Which Doctor Type Should You See First After a Car Accident?

Written by on May 18, 2020 in Stuff with 0 Comments

You heard the sickening squeal of tires, then that horrifying crunch as your car collided with another vehicle. While accidents happen all the time, they can still leave you shaken when one happens to you.

If you were lucky, you walked away from the accident feeling bruised but not hurt. However, you still need to see a doctor, as injuries can develop down the line.

What doctor type should you consult with? Read on to find out!

If You Have Immediate Issues

Most people who suffer obvious injuries during a car accident, things like concussions, broken bones, or deep lacerations, will be taken to the hospital straight away in an ambulance. But maybe you don't feel the pain right after the crash. Adrenaline can do that to you.

Later on that day, you could develop symptoms of something serious. What you thought was just bruised could start to feel broken, or your pain might not be going away with a couple of Tylenol. If anything like that happens, head to the emergency room or an urgent care facility.

Even If You Think You Were Unhurt

So you wake up the next morning, and you feel basically fine. Maybe there are a couple of scratches, a black eye, some bruises on your arms or legs. But there's nothing more than that, and anyway, you need to get back to work to pay for those car repairs.

Not so fast. It is important — nay, essential — that you visit a doctor just in case. In case of what? Well, there are several serious injuries that might not become symptomatic right away. Left untreated, they could really do some damage to your well-being and overall health in the future.

Additionally, it's good to have a medical paper trail in the event that you or other driver initiates legal action over the accident.

What Kind of Injuries Can Develop Down the Line?

Whiplash, back problems, knee injuries, traumatic brain injuries, even PTSD — these can all take hours or even days to manifest themselves after an accident. So go get yourself checked out at your primary care physician's office.

When you call, explain that you have been involved in a car crash and see if they will fit you in. Your doctor might not be available, but maybe someone else can see you. Can' get an appointment within, say, 48 hours of the accident? Head to an urgent care facility for a thorough exam.

Before your appointment, it's a good idea to find out what questions to ask a doctor after a car accident.

Other Doctor Types To Visit

In the weeks to come, depending on your injuries, you may also want to visit a chiropractor, neurologist, physical therapist, or pain management specialist. If you're not sure where to turn next, ask your PCP for guidance and a referral, if necessary.

Sometimes varying injuries can result in surprising outcomes. For example, did you know if you hit your head the wrong way, you can go blind? Sometimes you might just lose certain aspects of your vision. Vehicular injuries often result in surprising injuries that have effects that don’t fully manifest for days, weeks, and sometimes months after the actual event. While it’s important to have a medical professional examine you right after the accident, and keep a record of that examination for potential liability or insurance issues later, it’s also important to get subsequent examination later should issues develop. For example, if you lose vision quality or clarity after an accident, you might want to seek a refraction eye exam. Such exams essentially determine how well your eyes are working and may be able to demonstrate you’ve sustained some sort of loss from a given accident. Also, catching such problems early enough can help you receive proper medical help in time—there are injuries where, if you wait too long, there’s no help you can find.

It's crucial to take care of yourself after an accident. Part of that care means seeing the right doctor type in the hours, days, and weeks ahead.

Don't mess with your health. Take the time to be evaluated — for your future and your peace of mind!

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