Should I See a Doctor If I’m In a Minor Car Accident?

After a Los Angeles car accident, you might not think that you’ve been badly injured. However, you could put yourself and your ability to recover compensation for your injuries in jeopardy if you skip the doctor after a crash. Always seek medical attention after a car accident, no matter how “minor” the collision. Here’s why.

Internal Injuries Are Common After a Car Accident

You might not see any visible signs of an injury after your accident. You may even feel a little shaken up, but lack any noticeable pain. However, you could have sustained serious internal injuries in your crash.

When a car is in motion, no matter the speed, it has momentum. In an accident, that momentum is transferred from the moving vehicle to passengers inside. This momentum can cause you to move violently in your seat and/or make contact with parts of the vehicle.

Sometimes the force of impact is more than our bodies can safely absorb. The result? Internal injuries, such as:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Brain bleeds
  • Damage to the organs, including the liver, spleen, and kidneys
  • Fractured ribs
  • Pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity), or
  • Abdominal aorta aneurysm.

You can suffer serious complications if these internal injuries aren’t discovered soon after an accident. Left untreated, you risk severe injury and even death. Prompt medical treatment and a thorough evaluation will help to identify all of your injuries and make sure they’re treated properly.

A Medical Report Will Benefit Your Personal Injury Claim

If someone else is responsible for your accident, you may want to consider filing an injury claim or lawsuit against them to recover compensation. When you do this, you’ll probably have to prove that this other person was negligent in some way. You’ll also have to establish that this negligence caused your injury.

If you seek medical attention after an accident, your doctor will document your injuries, care, and treatment in a medical record. This record will help to establish a link between your car accident and your injuries.

The less time you allow to go by in recording this link, the stronger your argument for compensation. If you wait a week to see a doctor for your injuries, it’ll be hard to connect your injuries to the accident. The person from whom you’re seeking compensation will point out that you could’ve sustained your injuries – or made them much worse – in the week between the accident and when you sought help.

Seeing a doctor right away will create a snapshot of your injury and support your claim for damages. It’ll be much harder for someone to refute.

You Have a Duty to Mitigate Your Injuries

In California, you have a responsibility to mitigate your injuries after an accident. In other words, you have to take reasonable steps to limit the extent of your injuries. If you fail to mitigate an injury, an insurance company or at-fault party might refuse to accept responsibility for your damages. At most, you may only be able to recover compensation for what it should’ve cost to treat your injuries had you sought medical attention immediately.

Seeing a doctor will help to ensure that you are physically healthy and safe. It will also help to preserve your right to recover the compensation you need and deserve.