Motor vehicle collisions can easily result in catastrophic injuries to the people in the vehicles involved, as well as to nearby pedestrians. Between the idea that catastrophic injuries are obvious and the predilection of the media to display internal injuries visibly in movies and television shows, people all too often assume that if they aren’t bleeding or unable to move, they aren’t seriously hurt.
Someone who has potentially fatal injuries might walk away from a car crash assuming they are perfectly fine. Delaying medical evaluation can have serious medical and financial consequences, which is why it is almost always in your best interest to err on the side of caution and go see a doctor after involvement in a collision.
Not all serious injuries are visible
In the movies, when someone hurts their head in a car crash, they will probably start bleeding from the ears, nose or eyes. Those with internal injuries, such as abdominal bleeding, may cough up blood or otherwise dramatically demonstrate their injury.
It’s important to remember that what Hollywood does, it does for dramatic effect and the easy interpretation of the story by the audience. The reality of a car crash is that some of the worst injuries you can suffer in a collision won’t necessarily be visible or detectable at the scene of the crash.
Both traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding may not present immediate symptoms. Your adrenal response to the crash could mask pain and other symptoms. However, both of these injuries could prove fatal without timely diagnosis and treatment.
If you struck your head, experienced violent rolling, shaking or spinning, got crushed against the steering wheel or nearly pulled out of your seat belt by the force of the crash, the potential for trauma is there and should not be ignored.
Medical records help you get compensation for your injuries
Whether you wind up suffering a soft tissue injury like whiplash, a closed head injury that produces a traumatic brain injury or substantial internal bleeding, invisible injuries suffered in a car crash can turn out to be financially devastating.
Whether you hope to file an insurance claim to offset your medical expenses and lost wages or need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an uninsured or underinsured driver, a timely medical analysis after the crash can make your legal claim that much easier to prove.
Seeing a physician the same day as the accident will ensure that there are medical records affirming that the injury results from or at least connects to the accident. That evidence can help sway an insurance company or prove to the courts that you have a viable claim in the future. Waiting for weeks to seek treatment could mean that you will have an uphill battle in the future if you try to secure compensation for your injuries.