In the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision, you will likely assess yourself and the passengers in your vehicle for visible injuries and then get out to look at your car or check on the people in the other vehicle(s) involved.
Most people mistakenly believe that they will display symptoms of injuries they suffer right at the scene of the accident. If they don't have symptoms, they may simply go about their way without seeing a doctor. Whether you worry about the potential expense of the medical examination because you don't have insurance or you don't have time to stop for a medical evaluation, forgoing an exam after a crash could leave you at risk.
Many kinds of injuries that people suffer from crashes do not present symptoms immediately after a collision. It may take several hours or even days before you realize that you are hurt. A medical exam could catch the warning signs of an injury that you might otherwise miss.
Know the warning signs of internal injuries
Sometimes, people don't notice an injury because the adrenaline rush they experience at the time of the crash covers up the pain of soft tissue injuries and other minor injuries. Other times, they may not notice the injury because the symptoms do not immediately present themselves. It is common for internal injuries such as bruising or damage to the internal organs or brain to take several days to present symptoms.
Injuries to your abdomen can become life-threatening in some cases if not properly treated. Traumatic brain injuries can get worse over time without adequate medical intervention. Symptoms of abdominal injuries include:
- pain or swelling of the abdomen
- bruising on your stomach, sides or back
- feeling dizzy (a warning sign of blood loss)
Traumatic brain injury symptoms can include:
- disruption of your senses
- cognitive issues
- problems with balance or a sense of dizziness
- sleep disruptions
Act if you notice signs of a serious internal injury
If you begin presenting any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. The sooner a doctor confirms your symptoms, the better your prognosis is likely to be. Getting examined sooner also means it will be easier for you to connect your injuries and symptoms to the crash. That will make it easier for you to seek compensation for your injuries.
While you may still worry about medical costs, it's important to know that health insurance will typically assist you if the crash was the result of another driver's actions. Talking with an attorney after a diagnosis with a major internal injury after a crash can help you figure out how to pay for your medical care.