Often, people who are involved in a car crash conclude for themselves that they’re not physically injured. The airbags may have deployed, they don’t have any open wounds and they’re able to move all of their extremities. Therefore, they decline a law enforcement officer’s offer to call an ambulance to have them checked out at a hospital.
The only problem is that many injuries suffered in crashes are not apparent right away. However, some of these injuries, like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other internal injuries, can be serious and even fatal if not diagnosed and treated right away.
Here’s why you need to get checked out by a doctor following a wreck
By going to the hospital, or at least to your doctor, soon after the crash, you can get one or more diagnostic imaging tests, including x-rays, a CT (computed tomography) scan, ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). They can detect everything from a bleed in the brain to a broken bone to an injured organ and much more. For example, you might have a micro-tear in a muscle that will get far worse if the area isn’t immobilized.
Even if no internal injuries are found in your medical evaluation, the doctor will tell you what symptoms to watch out for that could be a sign of an undetected or worsening injury. These typically include:
- Confusion or memory loss
- Trouble seeing or hearing
- Unusual fatigue
- New or extensive bruising
- Abdominal pain, bruising or swelling
Many symptoms of car crash injuries don’t develop for at least a few days. Even if you were thoroughly checked out and scanned at a hospital, you should follow up with your own doctor if you experience these or any other symptoms that are unusual for you.
If the crash was caused by another driver, it’s crucial not to agree to any settlement offered by their insurance company or anyone else until you’re certain of the full extent of your injuries – both physical and emotional. Otherwise, you could sign away your right to seek the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.