Do I Have To Go To The Doctor After A Car Accident?

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In a word, yes, you should absolutely visit a doctor after being in a Louisiana car accident. You should visit a doctor even if you don’t feel injured, or if you were examined by first responders at the scene.

In this article, we’ll discuss why going to the doctor after a car accident is crucial, even if you believe your injuries are minor after a car accident. Our aim is to provide valuable insights and educate readers on the potential risks of neglecting medical care after a crash. By understanding the significance of visiting a doctor, you can protect your well-being and ensure a smoother recovery process.

Hidden Dangers: Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Doctor’s Visit

The main reason why you should always see a doctor after a car accident is that some injuries don’t present symptoms for hours or even days after you receive them. This can be especially true when you’re experiencing the effects of shock or heightened adrenaline, as is often the case immediately after a car crash. A doctor will be able to account for those changes and diagnose a problem that you might not notice for a few days.

Some examples of injuries that you might not notice right away, but could have lasting or even deadly effects if left untreated, include

  • Head and neck injuries, whiplash, concussions, or blood clots in the brain
  • Back injuries, including damage to muscles, nerves, or ligaments
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries

In many cases, the symptoms of these injuries can be easy to overlook: they might be as seemingly minor as headaches, minor aches or pains, numbness, or swelling. However, ignore these signs at your peril. See a doctor as soon as you can.

Types of Medical Professionals: Who Should You Consult After a Car Accident?

If your injuries are severe enough, see an emergency room doctor to address any life-threatening injuries right away. In addition, if the injury happens late at night and your symptoms quickly deteriorate, an ER could be your best option since other doctors’ offices will be closed.

If your injuries aren’t life-threatening, you should still see your primary care physician as soon as possible, or if you can’t get an appointment, an urgent care clinic physician. Talk to them about your symptoms, no matter how small—any of them could be signs of a deeper, much more serious, condition.

What should I do if my primary care doctor won’t see me?

Some primary care physicians won’t see car accident victims to assess them. Usually, it’s due to one or both of the following reasons:

  • Their office isn’t set to bill automotive insurance companies
  • They don’t want to be called to testify in court

If your PCP won’t treat or examine you after a car accident, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. We have contacts with Louisiana doctors who will diagnose and treat your injuries, and we’ll help you make an appointment.

If your treatment can’t wait, go to the ER or urgent care clinic. Even if you have to pay them out of pocket, those fees are subject to reimbursement from your claim settlement.

Advantages of Early Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Car accident injuries can run the gamut from minor injuries, like bruises or scrapes, to debilitating injuries including broken bones, head, neck, or back injuries, or even paralysis. A medical examination will help you understand the exact impact of the damage, and the examining doctor will be able to form a treatment plan.

By seeing a doctor as soon as possible after your accident, you’ll prevent further damage from being done to your injuries, and you’ll start a paper trail proving your injuries and recovery.

When you visit the doctor, make sure to provide accurate and detailed information about the accident and your symptoms. Be honest about the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing, and be sure to talk about any pre-existing conditions you have that could be relevant. Not only will your doctor use this information to craft a treatment plan, but it will serve as evidence in your claim.

Insurance companies often require victims to visit a medical professional following a car accident to assess their injuries. Refusing medical care can make it look as though you are uninjured, which the insurance company will argue proves that they don’t need to pay for your treatment.

A crucial factor determining your odds of recovering compensation is the timeframe in which you seek medical attention after an accident. Most insurance providers, they expect you to visit a doctor within 72 hours of your accident—so make sure to schedule a visit within that time frame.

Finally, if your doctor prescribes medication, physical therapy, or follow-up visits, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice. Failure to take prescribed medication or to show up to therapy appointments will also be taken as evidence that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.

Potential Consequences of Neglecting Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Neglecting medical attention can lead to a number of consequences:

  • Untreated injuries can worsen, affecting your mobility, ability to work, and quality of life
  • Failure to visit medical professionals and treatment centers can be construed by insurance adjusters and other parties as an admission that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim in your demand letter
  • and others

After a car accident, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you can’t find a doctor, give Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys a call—we can direct you to a doctor who will examine you after your initial legal consultation.

FAQs: Common Questions About Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

How soon should you see a doctor after a car accident?

You should see a doctor within 72 hours of your car accident, but the sooner you can see one, the better. If necessary, go to an emergency room or urgent care center to be examined by a medical professional.

Should I go to the doctor after a car accident even if my injuries are minor?

You should always go to the doctor after a car accident, even if you think your injuries are minor. Serious injuries can remain symptom-free for hours or even days after the wreck, and catching them early is crucial in getting you the treatment you need to fully heal.

Where should I go to get checked out after a car accident?

Your primary care physician may not agree to examine you after a car accident. Emergency rooms and urgent care centers are good places to go after a car accident, as they’re used to examining and diagnosing those traumas. Even if you have to pay out-of-pocket, those costs can be reimbursed through your settlement.