You probably don’t think you need medical treatment if you can walk away from a car accident. After all, a headache from a blow to the head or a sore back should resolve themselves with time, right? The fact is, you should get a medical examination after being involved in any type of car accident, even one that occurs at a low rate of speed.
Some injuries may not make themselves known until days or weeks after the accident. Left untreated, certain injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may even be fatal. You should seek out a doctor as soon as possible following an accident, even if you feel fine.
Be aware of symptoms that don’t show up immediately
The adrenaline rush and confusion following a motor vehicle crash may mask signs of a serious injury. If you can’t see a doctor right away after your accident, make yourself aware of the symptoms of often latent injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Symptoms of a TBI may include headache, dizziness, and nausea. Because a TBI can turn very serious, very fast, it’s crucial to pay attention to what your body may be telling you. Any blow to the head or even a jolt to the neck can result in a TBI.
- Internal bleeding: It’s hard to know you’re bleeding if you can’t see it. Be aware of acute pain, swelling, and bruising in the hours following your accident.
- Spinal cord injuries: You may have a stiff back in the days after your accident. See a doctor if you’re not noticing any improvement of if the pain has become unbearable. Herniated discs may need to be addressed surgically. Failing to do so could lead to long-term back problems.
- Fractured bones: Hairline fractures are so named because they’re tiny. However, a small fracture can lead to immense pain. When you’re experiencing pain in the area of a bone that won’t go away, you may wish to have an x-ray. Medical treatment can help speed the healing process and significantly alleviate your discomfort.
Getting medical care after an accident, even if you don’t believe you need it, can help you avoid serious problems down the line and may even save your life.