Minor fender benders are commonplace in West Virginia and throughout the country. You’re stopped at a stop light. The car behind you isn’t quite paying attention and bumps into the back end of your SUV causing a few dents.
Then, there are serious auto accident injuries. People sustain catastrophic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding and more and end up air lifted to the nearest hospital for emergency life-threatening surgery.
But many times, people land somewhere in the middle. You were driving along at a significant speed and got side-swipped by a distracted driver. You assess your situation and, other than shaking from the adrenaline rush, seem ok. You’re able to get out of your damaged vehicle, speak to the other driver and contact authorities.
So, the question remains: Should you still see a doctor? Yes. Here’s why.
Adrenaline can mask pain
Adrenaline is a stress hormone in the human body that releases after a traumatic event. Many people report feeling little to no pain after going through a horrific event due the effects of adrenaline.
This is because the body is in fight or flight mode – and often turns off normal signals like pain or hunger so you can “escape” whatever danger the body perceives you are facing. This originates from the hunter and gatherer days where people were often prey.
So, you may walk away from the car accident seemingly free from pain but a serious injury could still be present, just disguised under the effects of the hormone. Seeking medical attention allows the doctor, a neutral party to the accident, evaluate your body as a whole to determine if there are any underlying concerns.
Injuries may not surface for a day or week
You may report feeling a little pain in your neck or back a day after the accident, but not much. Fast forward a week later and you can barely get out of bed. This is because, injuries sometimes do not manifest for a while after the original event.
Everything is fine and then it pops up. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after your accident means a doctor can examine all aspects of what happens and determine if immediate treatment or prescription drugs are necessary to mitigate possible debilitating surprises in the upcoming future.
You could risk obtaining proper compensation
When determining claims and claim amounts, insurance adjustors look at the incident involved with the claimant and history tied to it. They look at whether you’ve sought medical attention recently or right after the incident. If you didn’t, it may send a message that you aren’t really “injured” and thus not entitled to certain compensation associated with the accident.