In 2017, there were 6.4 million car accidents that occurred on American roads. In some cases, the drivers and passengers involved in those accidents were able to walk away from the crash unharmed. But nearly 1.9 million people suffered injuries requiring medical care, time away from work, and lifestyle changes. While it’s common for adults to downplay their injuries, it’s important for those involved in a car accident to seek medical care, even if they don’t feel they’ve been hurt or that their injuries are so minor they don’t warrant a doctor visit.
When Small Injuries Become Big Health Issues
Often, accident victims minimize their injuries and their pain and convince themselves and others that they don’t need to visit a doctor. In some cases, however, minor injuries can evolve into more serious health issues. Only a medical professional with knowledge and experience can determine the significance of an accident victim’s symptoms.
In addition to being harmful to your health, failing to see a doctor can hurt a later personal injury claim. The at-fault driver and his insurance company will likely point out that you didn’t seek medical care and try to prove that no real injury existed. They will use this tactic to reduce or even eliminate the compensation they owe—money you need for vital medical care and to replace lost wages as you recover.
The Body’s Protective Response Can Mask Injury Symptoms
When facing a suddenly stressful situation like a car accident, the human body has a natural response to protect itself. Even a low-speed crash can trigger what is known as the fight or flight response. This response is a hormonal response during which the body releases endorphins and adrenaline. These chemicals can act as natural painkillers, and they can hide painful symptoms of injuries. As hours and days pass, however, this response wears off, and injuries can become apparent. This is why it’s important to get medical attention right away, as the lack of immediate care can have negative effects on your health and ability to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Seek Medical Care After Any Virginia Car Accident
If you suffer injuries after a car accident, injury compensation can make all the difference for your future. At Lattof & Lattof, PC, our experienced lawyers are here to help injury victims navigate this stressful and confusing time. We can answer your questions and help you understand your rights. Call our Fairfax office, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to learn more about what we do and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.