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Car Accident Pain and Injuries: When to See a Doctor

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Car crashes, regardless of the severity, involve a lot of force. When a motor vehicle hits or gets hit by something, there is a chance of injury for drivers and passengers alike.

Some car accidents are so severe that emergency medical attention is necessary at the scene of the crash. On the other hand, for car accidents that seem minor, victims may not feel like they need to go to the doctor. If there’s no pain after the accident, why bother?

However, to protect your health and legal rights, it’s important to carefully monitor your physical well-being after a car accident. We always recommend getting a medical check-up after a car accident, even if you don’t think you need to see a doctor.

When to Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident

When should you go to the doctor after a car accident? As soon as possible.

If your injuries are severe, visit the emergency room. The ER doctor may recommend you see a specialist or follow up with your primary care physician. If your injuries are not life-threatening, you can give yourself a bit more time: Visit a doctor later that day or the next day.

It’s important to seek medical care even if you think you are fine. Symptoms of several common injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions, such as whiplash and soft tissue damage, may not show up right away. Your doctor will be able to determine whether you sustained any injuries in the car crash and help you develop a treatment plan.

What to Say to Your Doctor

During your visit, be honest about your injuries. Make sure you answer the following questions:

  • What type of pain or discomfort are you experiencing?
  • How long have you been in pain?
  • Where are you hurt?
  • How severe is your pain?
  • How has your injury impacted your ability to go about your daily life?

Give your doctor as much information as possible.

What to Do After Your Medical Check-Up

For the sake of your health and potential legal options, completely follow all care instructions. Additionally, keep or make copies of all medical documentation you receive, such as work restriction instructions or treatment plans. Evidence of your injuries and care can be used in an auto accident case.

Why You Need to Seek Medical Care After a Collision

Going to the doctor after a car accident is key for your physical health as well as for your personal injury case.

Your Health Is a Priority

Whether you go to urgent care immediately following the accident or realize you are sore the next day and head to your primary care physician’s office, receiving medical attention means that your injuries can be identified and treated. Untreated injuries can cause later health issues, and if you unknowingly exacerbate the injury in the days or weeks following the crash, recovery may take even longer.

For the sake of your health and well-being, get a medical check-up as soon as possible after a car accident.

Filing an Injury Claim

After seeking legal counsel, you may decide to pursue an injury claim to be compensated for your medical bills and other damages. The cost of your medical care will affect how much compensation you may receive.

Insurance companies will want to understand the entire impact a car accident has on your life. If you wait too long before seeing a doctor, it is possible that your injuries may not be considered as part of the accident. If you don’t follow your care instructions, you may limit or prohibit part of your claim due to failure to appropriately treat your injuries.

Additionally, medical records are some of the most important pieces of evidence in a car accident case. By visiting a doctor right away, you will ensure those records reflect your injuries.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact the Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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