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Should I see a doctor if I walk away from a car crash?

One question that many people ask regarding the aftermath of a car accident is whether they need to see a doctor. Obviously, if you or your passengers suffer serious injuries, this is not applicable, since you will receive medical treatment immediately following the accident. However, the question becomes a bit more difficult to answer if you are physically able to walk away from the crash.

There are some situations in which it is a good idea to have a medical exam even if you think you did not suffer injuries in the crash. Some common injuries that result after a car crash can actually show up days, weeks or even months after the crash. If you are aware of these potential injuries and remain aware of symptoms, you are more likely to see a doctor immediately rather than wait.

Delayed-onset injuries after a car crash

One common car crash injury is the concussion, but not everyone knows how to identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Furthermore, a concussion or other traumatic brain injury may lead to symptoms that can be mild enough to seem unrelated to the crash. For example, a headache in the hours and days following a car crash definitely warrants a doctor visit. It is important to document all your post-crash symptoms, no matter how mild or unrelated to the crash they may seem. 

Symptoms to watch out for

With a concussion or other traumatic brain injury after a car accident, there are specific symptoms to look out for. In addition to having a headache as described above, you may experience dizziness, disorientation, loss of balance or coordination, vision problems, ringing in your ears, nausea or vomiting, or even just a general sense of feeling tired. Since any of these symptoms on their own may not be cause for alarm, many car accident victims neglect to receive a follow-up doctor exam after the crash. However, since delayed-onset injuries do occur with car accidents, it is better to be safe than sorry. A medical visit can also help you by providing documentation of your injuries that you need if you decide to seek compensation through the court system.

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