Never refuse medical attention after a car accident. Several medical and legal reasons make visiting the hospital — as well as your primary care physician — after a car accident the right thing to do.
Why Do I Need to Go to Hospital? I Feel Fine
The medical reasons you should go to the hospital and/or see your doctor immediately after a car accident — even if the accident was a minor one and you feel okay— are compelling. How so?
There are several common, latent injuries that can emerge after a car accident, and a medical professional can usually identify them early, and begin treatment before they become too painful and/or disabling:
Cervical Strains/Herniated Disc:
One of the most common injuries in a car crash is a cervical sprain (whiplash) injury. Whiplash symptoms may take several days or weeks to emerge — and some people wait even longer hoping the pain will go away. Also, the traumatic impact of a car crash can be so extreme that spinal discs bulge and herniate, putting pressure on the spinal nerves, triggering pain and inflammation.
Traumatic Brain Injury:
The quick neck and head movement that occurs during a crash can cause a concussion, as can hitting one’s head on the steering wheel or some other object. Airbag deployment can also sometimes cause a concussion. A moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is when a person experiences changes in brain function for longer than a few minutes following trauma. A mild concussion requires rest and minimum activity to recover. More serious TBI injuries may require additional testing and hospitalization.
All occupants of the vehicle are subject to uncontrolled body movement in a car crash. The knee often comes into contact with the dashboard, for example, which can fracture the underlying bony tissue as well as stretch and twist the cartilage and ligaments of the knee. What may initially seem like a little bump can become increasingly painful, reflecting a more serious underlying knee injury.
Soft-tissue shoulder injuries are very common in car accidents. They often involve the exposed shoulder (the one not covered by your seatbelt). Soft-tissue shoulder injuries can disrupt sleep and make daily living activities difficult and painful.
Individuals who have experienced a serious car crash have been traumatized. No one walks away without a psychological impact. People respond to trauma differently, and some need more guidance than others in learning new coping skills that facilitate their recovery. There has been significant research about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it can impact a person’s life over time if left untreated.
If you are concerned about any injury after you are treated by EMTs at the scene and/or receive care in an emergency room, it is vital to see your primary care doctor as soon as you can.
Does Immediate Treatment Help My Claim ?
In an insurance settlement negotiation or lawsuit, refusing treatment at the scene or the hospital — or delaying a visit to your doctor — can be used to diminish your claim and cast doubt about the seriousness of your injuries. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at our law firm can ensure you follow the right course of action in order to receive the compensation you serve.
Receiving care promptly from a hospital, certified walk-in care clinic or your personal doctor creates a baseline diagnosis and treatment plan that will be difficult for an insurance company to question. It’s also helpful to coordinate physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other kinds of auxiliary care through your PCP to avoid it being questioned/denied.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, are ready to help if you’ve been injured in a car accident and unsure of your next steps. Do not hesitate to contact our offices at (215) 735-4800 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney at a time and place that’s convenient and comfortable for you.