Why You Should Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, minor to severe, it is not always immediately apparent whether you have suffered injury. With whiplash and traumatic brain injuries in particular, there may be no outward sign of injury. Rather, the force of impact may have caused soft tissue damage in the neck area, or the brain may have collided with the skull in the collision, leaving no visible contusions or lacerations. These injuries can cause considerable pain and discomfort and even may contribute to lasting disabilities. One of the most important things you can do is to seek medical attention.
Immediately after a car accident, you will need to remain at the scene (unless you are in need of emergency medical care and are taken from the scene by an ambulance). You should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and should call 911 if you are in a dangerous spot, blocking traffic, or if anyone was injured. If possible, take pictures at the scene and gather the contact information of any witnesses present. Get the names and badge numbers of law enforcement personnel that arrive at the scene.
Upon taking these steps, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after an accident is important, even if you feel that you have not been seriously injured. A slight headache or stiffness in the neck may be an indication of a more serious medical condition, which should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage.
Traumatic Brain Injury Signs & Symptoms
Even if you did not actually hit your head in an auto accident, your brain may collide with the wall of your skull as a result of the impact. This type of injury can cause bruising or other damage to the brain. Whether you have sustained visible head trauma or have no outward signs of a head injury, you should watch for the following signs of a potential brain injury:
- Loss of consciousness, even momentary
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Light sensitivity
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Dilated pupils
- Numbness in the fingers or toes
If you notice these symptoms, be sure to inform your doctor. Emergency medical care may be warranted if they are severe – it is better to seek medical care than to avoid it and find yourself in a situation where you were in need and did nothing.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed by 24 hours or more after a car accident, making it important to watch for potential signs that you have sustained this type of injury. If you have experienced whiplash in a car accident, you may begin to experience the following signs within a few days:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
- Low back pain
- Pain or numbness in the arm or hand
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Fatigue, irritability and difficulty sleeping
When you see your doctor, make sure you tell him or her that you were involved in an auto accident. This will help your doctor know what type of injuries to look for. If you are specific in describing your symptoms, this will also help him or her make an accurate diagnosis so you can receive the treatment you need.
For more information and insight not only on car accident injuries but on your rights and options in seeking financial compensation, please contact a Wisconsin car accident lawyer at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. We are here to help.