So you’ve gotten into a serious car accident but you aren’t bleeding and you can probably get up and walk around the wreckage. You’re probably thinking that you’re lucky enough to have survived without a scratch and that you don’t need medical attention.
While walking away from a devastating accident would be a great story to tell, don’t immediately assume that you can skip the doctor’s visit anytime soon. After any accident, it is recommended that you seek medical attention to make sure that you have a clean bill of health.
There are a lot of injuries that are not immediately apparent, such as:
Internal Injuries – It’s not always clear that you are suffering from some internal injury, especially if you don’t immediately feel pain. Internal injuries may include damage to kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, heart, bowels, and other internal organs. Furthermore, some injuries, while not inherently fatal, may lead to a more serious condition, such as a broken rib puncturing your lung.
Delayed Onset of Injuries – In many car accidents, some serious injuries, while not necessarily fatal, can take some time to show up and cause long-lasting pain and discomfort such as whiplash, stress fractures, and even brain damage.
Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft-tissue injuries generally include bruising, spraining, straining, etc. to the "non-bony" areas of the body. Many insurers try to fight soft tissue injuries because they are harder for a physician to document - unlike a broken bone or a TBI, they generally do not show up on x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and the like, but they can be documented better if the medical exam is conducted soon after the accident occurred.
Psychological Injuries: Drivers and passengers may suffer short or long-term psychological injuries such as emotional distress, and may even develop conditions that closely resemble post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. While psychological injuries are generally not compensable by themselves, it may become compensable when accompanied by physical injuries.
If you are a victim of an accident, seek medical assistance whether you think you need it or not. An immediate and thorough documentation of your injuries will help any future personal injury claims you may file. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for the medical and emotional damages you may have sustained.