How Soon After a Car Accident Do I Need to See a Doctor?

Car accident injuries varying in their severity. Some result in life-changing disabilities while others cause mere cuts and bruises. Following serious accidents, paramedics usually respond and take the victims to hospital. However, when the injuries don’t seem to be serious right away, victims often think twice about whether to get medical attention.

Some people opt to monitor their symptoms for a while because they don’t want to take the time to go to the doctor. Others assume niggling pain and discomfort will go away in a couple of days. However, if injuries go untreated, they can lead to long-term problems. There’s no law that sets out when you should go to the doctor. However, medical professionals and Greenville car accident attorneys all agree that seeking medical attention right away can help to ensure the best possible outcome.

What Happens at the Scene of the Accident

If someone reports the crash to the emergency services, an ambulance will arrive at the scene. If you’re unresponsive, you’ll automatically be treated at the scene and then taken to the emergency room. However, if you’re alert, the paramedics can only recommend that you go to the hospital for an evaluation. You should follow this advice even if you feel reasonably well. Some people want to avoid the expense of an ambulance trip. However, victims sometimes think you’re only shaken up when they’ve actually suffered serious injuries.

Paramedics are trained professionals so they may notice signs of injuries that victims don’t notice. One of the most common car accident injuries is a concussion. Sometimes, victims don’t experience serious symptoms right away, but they may have swelling or bleeding in the brain. If a paramedic suspects that you may have suffered a concussion, they’ll recommend that you go to the hospital.

Timely Treatment Improves Health Outcomes

Injuries that seem minor immediately after a car accident may worsen as time goes on. If you go home or to the office and carry out your regular activities, you run the risk of exacerbating the injury. By the time you decide to see the doctor, you may need more invasive treatment than you would ordinarily require. If you sought prompt medical attention, you may have only needed rest and a few pain pills.

Often, victims of whiplash don’t feel any significant pain until between 12 and 72 hours after the crash. If you see a doctor when the pain is minimal, you reduce the likelihood that you will suffer the worse consequences. Without prompt treatment, you could be left with severe pain and long-term range-of-motion challenges.

Timely Treatment Supports Your Insurance Claim

Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle claims for the lowest possible amount. When they can, they even deny the claim completely. If you put off seeing a doctor, the insurer may argue that your injuries didn’t result from the accident. It would be difficult for you to prove otherwise.

Let’s say you experienced pain in your arms and legs and numbness on one side of your body after a crash. However, you waited for three weeks before you sought medical attention. After the doctor examines you, they diagnose you with a slipped disc. If you tell the doctor you never experienced these symptoms before the accident, they will have no choice but to conclude that you were injured in the accident.

However, the insurance adjuster will argue that if you noticed pain shortly after the crash, you would have gone to the doctor. They may suggest that you slipped and fell at home or injured yourself in some other way. Because delayed treatment makes it harder to prove how you got hurt, you’re likely to be offered a low settlement if anything at all. That’s why it’s so important that you go to the doctor right away

Contact Hernandez & Cabra Today

You typically have three years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit in South Carolina. However, you should never wait that long to see a doctor or contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney. Get medical attention right away and then call a lawyer for advice. Your attorney will use your diagnosis and prognosis to help them build a claim. If you can show that you sought timely medical attention and you got the recommended treatment, you’re more likely to get fair compensation. Call us today to discuss your car accident case and learn how we can help you recover your losses.