Should I See A Doctor?
Yes. Many people who are involved in an automobile accident are too embarrassed to seek medical treatment. The initial bumps and bruises do not seem serious or the onset of the symptoms does not immediately occur.
After an accident, an initial evaluation at a local emergency room is recommended. X-rays can be performed which will generally rule out broken bones or fractures. Muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed to address muscle strains or pulls.
Of course, not every automobile or car accident produces injury. However, if the onset of a serious injury is delayed, the failure to have a medical complaint recorded can affect your chances of recovery. Back and neck injuries like herniated discs are not always immediately determinable. They are often initially diagnosed as “soft tissue” injuries before an MRI or CT scan reveals a disc injury. Normal x-ray film is generally not diagnostic of disc injuries.
The mechanism of injury may not always be obvious to a person injured in an automobile accident. For instance, there are many documented cases of carpel tunnel syndrome caused by a person tightly clenching the steering wheel during an automobile accident. Since the wrists may not have slammed into a part of the car, the person involved in the injury may not associate this problem with the car accident until it is too late to make a claim.
Insurance Claims & Delayed Treatment
Moreover, many insurance adjusters will refuse to pay claims when there has been a delay in receiving treatment or when large gaps in the treatment have occurred. Even though there are explainable and legitimate reasons for the delay or gap in treatment, victims may end up either uncompensated or under-compensated.
It is not uncommon for auto or car accident victims to leave the scene of the accident feeling that they were uninjured and wake up the next day or two later with extreme soreness, tightness or muscle spasm. In these instances, immediate medical attention should be sought from your doctor. Again, documentation of the onset of injury is important in establishing a causal link between an accident and an injury.
If an injury has been diagnosed by your physician, make sure you keep your appointments and scheduled treatments. Insurance adjusters will argue that you must be well or feeling fine if you do not go to the doctor. This is true even if all the physician is doing is examining you and prescribing new medications which do not seem to be working. Documentation of your pain and suffering is essential to successfully pursuing a claim.
Moreover, unsuccessful conservative treatment will eventually lead to your doctor becoming more aggressive to seek a treatment or diagnosis which will help your recovery.