After a car crash, you may feel a little bit stunned. Many people are in shock and numb. Others are angry and just want to go home and rest.
It’s a normal response to want to get on with your day, especially if you don’t believe that you’ve been hurt. Unfortunately, many crash injuries won’t present right away. That means that you could be walking around with injuries without knowing it. Those injuries could worsen over the course of the next 24 or 48 hours (longer in some cases).
Why is it important to seek medical care after a car crash?
Since delayed-onset injuries are a risk to anyone who has been involved in a collision, it’s a good idea for you to seek medical care after a crash. You may think you feel fine, but there could be symptoms you’re not recognizing.
It’s also important to start a paper trail showing that you did seek care, so that you can make an appropriate insurance claim. If you go to get care right away, it shows that you did believe you could have injuries or, at the very least, indicates that the accident was severe enough to warrant going to the hospital.
Of course, your health comes first. Seeking medical care is essential, so that you can know if there are any underlying injuries that you haven’t noticed. While things like broken bones might be obvious, other issues, like bleeding on the brain, whiplash or bruising, could take longer to develop. By getting medical care early, your medical team can take steps to help you minimize pain or complications from conditions that have not yet fully developed.
What should you do after you seek medical care?
After you seek care, the next step is to talk to your attorney about filing a claim against an at-fault driver or other party who caused your injuries. Keep all of your medical documents, and provide copies to your attorney. Keep receipts, even those not from the hospital, if they are for expenses related to traveling to appointments or purchasing items that you need as a result of the crash.