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Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Whether you’re 25 or 50, we can almost bet that you’ve been in at least one car accident already. Why do we say this with such confidence? Because, car crashes have become a normal part of everyday life in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,443,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2015, up 7.2% from 2014.

Even if you have yet to be involved in a car accident, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You could be the best driver in the world, but no amount of defensive driving can protect you from all negligent drivers. There will always be drunk drivers, distracted drivers and speeders on our roadways. Some of them will also be under the influence of an illegal drug or a prescription drug that affects driving ability like alcohol.

From this point forward, if you’re ever in a crash, the question we want to address is, “If I’m in an accident, should I see a doctor?” We’re bringing this up because some people wait to see a doctor and at the detriment of their claim.

Don’t Let the Adrenaline Fool You

Car accidents are frightening events. Often, a person will be in a crash and caught completely off-guard. As a result, their heart races, and their body is flooded with adrenaline, also known as the hormone epinephrine, which is responsible for the body’s fight or flight response.

Sure, adrenaline comes in handy when you’re running from an angry Pit Bull, or when you’re swimming away from a shark in Florida, or when you’re trying to rescue your children from a car that’s about to explode, but it can be a problem when you’ve just been involved in a car accident. How come?

You see, adrenaline is great at masking pain. This effect can last hours, if not days. In regards to a car accident, the adrenaline running through your body can fool you into believing that you are not hurt. This is where a lot of people get tripped up, especially when they are able to “walk away” from an accident without any visible injuries.

Do I Need Medical Attention?

After an accident, it’s critical to receive medical attention asap. This can be from a medical doctor or from a licensed chiropractor. If you have broken bones, airbag burns, open wounds, or an obvious concussion – get to your nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic. On the other hand, if you appear fine, but you don’t feel any pain or your neck or back hurts, see a chiropractor right away.

Pain, even neck or back pain is a sign of an injury. Even if it’s just your neck that hurts, make sure you see a chiropractor. You could have a concussion, a whiplash injury, a herniated disk, or pinched nerves, all of which can substantially affect your comfort level and your quality of life.

Often, we recommend that clients see a medical doctor and a chiropractor after an accident because it’s beneficial to be seen by both. When should you receive medical attention? Generally, within 72 hours of the accident but of course, the sooner the better. Ideally, you should seek medical attention within 24 hours of a crash.

If you delay medical treatment, it sends a powerful message to the at-fault driver’s insurance company that you’re not really hurt, which may not be the case at all. To ensure you get the medical attention you need and to help your claim, see a doctor or chiropractor asap after being in a car accident.

Need a Saratoga Springs personal injury lawyer? Contact us today!