Why Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident – Even If the Accident is “Minor”

Accident victims who feel “fine” may wonder, “Should I see a doctor after a car accident?” Consider that many car accident injuries don't rear their heads until hours, days, or even a week after an accident. Traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage, and internal injuries may have little to no obvious symptoms at first. Without having that initial doctor's visit, you are putting your health and your right to compensation at risk. 
Being involved in an Iowa car accident – even a seemingly minor “fender-bender” – can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. One moment you are on your way home or out to run and errand, and the next moment you have been in a crash. Your heart is racing, adrenaline is pumping through your veins, and you are already playing the crash over and over again in your head. Soon, you are out of your car, lights are flashing, and people are asking you if you are okay. But are you okay?
The idea may seem odd, but it may be hard to tell at the time – and you might be the last person who can accurately answer that question. It's common for car accident victims to refuse medical attention or a trip to the hospital just because they don't have any obvious injury or because they feel overwhelmed or confused. However, not going to a doctor as soon as possible after a traffic accident can harm your health as well as any accident claim that you file related to the wreck. Here's what you might not know about seeking medical attention after an Iowa car accident:

What Doctor to See After a Car Accident

You should seek medical care shortly after the accident. Preferably, from an emergency doctor or through an urgent or walk-in care center near the time of the accident. If this is not possible, or you don't think it's necessary, making an appointment with your primary care doctor is also sufficient. Keep in mind, though, that many car accident injuries do not show up for hours, days, or, in some cases, a week after the accident. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, are often overlooked because some symptoms – restlessness, agitation, and inability to concentrate – overlap with the natural reaction to a traumatic event.

Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

For those who are still on the fence about seeing a doctor after a car accident, consider the following:
  1. Even minor car accidents or crashes that happen at slow speeds can result in serious injuries that require professional treatment.
  2. It can take hours or even days for you to feel the effects of a car accident, especially when it comes to back or neck injuries like whiplash.
  3. Even serious internal injuries, such as internal bleeding or bone fractures, may not be apparent in the hours after your car accident because your body is in shock from the trauma.
  4. You can suffer a traumatic brain injury or a serious concussion without ever losing consciousness, and symptoms of your head injury could take weeks to surface.
  5. Treating an injury as quickly as possible after an accident can help prevent chronic health problems, such as reoccurring pain or long-term disabilities, and ultimately speed up the healing process.
The bottom line is that it's always better to be safe than sorry. While a visit to the hospital or to the doctor right after your car accident may seem overwhelming at the time, it can help your recovery and solidly establish the state of your health directly after the crash. Not getting medical attention until days or weeks after your traffic accident could mean that your injuries are not treated in a timely manner. What's more, it can also make it more difficult for you to prove that your injuries were directly connected to your crash. Have you been injured in an Iowa traffic accident in which it didn't immediately seem like you were injured? Speak with a personal injury lawyer today about your case by calling (866) 753-4692 or by filling out our short contact form. A car accident attorney can also help you prove you are not at fault in a car accident. 

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For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.