Should I see a doctor after a crash even if I don’t think I’m injured?

see a doctor after a car accidentLuckily, many car accidents are minor. Drivers traveling at low speeds are often involved in fender-benders that leave little or no damage to vehicles, and passengers feel fine after the crash. In these situations, those involved may wonder if it’s necessary to see a doctor. It may seem like an unnecessary expense or a waste of time. However, it is important to seek medical care after any car accident, even seemingly minor ones.

Any Car Crash Prompts a Natural Response From the Body

Even in a minor crash, the human body responds in a manner to protect itself. It will generate adrenaline and endorphins, chemicals triggered in stressful situations that prepare the body for a traumatic event. When this happens, heart rates increase, and people find themselves with a burst of energy or strength. Even when the threat has ceased—the crash is over and the immediate danger has passed—it takes time for the body to return to its normal state. During this time, pain and injury can be masked by this natural “high.” Accident victims may not be able to fully feel or appreciate the existence or extent of an injury.

Soft Tissue Injuries Are Common Even in Minor Car Crashes

Any car accident generates a great deal of force that is exerted on the drivers and passengers. This makes soft tissue injuries quite common in any crash. A soft tissue injury affects muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and commonly includes:

  • Whiplash
  • Muscle sprain
  • Muscle strain
  • Contusion

These types of injuries can range in severity, and the recovery time can take weeks or even months. Common treatments include rest, immobilization, anti-inflammatory medications, physical rehabilitation, and more.

Only a Medical Professional Can Determine the Extent of Injury

While soft tissue injuries are common crash-related injuries, accident victims can experience a wide variety of injuries, including concussion, broken bones, lacerations, and more. Only a doctor can determine the severity of your injuries, including determining the likelihood that any future complications will develop.

In some cases, serious injury can result that can require significant care. Accident victims do not have to bear the burden of these injuries alone. It is possible to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. However, victims must seek care both to protect their health and any legal claim.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident, Anchorage attorney Ben Crittenden is here to help your voice be heard and your rights protected. He has provided compassionate legal guidance to many Alaska accident victims. Subscribe to his newsletter to learn more about Ben, his legal work, and your rights as a personal injury victim.