When Should You See a Doctor After a Car Accident? 

man rubs neck after a car accident | The Law Offices of Mickey Fine

It’s not always obvious when to see a doctor after a car accident. Your body can react to a sudden car crash in many ways. Injuries may not be immediately evident due to a “shock” to your system, making it difficult to tell whether or not you need medical attention right away. It’s generally recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident, whether you have a broken limb or a seemingly minor headache. Many injuries worsen, and seeing a physician starts the paper trail for your economic damages and establishes the severity of the trauma. 

At the Law Offices of Mickey Fine, our car accident lawyer has helped countless car accident victims recover compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. With more than 30 years of experience and a reputation for successful verdicts and settlements, our clients know they’re in excellent hands with a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of the claims process. 

Why Seek Medical Care Right After an Accident? 

It’s best for your health and personal injury claim to see a doctor after a car accident. Getting evaluated for injuries prevents you from accidentally worsening the trauma by pushing through the pain and establishing a diagnosis and treatment plan. You need to continue the course of your treatment until your doctor says otherwise for optimal recovery and a maximum settlement amount.

Your doctor’s notes outline the severity of your injury and your commitment to your treatment plan and provide a detailed record of harm caused by the car accident. These medical records verify your car accident claim and provide the basis for medical expenses, which are a crucial part of economic damages in the claims process. 

What If I Don’t Notice Symptoms After a Collision? 

It’s common not to notice symptoms of an injury right after a car crash. The endorphins and adrenaline released can mask the pain signals and stress of the accident on your body. Some people don’t feel any pain or symptoms until a few hours, days, or even a week later. Injured victims may go to sleep that night thankful they feel fine and wake up feeling like they were hit by a truck. 

Regardless of whether you experience symptoms of an injury, it is always a good idea to see a doctor after a car accident. Some latent symptoms are signs of severe injuries, such as brain and spinal cord injuries. You should not ignore numbness, dizziness, pain, and a general feeling of being unwell if you were recently in a car accident. 

Symptoms of TBI After a Wreck 

The brain is well insulated inside the skull, surrounded by fluid. However, a violent jolt or strike to your head causes the brain to make contact with the skull and may lead to a concussion or traumatic brain injury. These symptoms may not show up right away and include: 

  • Loss of consciousness for any amount of time
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty retaining new information
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurry vision
  • Cloudy thinking
  • Nausea
  • Low energy levels
  • Poor sleep 

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury After a Crash 

The human spine is a complex system of bones and soft tissues. Even a “minor” motor vehicle accident can damage the back or spinal cord, causing lifelong pain and mobility issues. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury may be obvious or seemingly minor, such as: 

  • Limited mobility
  • Trouble standing, sitting, or walking
  • Ongoing headaches
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Body stiffness 

Do not ignore feelings of numbness or tingling in your back, arms, legs, hands, or feet. These symptoms could be caused by a spinal cord injury, severed nerve, herniated disc, or nerve compression in the neck or back. Muscle weakness, involuntary muscle twitching, and pain in your arms and legs are worrisome and need to be evaluated as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Whiplash After a Collision

Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common traumas after a car accident, causing discoloration, soreness, swelling, and reduced range of motion that may not settle in for one to two days. Sprains, whiplash, and strains are examples of soft tissue injuries. “Dashboard knee” is a soft tissue injury that tends to happen in rear-end car accidents. Injured victims need an accurate diagnosis, timely medical treatment, and ongoing care to restore full strength to the tissues and eliminate painful symptoms. Muscle stiffness and localized pain may indicate soft tissue injury.

Call a Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer for Free 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention right away. Once a physician has treated you, contact our lawyer at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine to discuss your case for free. We have offices in Bakersfield and Manhattan Beach, California, and are available to help.

Contact our Bakersfield car accident lawyer at (661) 333-3333 for a FREE case evaluation over the phone.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on