After an accident, you would think that you should know if you need to see a doctor or not. If the accident was minor and you were just shaken up, you would probably think that seeing a doctor would simply be a waste of time. For many individuals though, even those involved in minor fender-benders, injuries caused by the accident won’t show up right away.
There are several reasons that your injuries, or at least noticing them, may be delayed till sometime well after the accident:
First, getting into an accident, even a minor one, is traumatic. You’re bound to be shaken up and your adrenaline will be pumping. Adrenaline is produced by the body in stressful situations because simply put, it gives us a boost of energy that we may need to get through the stressful situation. In situations like car accidents, the adrenaline produced by the body can also serve to reduce feelings of pain. When this adrenaline subsides however, the pain may set in.
Second, many injuries caused by car accidents are soft tissue injuries and these don’t always show up right away. Soft tissue is any part of the body other bone, such as muscles. These injuries may also be difficult to diagnose because you can’t view them through ordinary means like an x-ray.
Third, you may have simply hurt yourself in a way that isn’t immediately apparent and only becomes noticeable when you move a certain way. Even though you felt fine after the accident, the day after you might turn to reach something behind your chair and notice a horrible pain in your back. Although you thought you were fine, it turns out you’ve actually sustained a back injury that only manifests itself when you turn.
Why Should I Make Sure to See a Doctor?
First and foremost, even if you feel fine, a doctor may be able to poke and prod and make sure that you really are fine. If you feel slightly injured, the doctor will be able to tell you the nature and extent of your injury as well as your best treatment options. If you’re feeling seriously hurt, the doctor can give you immediate treatment as well as plan for any future treatment that may be needed.
Second, if it turns out that you would like to file an injury claim to receive compensation for your treatment, it is important to be able to show that you pursued medical treatment within a reasonable time period. Waiting too long to seek treatment can lead to difficulties in proving the severity of the injury or that the accident was the cause of the injury.
What Else Should I Do (or Not Do)?
One thing you should absolutely be aware of is that after an accident, an insurance company may seek to have you sign a release that says you won’t come after them for money. If you feel fine and haven’t seen a doctor, you may think it is okay to go ahead and sign this. Unfortunately, if you sign the release, there’s no going back should your injuries develop. As such, the safer option is always to see a doctor before signing any releases.
If you or a loved one is unfortunately involved in an accident, make sure that you get the help you deserve by contacting an experienced accident attorney like the ones at Meldon Law. The attorneys at Meldon Law have been serving the Gainesville and Ocala area for decades to give their clients that help they need. Contact us today at 800-373-8000 or MeldonLaw.com.
Jeffrey Meldon has written a book “7 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident.” Based on Jeffrey’s over 40 years of experience serving the Gainesville and Ocala area, this consumer guide will help you get a fair shake from the insurance companies! You can download it for free at MeldonLaw.com or call us at 800-373-8000 and we will send you a free copy!