How Soon After an Accident Should You See a Doctor?

Injuries from a car accident should be addressed as soon as possible after an accident. Seeing a doctor and getting the care you need will mitigate prolonged and chronic pain in your future. Too often, victims of a car accident will avoid the visit to the hospital to see a doctor and try to treat their injuries at home. When it comes to car accident injuries, a self-diagnosis isn’t wise. You might not know how severe your injuries are until days, sometimes weeks later. At that point, the damage could be significant, causing an injury to become far worse than a stiff back or neck.

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driver making a phone call after being rear ended in a car accident

What if I’m Not in Pain After My Accident?

Some injuries caused by a car accident, like broken bones or loss of blood, are apparent. But not all accident injuries are so obvious. Many times, victims of a car accident feel fine in the hours following their accident. That’s due to the reaction your body naturally has in the seconds following a crash. Your body releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones into your body to help you think clearly and mask the pain. This effect wears off in a couple of hours. You don’t want to be in a world of discomfort and pain once your body starts to relax, so it’s still wise to visit a doctor – even if you’re not in pain.

How Long Can You Wait Before Seeing a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Many people don’t enjoy going to the hospital or the doctors. Some put off seeing a doctor after their car accident until weeks or months later, or they’ll believe they’re fine and don’t need medical attention at all. However, time passes quickly. If you don’t act with urgency, you might miss your window of opportunity to get the treatment you receive for your injuries, and compensation by the insurance company.

Processes that insurance companies have in place for calculating how much compensation to provide for treatments relating to car accident injuries involve calculating facts and data surrounding your injury. You will need to contribute some facts to your claims adjuster, and they must also consider other facts like whether you requested medical treatment in a “reasonable” time frame. What most insurance companies view to be “reasonable” is 72 hours following a crash.

So, to increase your odds of acquiring fair compensation to cover your injury treatments, be sure to visit a doctor or hospital no later than three days after your accident.

Doctor examining patient suffering from whiplash's neck and brace after a car accident
female doctor

The Takeaway: Get Treatment for Your Injuries Sooner Than Later

You should never put off seeing a doctor when it concerns the state of your health and well-being. Because many car accident injuries don’t manifest for days, sometimes weeks, after an accident – it’s best to find out what you’re dealing with right away. Soft tissue injuries and concussions are both common after a car crash, and these injuries can become worse if left untreated over time.

If your health isn’t enough motivation to seek medical treatment, the risk of having to pay out-of-pocket for these injuries later down the road should encourage you not to waste time. To recover to your fullest potential both medically and financially after a car accident, it’s imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Who Can Help

At The Barnes Firm, our team of car accident attorneys helps victims with their personal injury claims through our years of experience and compassion. Our team has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for car accident victims throughout the nation. Until we win your case, we don’t charge any fees for our services.

Contact us today to get started on your free case evaluation.