According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012 alone more than 2.5 million Americans visited the emergency room for injuries sustained in a car accident. If you’ve been in a serious accident and sustained life-threatening injuries, you will most likely be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. But what if you are able to walk away from the accident and the damage does not seem that serious? Should you go to the doctor after the accident? The short answer is yes.
You Could Have Hidden Injuries
Some accident injuries such as lacerations and bone fractures are obvious. However, other injuries may not be readily apparent. Because of the adrenaline that flows through you after an accident occurs, you may not feel pain right away. But there could be one of a number of different injuries hidden under the surface such as
- Whiplash—one of the most commonly reported injuries. Whiplash can occur even after a low-speed collision. Sometimes the effects of whiplash don’t manifest themselves until weeks after the accident. Symptoms include neck tenderness or stiffness, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, numbness in the extremities, and cognitive difficulties. Whiplash can affect a person for months after an accident
- Back, Shoulder, and Neck Injuries—because of adrenaline you may not feel pain in these areas immediately. An experienced doctor may perform an x-ray or an MRI to determine whether you have a hidden injury.
- Fractures—some broken bones may go unnoticed after a car accident. Hairline fractures or greenstick or buckle fractures in children are commonly hard to detect without a medical examination.
- Internal Injuries—blunt trauma, such as hitting a steering wheel can cause injuries to abdominal organs such as the spleen or the stomach. There may also be internal bleeding which can quickly become deadly if left untreated.
- Traumatic Brain Injury—closed head injuries where there is no visible laceration can be common in a car accident. The injury could range from a mild concussion to bruising or swelling of the brain. Head injuries should always be evaluated by a doctor immediately after an accident.
You Need to go as Soon as Possible
Under Florida law, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident in order to receive payment from your no-fault insurance for your medical bills. This isn’t the only reasons to seek medical attention quickly. Waiting too long to seek treatment can also lead to an exacerbation of your injury, and in the case of injuries such as internal bleeding, they can have deadly results.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.