Whether you are in a severe accident or a minor fender bender, there is always the potential for a painful injury that could send you to a hospital, require expensive surgical procedures, or cause you to miss work.
Although no one wants to experience a gruesome injury like a broken limb or lacerated face, at least those kinds of injuries are visible.
In many cases, the physical and mental injuries resulting from a car accident may not be noticeable for days or weeks afterwards.
Given the potential for hidden damage to your body or mind, it can be difficult to determine if you are really okay after a car accident. The short answer is if you are involved in a car accident go see your physician.
Here’s our take on it, from the personal injury attorneys at the Gilbert Law Firm.
What to Do after an Accident in Washington State
You should, of course, get checked out by any available medical personnel at the scene of the accident. You may feel fine, but this may be more related to a surge in adrenaline rather than actually being injury-free.
Even if EMTs give you a clean bill of health at the scene, you should get checked out by a medical doctor as soon as possible, as well.
Emergency personnel don’t have the equipment or the training to diagnose issues like internal bleeding or whiplash. They are also unable to recognize the early signs of emotional trauma that could manifest as a psychological condition.
In the days following an accident, you may become more aware of health issues like headaches, body aches, neck pain, or disturbing flashbacks. You should be honest with your physician about any issue that has arisen since the car accident.
If your doctor is unable to make a diagnosis, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
Not only will a thorough diagnosis help you get on your way to a health recovery, but this documentation can greatly increase the chances that you will obtain all of the compensation you need to pay off medical bills and make up for lost wages.
Long-term Health Problems
Most injuries following a vehicle accident become apparent fairly soon afterwards, but many may not become evident for weeks, months, or even years afterward. Some issues like neck or back pain could become chronic and quite disruptive to your life.
These types of injuries may include:
- Internal injuries
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
However, what could be much harder to diagnose and treat are emotional issues that may arise much later.
Some symptoms may include:
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Problems sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Relationship problems
- Personality changes
- Emotional outbursts
- Panic attacks
It is common to suffer from anxiety, depression or PTSD after an accident.
Because some issues may take some time to develop, you may not realize how painful and disruptive they are for quite some time. In many cases, your insurance company may try to deny your claim if the issue arises after a delay; they may be skeptical that the health issue is related to the accident, or they merely are trying to avoid another payout.
If an insurance company is refusing your claim, you may want to consult with a highly qualified personal injury attorney who can help push them to do the right thing.
Get the Gilbert Law Firm on Your Side
The Gilbert Law Firm is widely regarded as one of the leading personal injury law firms in the state of Washington. If you need advice on how to proceed after an auto accident, contact the Gilbert Law Firm today for a consultation.