When you go through a traumatic experience like a car accident in Dallas, you may struggle to figure out what to do next. From dealing with insurance companies to police reports to car repairs, it can be all too easy to forget to take care of yourself. But no matter how severe or minor a car accident is and whether or not you feel any pain or discomfort at all, you should always make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Hidden injuries after a car crash
No one can predict when car crashes will happen, or who will be involved. When they do, they can sometimes result in serious injuries that may not become apparent until weeks or even months after the car crash.
Our bodies react to stressful or shocking situations by pumping epinephrine and adrenaline through our veins that can heighten awareness, shorten reaction time, and, most importantly, dull pain for a brief period of time. Because of this triggered “fight or flight” response, injuries that can have life-altering consequences may only feel like a minor bump right after the accident. So seeing a doctor should be your primary concern after an accident, even if you have been involved in a minor fender-bender and do not think you are hurt. This will help prevent further injury and allow you to begin treatment quickly.
Two of the most common serious injuries that may not be noticeable immediately after a car accident include:
Soft tissue injury
Soft tissue injuries such as sprains (stretch or tear of a ligament), strains (injury to muscles and tendons), contusions or bruises, and whiplash (an injury to the neck region caused when the head is forced to whip back and forth violently due to the impact of the crash) are particularly notorious when it comes to delayed pain responses. Some of the common symptoms of soft tissue injuries include swelling, inflammation of the affected body part, back pain, sharp neck pain, stiffness of the neck, and reduced range (or total loss) of mobility. While some of these symptoms may occur immediately, others may take days or weeks to appear. A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test may be necessary for proper diagnosis and to ensure you get treated promptly. Without a proper diagnosis and treatment, the damage could be debilitating and may even require serious intervention, like surgery.
Traumatic brain injury
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can occur during a car crash when the head is jolted into, for example, the steering wheel or windshield with a shocking amount of force. The head does not necessarily need to strike a stationary object for a TBI to occur, however, as the sheer force of the accident can violently toss or whip the head, causing the brain to collide against the internal hard bone of the skull. This can cause bruising of the brain (referred to as a contusion) and bleeding (brain hemorrhage), which may not be visible at the time of injury. A TBI can have lasting consequences and can be life-threatening, so quick medical intervention is a must.
Doctors can help explain your injuries to a jury
Ideally, you should get checked out by a medical professional immediately after being involved in a car accident. In addition to the critical short and long-term medical considerations involved with seeking prompt medical attention to treat car accident injuries, the longer you wait to see a doctor, the harder it will be to prove your injuries were caused by your accident.
When you need to document a fair personal injury case against the driver at fault in the accident to recover the damages that you deserve for your injuries, you must prove you are injured. Not seeking medical care or even missing a doctor’s appointment is a red flag to the insurance company that your accident injuries are not as severe as it really is The insurance company may use your failure to seek medical care against you to deny your claim or substantially reduce the value. This is why it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. Not only that, but it is also important to cooperate with your doctor to demonstrate that you are committed to doing what it takes to recover from those serious injuries.
In order to ensure you receive better care and that your medical records are more specific and complete, keep these tips in mind:
- Tell your doctor about any pain you suffer, even if it seems relatively minor, as it can be tough to gauge what could potentially become a more serious condition down the line.
- Be sure to inform your doctor of any previous injuries or conditions, as this will likely impact the course of treatment for your accident injuries. Plus, not doing so may result in the insurance company claiming you have not been truthful or forthcoming.
- Talk to your doctor about how your injuries are impacting your day-to-day life, and if they have caused you to miss work, or experience decreased mobility and activity.
- Demonstrate to your doctor that you are committed to following his or her orders for a complete recovery.
The forces involved in a car crash are shockingly destructive, even if the crash seems minor. Therefore, you should see a doctor after a car accident as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel immediate pain, proactively visiting a doctor will help uncover any hidden injuries you may have and save your life. Additionally, your medical records are evidence to help explain your personal injury claims against the person or parties responsible for the crash and help you recover your treatment costs.
Talk to our Farmer’s Branch / Carrollton / Dallas-Fort Worth car accident attorneys today!
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident in or around the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another driver, the car accident lawyers at Samples Ames PLLC can help you navigate the murky waters of car accident injury claims and get the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Call us today at (817) 605-1505 or (469) 466-2600. We will be happy to review your case and determine the best way to proceed. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, we charge no upfront fees, and you do not pay us unless we help you successfully recover compensation for your accident.