Should I See a Doctor After a Minor Car Accident?

doctor after a car accident
Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham LLC Blog August 30, 2021

Should I See a Doctor After a Minor Car Accident?

You’re sitting at a stoplight, waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, when you suddenly hear screeching tires behind you. You have just enough time to look in the rear view mirror and see another vehicle collide with the back of your car. Stunned but unhurt, you and the other driver both get out of your cars and start exchanging insurance information. There’s some damage to both of your vehicles, but the other driver couldn’t have been going more than 10 miles an hour when they rear-ended you. With no pain and no obvious injuries, you decide against going to the hospital.

Situations like this one happen every day in the Quad Cities. For every car accident that results in a fatality or serious injury, there are hundreds more that only cause property damage. When it seems minor, it’s easy to assume that you’re uninjured and to forego seeing a doctor after a car accident. But the truth is, not seeking prompt medical care after a wreck—even a minor one—can have negative consequences. Learn why it’s so important to get checked out after an accident from the personal injury lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC.

5 Reasons To See a Doctor After a Car Accident

You may have some valid reasons for not wanting to go to the doctor after a car accident. You might feel okay and don’t want to waste anyone’s time. You might also have what appear to be superficial wounds or injuries that you could easily treat at home. Alternatively, you may not know how you’ll pay your medical bills if you don’t have health insurance. While these are factors to consider, none of them should keep you from getting checked out after being in an accident. 

#1: Adrenaline Might Be Masking Your Pain

It’s common to not feel any pain immediately after a car accident. This is because a stressful or traumatic event often elicits a rush of adrenaline throughout your body. Adrenaline can temporarily boost energy, increase your strength and endurance, and decrease your sensitivity to pain. 

Unfortunately, this fight or flight response can also mask potential injuries. You may continue to feel the analgesic effects of adrenaline for hours or even days after a car accident. As a result of not feeling pain, you may inadvertently make injuries worse (for example, by walking around on an injured limb) and increase the length of recovery.

#2: Not All Injuries Are Visible

Some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents aren’t visible to the naked eye. Whiplash, spinal injuries, concussions, soft-tissue injuries, and internal bleeding can all go undetected, especially if your pain is also masked by adrenaline. A thorough examination by a doctor can help discover potential injuries much sooner. A doctor can also order additional tests like x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tools that can better treat your injuries and shorten recovery time.

#3: Even Minor Accidents Can Cause Big Injuries

While it’s true that most people will walk away from a fender bender with no injuries, serious injuries can result from seemingly minor accidents. Even collisions occurring at speeds less than 10 miles per hour have been shown to result in injuries like whiplash, which can lead to chronic headaches and pain that lasts for months or years after an accident. The same is true for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and injuries to the neck or back.

#4: Medical Records Can Help Prove Your Injury Claim

When it comes to filing an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit, documentation is key. The more debilitating and painful an injury is, the more important it is that you have ample medical records to support your claim and prove that you are entitled to compensation. 

Accessing and organizing your medical records is as important to your claim as seeing a doctor is to your overall health, so be sure to keep or request all doctor’s records, prescriptions, test results, diagnostic images, and receipts from your visits to your medical provider. Not only will these documents strengthen your case, but they will also make it easier to calculate how much your accident claim is worth. A Quad cities car accident lawyer may be able to help if you need assistance assembling or accessing your medical records. 

Related: What is Pain and Suffering?

#5: Delaying Care Can Result in Insurance Claim Denials

Delaying medical care is never a great idea, and it’s especially risky when it comes to car accidents. Doing this can call into question whether or not your injury was actually sustained in the wreck as opposed to after the fact. The longer you wait to go to the doctor after a car accident, the more likely an insurance company will try to deny your claim on the basis that too much time passed between the supposed injury date and when you actually sought medical attention. 

Injured in a Quad Cities Car Accident?

Life-changing car accident injuries can happen in an instant, but you may not always feel the impact of your injuries right away. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after you’re in an accident. If you or your loved one has sustained injuries in a traffic accident in Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, East Moline, or Rock Island, WKC Law Firm would like to offer you a free, no obligation consultation.

Our experienced attorneys will carefully review the details of your case and explain all your legal options after a car accident at no charge to you. Call us today at (309) 794-1515, fill out this form, or connect with a live representative online right now.

Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC is also available for home and hospital visits, in addition to evening and weekend appointments. In addition, should you decide to use our services, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. Contact us today! 

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.