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Seeing a doctor after a crash is key, even without obvious injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People often assume that they will know right away if they need medical help after a car crash. After all, broken bones and other traumatic injuries tend to have an immediate impact on someone’s life. They might notice pain and an inability to move like normal immediately after a crash.

However, not all traumatic injuries are easy to spot in the aftermath of a car crash. Many people decline medical evaluation only to later learn that they had serious injuries that they initially overlooked. The possibility of ignoring an injury is why even those without obvious symptoms may need medical care following a car crash.

What injuries are hard to identify?

There are a host of medical challenges possible after a car crash. Despite what people think, many of them aren’t obvious initially. Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries often require a day or so for inflammation to take hold and pain to arise.

Fractures or broken bones may be obvious in some cases but more subtle in others. People can have stable fractures that can bear their weight initially only to worsen seemingly spontaneously when they perform household tasks or go to the gym. People could also have stable spinal cord injuries that could worsen and cause permanent paralysis in some cases.

Additionally, the risk of internal injuries is a serious concern. People can hit their heads or experience violent motions that cause traumatic brain injuries. It could be multiple days before those injuries reach a point where they produce obvious symptoms. Internal bleeding can also occur in the torso or abdomen. People could be at risk of life-threatening blood loss if a doctor doesn’t quickly diagnose them.

Compensation can be harder to obtain after a delay

The risk of worsening symptoms and a poor prognosis should be adequate incentives to seek medical evaluation after a crash. There are also financial reasons to take prompt action.

Specifically, people are at risk of having a difficult insurance claim or lawsuit ahead of them if they do not receive a prompt diagnosis following a car crash. Medical records that establish that a crash was the proximate cause of injuries make it much easier to pursue compensation after a motor vehicle collision.

Especially if a car crash “only” appears to have resulted in significant damage to vehicles, it might be worthwhile to see a doctor to diagnose or rule out the possibility of hard-to-identify injuries. Recognizing the danger of invisible injuries can help people better handle the fallout of a car wreck.