergency in the short term, long-term consequences could also arise or worsen without prompt medical attention. A concussion, for example, could leave you suffering for months or years with “post-concussion syndrome,” symptoms of which may be headaches, inability to concentrate, dizziness, or poor memory. Internal organ injury, like the one described earlier, could morph into a total loss of that organ, necessitating indefinite treatment to compensate, such as dialysis (kidney) or bile replacement (gallbladder), or perhaps requiring organ transplant.
Absence of Evidence May Weaken Claims
Perhaps you believed initially, even for the first few weeks, that you were fine. Later, you began to exhibit symptoms of an injury that slowly crept in. For example, it could be a neck injury that slowly began to deteriorate discs or impinges nerves. The delay in finding out that you are not fine after all may undermine a claim you then try to pursue. The opposing party, such as the insurance company, could try to make the argument that your newfound symptoms are unrelated to the accident in question because the onset took too long.
Another way the lack of medical evaluation could come back to haunt you is if the insurance company pushes for a quick settlement. While you may feel fine initially, settling too quickly and without adequate information could leave you with a minimal fund and a mountain of medical debt when health effects crop up later. Arm yourself with knowledge beforehand to make sure you don’t end up with bills you can’t pay because of an accident you didn’t cause.
Your long-term health isn’t worth sacrificing over a simple assumption that you were fine following an accident. When you want help finding a doctor to evaluate your injuries or an attorney to help you recover your expenses, Metro Healthcare Partners is ready to assist, so contact us today!