When you get in your car, you usually have a deadline and a destination. Whether you need to make it to a doctor’s appointment or just get into the office to start your shift, a car wreck can completely alter your schedule for the day.
Many people who don’t notice immediate signs of injury become impatient with the process of reporting a car crash. It can take hours in some cases for officers to arrive at the scene, collect information and release you to go about your business. Especially if you have had to wait for an hour or more, you may be eager to go on with your day, even if you have to call a cab to get where you’re going.
Unfortunately, just because you don’t notice issues right away doesn’t mean you didn’t suffer an injury. If the crash left someone else injured or disabled your vehicle, it is usually worth seeing a doctor before you move on with your day.
You may not notice injuries at the scene of a crash
Some of the worst injuries that you can suffer in a car crash are invisible at first. Between their slowly accumulating physical effects and the adrenal response that often accompanies trauma like a car crash, you may not notice pain that could alert you to potentially severe medical conditions.
A concussion or traumatic brain injury is a common invisible injury. The worst symptoms associated with a brain injury often take time to develop as bleeding or swelling of the brain continues unabated after the crash. It’s also possible for internal bleeding in the abdomen or lungs to go unnoticed initially.
Seeing a doctor who can evaluate you for signs of internal injury and brain injury will help you get treatment more quickly if you are hurt. Equally importantly, a quick diagnosis will make it easier for you to ask for compensation after a car crash.
Untreated invisible injuries can get worse and more expensive
If you don’t seek out medical care immediately after a car crash, you may still wind up going to the emergency room in the next few days as the symptoms of your injury become more obvious. The longer you delay diagnosis and treatment, the worse the injury and its potential long-term effects on your body could become.
Delayed diagnosis can also make it harder for you to prove that the injury was a result of the car crash and not something else that happened afterward. Talking with a lawyer can help you decide what steps to take after you realize a crash not only inconvenienced you but also left you hurt.