There are no “good” car accidents. In the best of cases, you are merely inconvenienced and not injured, with no damage to your car. In many situations, though, there is at least some damage to the car, and more importantly, to yourself.
However, many drivers make a big mistake after a car accident even if they feel pain: They fail to go to the doctor. Here is a look at why they do this and why it is a misstep.
Inconvenience and perceived lack of need
No one has time built into their schedules to be hit by another vehicle. After a collision with a car or truck, you are likely in shock and frustrated at how it has delayed an important meeting or caused you to miss a critical event. While you may be experiencing some pain, you tell yourself it is minor and likely to go away soon. Taking yet more time out of your schedule to go to a doctor cannot be worth it. Of course, that turns out to be a mistake many times.
Limiting your options
Sometimes, that minor pain foreshadows major issues. Whiplash is a classic example, as the numbness, headaches, dizziness and/or muscle soreness can, in a few months or years, seriously impair your ability to move or walk. Other delayed pain/severity examples after a car accident include back pain, traumatic brain injury and even PTSD.
When you attempt to self-treat something or to delay treatment, your medical record is not as comprehensive as it could have been otherwise. An insurance company or lawyer could argue that if you had sought appropriate treatment, your health would not have deteriorated or that something else is what caused your injury. By seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident, you keep your options open in case an injury manifests later or worsens.