When someone crashes into you while you’re driving, most of the rest of your day is going to involve sorting out the consequences of that crash. Not only will you have to wait for the police to arrive at the scene of the crash, but you will need to seek medical evaluation and care for any injuries that you and your passengers may have suffered.
If you were on your way somewhere, such as work, when the collision occurred, you may want to head straight from the scene of the collision to your job if possible. Moving on with your day may seem like a good decision, but it could actually cause significant issues for you in the long run.
There are two compelling reasons why you want to see a doctor after a car crash, even if you don’t have visible injuries.
Injuries that you can’t see can still kill you
Not everyone who suffers severe injury in a car crash has obvious symptoms right at the scene. You could have suffered a traumatic brain injury or trauma to another part of your body, such as your abdomen, that produces internal bleeding.
You may not notice any pain or discomfort in these areas immediately after the crash, but that doesn’t mean the injury isn’t there. The sooner you see a doctor and have them evaluate you for signs of bleeding or brain injury, the better your prognosis will be for recovering from that injury. In some cases, the people who wait until they have obvious symptoms may suffer permanent injury because of the delay.
The longer you wait to get care, the harder it is to get compensation
If you don’t go see a doctor until the headache you developed at the time of the crash has bothered you for two straight weeks, the delay in seeking treatment could impact your rights to compensation.
Attorneys representing either an insurance company or an individual driver could potentially argue that the injury must not be that bad if you didn’t need care for weeks. Additionally, it may be possible for them to claim that your symptoms and condition deteriorated because you waited to see a medical professional. Finally, it can be hard to directly connect the injury to the car crash, as other experiences in the interim could have contributed to your condition.
In short, while it may mean a longer delay before you can move on with your day, seeking a medical exam after a car crash protects you in more ways than one.