An auto accident can be an overwhelming experience. You are typically inundated with police reports, insurance companies, and auto repair services. Many victims are too stressed to think about much else, and even if medical services arrive on the scene, they may not deem it necessary to take you to the hospital. However, erring on the side of caution and seeing a car accident doctor for an evaluation has many benefits, both for your health and your case.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 20 and 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries in car accidents annually. Some of them end up with lifelong disabilities as a result. The type and severity of car accident injuries vary, and victims often suffer more than one injury at a time.
Some injuries commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents include:
Head injuries, PTSD, and whiplash are also conditions that can go unnoticed without a medical evaluation. They sometimes take longer to reveal symptoms and can become very serious. Immediate care may help prevent long-term disabilities from developing. An injury doctor will run several tests to determine the proper auto injury treatment.
You might be tempted to skip going to the doctor following an auto accident; however, there are several reasons why that might be a mistake. Even victims of minor collisions, such as fender-benders, should be evaluated by a medical professional.
An accident injury doctor will likely have more experience than a primary care physician (PCP) in specifically treating car collision injuries, so they can provide you with the most appropriate medical care. Even if you are feeling perfectly fine, below are three significant reasons why you should be seen by an auto accident doctor immediately following the collision.
The average person experiences a rush of adrenaline as soon as the brain recognizes that a car crash is about to happen. High amounts of adrenaline naturally suppress pain receptors. You could be seriously injured and not realize it until much later. It can even take as long as two to three days to notice symptoms. By that time, some injuries can cause severe damage, but if you are evaluated immediately after the accident, a doctor might find the injury before it causes progresses.
Many car accident injuries may not be readily apparent. As previously stated, whiplash and internal bleeding may not immediately present symptoms. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may present as disorientation and confusion that you could mistakenly associate with the stress of the accident. Concussions and more severe TBIs have to be monitored closely and often require treatment to avoid further injury or even death.
Diagnostic imaging tests, including X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans, can detect spinal injuries, neck injuries, damage to brain tissue, fractures, and other serious injuries that might present with very mild symptoms at first. An auto accident doctor is familiar with the injuries commonly associated with collisions and knows what tests are appropriate. Once you are properly diagnosed, you can start the right auto injury treatment.
If another party is found responsible for your accident, you could be entitled to compensation for elements of the accident beyond property damage. This includes loss of wages due to injury and the cost of medical treatment.
To receive payment for medical costs, you cannot simply state that you were injured in the accident. You must provide sufficient evidence of the diagnosed injuries in the form of a medical report from a doctor. Proving your injuries without an official report can be challenging at best.
You also could face opposition from the other party involved in the accident. To avoid paying for the medical costs associated with your injury, the at-fault driver may try to claim that your injuries were the result of a subsequent incident. Waiting a few weeks, or even a few days, could make it more difficult to prove that the auto accident necessitated your medical treatment.
Medical bills can compile quickly, particularly after a car accident because even a lower impact crash, such as a fender-bender, can cause multiple injuries. Additionally, several tests are required to properly evaluate the entire body, and doctors tend to run many tests on victims of auto accidents.
Insurance companies generally require detailed documentation of your injuries that corroborates your story. An auto accident doctor is familiar with what information needs to be in your medical report for a no-fault insurance claim.
Insurers sometimes try to settle cases as quickly as possible at minimal cost to the company. If they can prove that you were not injured, they can avoid the additional payouts required by the policy. Suffering through your injuries and going to the doctor later presents them with the opportunity to claim that your injuries were not serious enough to merit going to the hospital right away. This is why seeing a car accident doctor right away is beneficial to you and your case.
The aftermath of a car accident requires a bevy of important decisions and responsibilities. It can be easy to forget about your personal health when you think you are feeling okay. Seeing a healthcare professional for auto injury treatment allows you to get ahead of the pain.
Additionally, prolonged injury and health issues can affect other aspects of your life, including your livelihood. Loss of wages is a common result of auto accident injuries. A timely exam and early diagnosis are the most proactive choices you can make for your health.
A common characteristic of car accident injuries is the potential for delayed symptoms. Exhaustion, pain, confusion, numbness, stress, and dizziness are all symptoms that can indicate a larger health problem, and they can show up even days after the incident. The first 72 hours following an auto accident are critical in treatment.
Most medical doctors agree that injuries often respond better to treatments that are administered within that time frame. Swelling caused by whiplash peaks during this time, and preventing permanent scar tissue caused by soft tissue injuries is more likely if caught early. Scar tissue is particularly difficult to treat and can increase your chance of reinjury in the future.
State laws regulate how long a person has to report an injury after an accident. For most states, the statute of limitations ends after two years for auto accidents, but the rules vary from state to state. That may sound like more than enough time, but it can be deceiving. As previously mentioned, waiting too long can hurt your case and your insurance claim. Insurers see that delay as an opportunity, making your injury claim questionable.
When timing is a priority, you want to get in to see a doctor quickly. Of course, you can call your primary care physician, if you have one. If you do not, you can visit an urgent care facility or an emergency room at the nearest hospital. However, these options can be off-putting because of the potential for long wait times.
Additionally, finding an auto accident doctor, or anyone that specializes in auto accident injury treatment is beneficial to your case and your insurance claim. Thankfully, you can search for doctors in your area online. You can also filter your search for specialists, such as car wreck injury physicians, and get an appointment as early as the same day.
If you were recently in a car wreck, an auto accident doctor can provide you with auto injury treatment and bill your auto insurance directly. Injured Call Today is a free online resource that allows you to search a large directory of doctors near you that specialize in treating injuries sustained in an array of accidents, including slip and falls, sports activities, auto accidents, and work-related accidents.
If you need a chiropractor, physical therapist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, physiatrist, pain management specialist, or another medical expert, Injured Call Today can help you get the medical assistance that you need now with same-day and virtual appointments. Providers listed in our free directory accept no-fault insurance, PIP (Personal Injury Protection), workers’ compensation, and other heal insurance plans.
Diagnostic testing is particularly important to victims of auto accidents, and the doctors in our directory can provide you with all the necessary medical imaging tests to help you restore your health and ensure your medical report accurately depicts the injuries you sustained in your accident.
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