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Should I get checked by my doctor after a small wreck?

By John Singleton on February 1, 2016

YES. It’s not just major auto collisions that hurt drivers and passengers. Seemingly minor fender-benders can injure too. Here are three good reasons to get checked out by your doctor following any wreck:

  1. You may not notice injuries from a crash initially — sometimes for hours, days, even weeks. Why? A car crash induces a rush of adrenaline and endorphins, which are chemicals that can raise your energy level and block your pain. Once the “high” wears off though, pain can kick in.
  2. Car crashes often injure soft tissue, which can affect tendons, muscles, and ligaments. But soft-tissue injury symptoms may not present themselves immediately, and they may not be visible on X-rays. These symptoms include pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.
  3. A concussion occurs when the brain strikes the inside of the skull with great force: some concussion symptoms are obvious from the outset, while others are subtle or delayed. And, you don’t have to hit your head on anything in your car to get a concussion. The mere snapping forward and back of it may be sufficient to cause one.

So what should you do?

After even a “small” collision, see your doctor right away. Your doctor can assess your overall physical condition, help you monitor symptoms, and document your situation. All of this will be important if you ever do need to file a claim for your injuries. By contrast, procrastination diminishes your chances of filing a claim successfully.

And remember: Insurance adjusters know that accident injury symptoms can sometimes be delayed. Some may pressure you to agree to a quick settlement before your symptoms have fully manifested. If you sign a release, and more symptoms occur later, you cannot ask the insurance company to pay for treatment.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and have any questions, contact GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys at (804) 413-6777. Consultations are free.

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