Despite unbelievable advances in technology over the last century, auto accidents remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States every year. More than 100 people are fatally injured on our roads every day, and more than 2.5 million receive emergency room treatment for car accident injuries annually. While the day-to-day and financial impacts to victims are relevant, car accidents’ most serious consequences are the injuries’ nature.
How Car Accidents Can Impact Your Health and Well-Being
After you have been hurt in a serious auto accident, workplace accident, or any other type of accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. Nothing is more important than focusing on your healing and recovery. Even crashes and collisions that seem minor or don’t cause immediate pain or discomfort can have serious health consequences. After an accident, shock and adrenaline can numb the body’s ability to sense pain, so you may not be able to judge your own condition accurately. Allow doctors and other trusted medical experts to check your condition as soon as possible so that they can get you on a treatment plan and path to recovery.
Motor vehicle accidents can result in many types of injuries. Common physical injuries include head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions. Other frequent musculoskeletal injuries include back and spine injuries, like slipped disks or fractures, and neck injuries such as whiplash. External harm is common, with accident victims suffering cuts, bruises, lacerations, and burns. Psychological issues can also arise following sudden, frightening events like car accidents. Individuals may suffer depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep issues, cognitive issues, or memory issues as a direct result of the physical trauma or as a complication of longer-term pain and injury recovery.
Where to Seek Medical Treatment After Your Accident
For many, the first call to a personal injury attorney may include questions about where they need to seek care. While some accident victims must be urgently transported to the emergency room, others may leave the scene feeling fine, only to realize a short time later that they are finally feeling serious effects that had been masked by shock and adrenaline. Here are some guidelines and options that may be helpful to you and your family following an accident:
- Emergency Room (ER)– For serious and urgent injuries
- Hospital– For surgeries, recovery, specialist care, in-patient and long-term treatment
- Urgent Care – Provides access to see a doctor with a short-term or no appointment, generally at a lower cost than an ER. Many urgent care centers are open all day and can treat a wide range of injuries
- Doctor’s Office– Seeing your own doctor or your primary care provider who has your health history can be of great benefit
- Specialist’s Office– For injuries, treatments, or care centered around a specific function or system of the body, your doctor may refer you to a specialist
- Physical Therapy– For specific exercise and healing techniques to help retrain muscles, joints, and more after a trauma
- Chiropractor– For the neck, back, and certain spinal injury therapies
- Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist – For counseling and recovery assistance for the psychological impacts of suffering an accident
- Other Therapeutic Treatments– Focusing on total body wellness in many cases and sometimes referred to as holistic practice, for example, acupuncture or specialized massage therapy
Consequences for Your Claim or Case
Seeking medical attention promptly after an accident is critical for two fundamental reasons. First, it ensures that you receive proper diagnosis and treatment for any injuries you sustained. Second, it dispels any doubt the insurance companies may try to cast over your case that those injuries were, in fact, caused by accident. Protect both your health and your ability to seek compensation for medical bills and time off work by seeking timely medical care.
You Deserve an Ally in Treatment After Your Accident
Following a major accident & injury, many critical decisions need to be made quickly. It can be overwhelming to navigate all the requirements of insurance companies and medical institutions, all while trying to heal and recover, field the incoming repair and hospital bills, and keep your life together.
Prioritize your health and recovery, and take the time that you need. After a car accident, for help handling all the details, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney.