When it’s time to run (not walk) to a doctor after a car accident?

Car accidents are very common. There is a car accident almost every minute in the USA, often with multiple injured persons involved in each incident. Some sustain only minor injuries that leave no consequences while others suffer major life-changing or life-threatening injuries.

In the case of major car accidents, the police and paramedics will be notified, and they will arrive at the scene quickly, depending on the location of the accident. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you will notify the paramedics or other medical professionals at the scene. Severe injuries will be initially treated on the spot, and the patient will be transferred to the nearest hospital or another medical facility for further treatment. The extremities and the spine will be immobilized in order to reduce further damage. IV lines will be secured to quickly administer pain killers and fluids.

Patients with less severe injuries can be treated at the site of injury and transferred to an ER or hospital. In some cases of mild injuries, patients are recommended to visit the ER in case of progression of symptoms.

The human body is very capable of dealing with some injuries. Once the accident occurs, the human body will release fight or flight chemicals. Adrenaline is so powerful that it can often hide the extensiveness of your injuries. Only after the effects of adrenaline disappear will the symptoms increase and reveal their severity.

Therefore, even if the car accident was not a major one, it doesn’t mean that there are no injuries that you should worry about.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand the accident law that applies to your case. They will help you process your claims and document your injuries, whether the symptoms appear immediately or days later.

But when should you look for medical attention after a car accident?

The only right answer is always. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you should visit a doctor and get an examination.

Not only is seeking medical attention vital for your own health and treatment, but also for providing evidence and documentation for your auto accident lawyer.

A attorney for personal injury can advise you on your rights within the Commonwealth of Virginia and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Some injuries and symptoms are more dangerous than others, and you should ask for immediate medical attention.

Some patients will have only mild symptoms initially and won’t go to the emergency room. The symptoms can become worse with time, and if this occurs, it is essential that you visit your doctor and get an examination. Some very severe and even lethal injuries can start with mild symptoms that will increase with time. For example, mild blunt trauma to the abdominal wall will not appear severe initially. Liver and spleen injuries are pretty common after blunt abdominal trauma. Some patients refuse to visit the ER, thinking that they have only a contusion that will clear up in a few days. However, this blow to the abdomen can cause organs to rupture and bleed. For instance, blood leech out of the liver, but it will be kept inside the liver capsule. This bleeding can last for several days after the injury. Once the amount of blood increases so that the capsule ruptures, all the blood will be released into the abdomen, causing severe pain. This can be even life-threatening. (1)

Another commonly injured area in car accidents is the head. Blows to the head can appear mild, especially if there are no external signs of injury such as wounds or hematomas. Blunt head trauma can cause contusion of the brain or injury of blood vessels in the brain. In case of bleeding int the brain, the symptoms can be mild initially. However, as the amount of blood increases, it will push the brain into the skull, causing severe symptoms. In the case of large amounts of blood in the brain, it can be life-threatening.

Head trauma is very common personal injury in car accidents. So, if you have suffered any head injury, you should visit a doctor and get an examination. This is especially important if you have lost consciousness, even for a second. Loss of consciousness after head trauma can be a sign of a concussion. If you don’t remember the accident, feel confused, or tired, have vision trouble (double vision), headaches, trouble communicating with others, nausea or you start vomiting, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. (2)

Neck injuries are also very common after car accidents. Most of them are caused by acceleration and deceleration and are named whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash can vary from very mild (mild discomfort in the neck) to severe neck pain that can cause long-lasting discomfort. Sometimes, pain can start several days after the car accident. If you notice neck pain, you should seek medical attention. Some of the red flags that require urgent medical attention include neck pain after high energy trauma such as rollover accidents, severe neck pain, inability to rotate the neck, numbness or tingling in upper extremities, or loss of strength in hands. If you experience such symptoms, you need to rush to the ER. These symptoms can be a sign of neck fracture, dislocation, disc herniation, nerve injuries, or injuries to the spinal cord. (3)

Drivers often suffer chest injuries from a blow to the steering wheel. These injuries can be severe, especially if the seatbelt was off. If you have suffered a blow to the chest after a car accident, you need to see the doctor. Chest contusion is one of the most common check injuries. There is also a risk of blunt heart injuries that can be the cause of arrhythmias. If you feel chest pain, pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, or have the feeling of your heart skipping a beat, you need to see a doctor ASAP. (4)

The abdomen is another possibly injured area, especially in drivers that hit the steering wheel. Many patients ignore abdominal trauma, thinking that it is only a minor injury. However, there is always a risk of injury to intra-abdominal organs such as the liver or spleen and less commonly, the kidneys, intestines, and bladder. If you ever suffer abdominal trauma in a car accident, you should get an examination. If the abdominal pain is severe or if it increases, you should seek help immediately. (1)

Other commonly injured areas are extremities. Fractures are often easily noticed, and most of them are treated immediately. However, there is a chance that some minor fractures can be overlooked. In case you notice swelling of a body part that is painful to touch or move, you need to see a doctor and get an X-ray.

In conclusion, there is a wide variety of symptoms that can be caused by car accidents. If you have any symptoms after a car accident or even if you are not sure whether there is any injury, you should seek medical attention and treatment if needed.

Just as you shouldn’t delay in seeking medical help, you shouldn’t wait to contact an auto accident law firm about your case. Doing so may mean the difference between getting your life back on track after a personal injury or trying to deal with mounting medical bills, missed work, and no financial compensation after your accident.

  1. https://www.autoaccident.com/abdominal-trauma.html
  2. https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-tbi.htm
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7463132/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2911101/