When to Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Have you ever been in a car accident? If you were injured, did you seek medical attention right away? When people are involved in auto accidents, they don’t always seek medical attention right away.
Usually, they delay because they don’t feel any pain, or because they hope the pain will subside and they won’t need to see a doctor. Other times, they’re afraid of going through the hassle of filing a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, delaying medical attention can backfire.
The Role Adrenaline Plays
We want to address one of the key reasons why people “think” they aren’t hurt after an accident – it’s called adrenaline, also known as epinephrine. Adrenaline is the hormone responsible for the human body’s fight or flight response, which comes in handy when you’re being chased by a vicious guard dog, or when you have to run into the ocean to save a drowning child, but after a car accident, it can trick you into “feeling no pain.”
What happens is someone is involved in a crash and they climb out of their car and tell everybody, “I’m okay, I’m not hurt.” But the next day, they’re in a LOT of pain. They think, “I’ll take a few Ibuprofen and I’ll be fine.” Instead of seeing a doctor, they wait. Then, a week or two later, they realize that something is definitely wrong and they need medical attention.
Why You Shouldn’t Delay Medical Attention
Whenever you’re in a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel any pain that first day, or even if you think the whiplash will subside, you should still see a doctor.
If you delay, the insurance company will try to use that against you. It will argue that you weren’t really hurt; it can also try to reduce, if not deny your claim altogether because you did not see a doctor soon enough.
So, How Long Should You Wait To See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
You should see one within three days, but the sooner the better. If you can get in the same day, or by the next day, then great. Not only is rapid medical treatment important to your claim, but you also need to do it for your health. You could have a concussion and not know about it until days later.
Or, you could have internal bleeding or a fracture. Usually, once the adrenaline wears off your body will let you know something is wrong by sending pain signals to the affected area of the body. If you can’t get in to see your regular doctor, you can visit your local emergency room or go to an Urgent Care clinic.