How Soon Should I see a Doctor if I am Injured in a Car Accident?
The Kishinevsky Law Firm is a personal injury law firm representing individuals who have been injured in car accidents and other accidents caused by the fault of someone else in the greater Houston area. If you have questions relating to an injury claim in the Houston, Texas area, call us today for a free consultation.If You are Injured in an Accident, You May Not Feel the Full Extent of the Symptoms Until One or Two Days Later
A car accident involves metal vehicles weighing over a ton suddenly colliding. Often, one or more of the vehicles involved is quickly accelerating or traveling at a high speed. This means that suddenly tremendous physical forces are being exerted on the bodies of the individuals involved at the moment of impact. The body’s natural response to this sudden trauma is to engage the fight-or-flight response, releasing large amounts of adrenaline.
Because of the adrenaline and shock of just having been in an accident, the full extent of the pain and symptoms caused by the crash is not felt right away and may not be felt until one or even several days after the accident.Do I Need to go to the Emergency Room if I was Injured in an Accident?
The first decision that needs to be made if you are injured in a car accident is whether to go to the emergency room. If you have sustained life-threatening or possibly severe injuries such as loss of consciousness, broken bones, head injuries, possible internal bleeding, or other similar injuries, you should go to the emergency room immediately.
If you were injured but your injuries do not seem severe or life-threatening, you may be better off not going to the emergency room. This is because an emergency room is designed to primarily treat emergencies. Their response upon the arrival of any new patient is to evaluate how critical the patient’s condition is, i.e. determining whether the patient is dying or seriously injured. For most moderately injured car wreck victims who are not in obvious danger or severely injured, the emergency room will evaluate vital signs, provide some pain medication, perform scans to check for broken bones and internal bleeding, then release the patient to seek follow-up care with a different medical facility because they have confirmed that the patient’s condition does not constitute a medical emergency.Why is It Important to Get Medical Attention Promptly After an Accident?
While it may not be necessary to go to the emergency room in every situation where you may be injured in a car accident, it is important to get some medical attention that same day if at all possible, even if that means calling and getting in for a quick appointment with your primary care doctor or going to a minor emergency room to be evaluated and examined. It is important to do this to confirm that there are no serious or life-threatening injuries resulting from the accident. It is also important to fully document all of the symptoms you are experiencing immediately after the wreck. Too often, people make the mistake of waiting for days before seeing the doctor hoping their symptoms will just go away.
First, this is dangerous from a medical standpoint, as you need a medical professional to evaluate and examine you as soon as possible to make sure there are no serious injuries which require immediate medical attention. Second, waiting to seek medical attention plays right into the insurance company’s strategy of trying to minimizing your injuries. Too often, the insurance adjuster or insurance defense attorney will later claim “Well, they waited X days after the accident until they even saw a doctor. If they were really injured they would have sought medical attention immediately. They’re just exaggerating their injuries to get money from this claim.” Some unscrupulous insurance adjusters will even go so far as to encourage accident victims to delay getting medical treatment, telling them that “extra medical bills” will make the claim harder to resolve. The bottom line is this: if you are injured from an accident you should get an initial medical evaluation as soon as possible to confirm that there are no serious or life-threatening injuries you may be unaware of and to fully document the symptoms and injuries you have suffered. This will allow any medical professionals you see later to have a better understanding of your symptoms and injuries from the accident and it will also prevent the insurance company from accusing you of exaggerating your injuries and justifying a low settlement offer because you waited to get an initial medical evaluation after the accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the fault of someone else in the greater Houston area, give us a call today for a free consultation with a Houston accident attorney. We will be happy to discuss the specifics of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal options going forward.