How Long Do You Have to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

by William Mattar | September 25th, 2020

doctor and patient in exam room An auto accident can be a very scary thing. Aside from an expensive auto repair bill, you could end up seriously hurt — and you might not even realize the extent of your injury. With a concussion or a tricky neck or back issue, the real damage could be felt years later, and may not realize the full extent of your injury until you have a full workup and evaluation of your health.

If you delay in seeking treatment after your car accident you could be jeopardizing your claim. As more time passes, your doctor may not be able to identify exactly what’s going on and whether it is causally related to the car accident and you could be making matters worse if you have an untreated injury that goes undiagnosed and undetected for weeks, months or even years.

Should you go to urgent care after a car accident?

In most instances, people involved in an auto accident who suspect they are injured should seek immediate medical attention from their doctor. If you have any injuries, open wounds or other serious issues, you should go straight to the emergency room or urgent care immediately following your auto accident. If you are dizzy, have brain fog or are bothered by harsh lights or sounds, you could have a concussion.

If you experience general soreness in the neck, back it is also a good idea to schedule a visit with your primary care doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine whether your soreness is indicative of a serious injury and recommend appropriate treatment.

It’s important to see the doctor as soon as possible if you’ve been in a recent auto accident. An automobile accident is traumatic. If you suspect injury, it is almost always a good idea to seek immediate treatment.

When should you see a doctor after an auto accident?

For most people who suspect they are injured the answer is as soon as possible. Whether this is on the way home, later that day or within a few days, you’ll want to make sure that you get checked out so that you can stay ahead of any lingering health issues. With your doctor involved, you’ll be able to get the care you need.

What about late-appearing car accident injuries?

If you’ve been in a recent auto accident and the full extent of your injuries does not immediately develop, don’t think that you’re in the clear. Some injuries take time to develop and if you’re dealing with other injuries you may not realize other symptoms for a while. If new symptoms start to creep up some time after the car accident, you may want to consider contacting your doctor to schedule another appointment so that your new symptoms and injuries can be addressed. Injuries that may not present themselves immediately include brain injuries and soft tissue injuries.

Common car accident injuries and symptoms

Auto accidents can lead to many different injuries, including cuts, bruises and other physical manifestations. However, more serious injuries may be lurking just behind the surface and they’re not so obvious without diagnostic imaging and a full work-up.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occurs when the brain is traumatized, causing disruption of the normal function of the brain. In a car accident, this can happen when the occupant experiences whiplash causing the brain to hit the skull. In addition to disorientation, concussions can have other manifestations, and many people may not realize that they’re suffering from a concussion until it’s diagnosed by a health care professional.

Other symptoms include dizziness, confusion, amnesia, seeing stars, momentary loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, balance issues or tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. You might have a concussion, and it’s important to communicate any symptoms with your doctor so that you receive adequate care following your accident.

Other injuries that may go undiagnosed following a car accident are soft tissue injuries, which are injuries that affect the soft tissues of your body, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Since they’re not as easy to diagnose as an open wound or a broken bone, and they don’t show up on x-rays, you could actually have underlying injuries even if you received some medical attention up front.

For these reasons and more, it’s very important to communicate any new symptoms you experience after a recent auto accident to your doctor.

Don’t wait; act now

If you suspect you are injured after a car accident, you should seek medical treatment.

If you wait too long, you might not get the care you need. With a personal injury attorney in your corner, you can achieve maximum compensation for personal injuries. Contact us today and let us fight for your rights.