Why Get Medical Treatment After a Vehicle Accident?
Updated: Feb 26
My wife and I were involved in an auto accident several years ago. At the time of the accident my adrenaline was fully in effect. I was not thinking about getting medical treatment - my initial focus was on my wife and the safety of all around. Thankfully, the paramedics on the scene could tell that I needed assistance. After getting looked at by the paramedics, I went to the hospital. I am very glad I did. That night and the next few weeks were tough physically. Had I not obtained treatment early, my injuries would have been worse.
Accidents happen in an instant. Immediately following an accident, you may be hurt, and you may also be quite shaken up. You are under a lot of stress after an accident, especially if you were hit by a larger vehicle or an 18-wheeler. The police will respond and will ask you if you need medical attention. In some instances, the paramedics will arrive on the scene and perform a preliminary check. They are most commonly looking for serious injuries that would require immediate transport to the hospital. What should you do if you do not immediately feel injured?
Seek Medical Attention
Although you do not have to go to the hospital by ambulance from the scene, you should seek medical attention sooner rather than later. The longer you wait to get medical care, the more difficult it will be to recover from inquiries. In addition, your failure to get treatment shortly after the accident can affect your ability to prove that you were injured in the accident. Many people report feeling fine right after a crash only to realize later that they are actually severely injured.
You may not feel pain right after an accident. This is referred to as the “fight or flight” response of the human body. In my opinion, people in south Mississippi and southern Louisiana have a strong “fight” mechanism and feel they will push through the pain and so will often not seek treatment. After a traumatic accident, the body produces a high level of endorphins that can alter or suppress both emotional and physical trauma. Some people only feel pain after the accident is over and their body is back to normal. The result is that you may not know whether you have sustained an injury immediately following an accident, and if so, if it is severe enough to warrant medical care.
Do Not Wait to See a Doctor
The general rule of thumb is to get medical treatment as soon as you can, and no later than 72 hours after the accident. It is better to see the doctor the same day as the accident whenever possible.
You may be struggling with whether your injury is bad enough to need a doctor’s care, but you should visit the doctor even if you do not immediately think your injury is serious. Some injuries, such as head trauma, will worsen quickly if you do not get proper diagnosis and treatment. If you hit your head in any way or if you were knocked unconscious at all, you should always go to the doctor immediately after the accident.
You can seek the care of any qualified doctor, but it is important to explain that the reason for your visit was your involvement in a vehicle accident. This information will be noted on all of our medical records and will be proof that you sought medical care specifically for your accident-related injury. You can see a specialist, a chiropractor, or visit the emergency room. Keep in mind that this is just the first step in your medical treatment. You must continue to follow through on the medical care that you obtain. Keep records of all your doctor or hospital visits, as well as any bills for medical services and medications.
If you were injured in an accident, contact me to discuss your case at 228-467-0006 or firstname.lastname@example.org. My office can schedule a free phone or in person consultation at a mutually convenient time to discuss your medical treatment and all other aspects of your accident claim. I have over 29 years of litigation experience in handling individuals claims for injuries caused by the wrongdoing of others.