What happens if you don’t seek help after a car accident?

Checking to see if you’re injured and calling 911 are two of the first things you should do if you’re in a car accident. But the shock of being in such a major event or worrying about other things like getting your car repaired can all get in the way of you to seek help and medical attention you almost certainly need.

No matter how minor the accident, after you’ve been involved in a road collision, it’s very unlikely you got out of the experience completely unharmed. You may think some cuts and bruises don’t warrant a trip to the emergency room or a visit to your chiropractor, but you can never be sure how serious even the smallest of injuries can be. 

Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, it’s a smart move to get yourself checked out. What you think is an insignificant injury could easily turn into something much more.

Seek Help for Serious injuries

If you delay seeking treatment after a car accident, you risk developing an unnecessarily serious injury. While you may look okay on the outside, you can’t tell if you’ve suffered any internal damage. The longer you wait to be seen by a professional, the more time a small injury has to develop into something major. 

Seek Help for Chronic Conditions

Back and neck pain are two of the most common symptoms experienced after a car accident. While they can be signs of whiplash, they can also indicate significant damage to your neck muscles, spinal discs, or even your vertebrae. Neck and back pain should always be taken seriously and failure to get treatment for it could result in chronic conditions, including paralysis. 

More pain

Waiting until you’re in significant pain to get medical attention is one of the worst things you can do. By then, there’s a good chance a minor injury has developed into something serious or chronic and you’re putting yourself in lots of unnecessary pain. By visiting your doctor or chiropractor immediately after the accident, you can receive a diagnosis and begin treatment before the pain stops you from taking part in everyday activities and enjoying your life.

Longer recovery periods

The sooner an injury is acknowledged and diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. And the faster an injury is treated, the quicker you can recover and get back to your regular life. If the pain isn’t bothering you that much, it can be easy to put off seeking medical help. But the longer you postpone it, the longer you’ll take to recover and the more time you’ll be in pain.

Bigger hospital bills

Simple injuries, such as whiplash, can often be treated with fairly non-invasive and affordable methods. The longer you put off seeing a doctor or a chiropractor, the more severe your injury will become. A serious injury requires much more invasive and expensive treatment than a simple injury which is diagnosed shortly after it happened.

What to look for

If you’re involved in a car accident, your injuries won’t always be obvious straight away. It can take days for some symptoms to show up. And when they do, you may think they were caused by something else, since the car accident took place so long ago.

Because of this, it’s vital you understand the signs to look out for in the days after you’ve been in a car accident. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms within three days of the accident, seek medical help immediately. If you postpone to seek help, you could develop a chronic condition that completely changes the rest of your life.

  • Nausea
  • Regular headaches or migraines
  • Pain or stiffness in your back, neck, shoulders, or arms
  • Tingling or burning sensation in your muscles
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Change of mood or personality
  • Difficulties thinking, focusing, or moving
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Changes in your sleep pattern

Any of the above symptoms may indicate a problem with your spine or neck. If you haven’t been seen by a professional yet, it’s time to make an appointment with your chiropractor. They’ll be able to give you a total body assessment to determine exactly what damage was caused by the accident. After that, they’ll create a personalized treatment plan to help repair and restore your body in the best way possible.

Through spinal manipulations, adjustments, and massages, your chiropractor can help reduce inflammation, alleviate your pain, and lower your chances of developing a chronic illness after your accident. They can even provide you with general health and wellness advice to help you get back on your feet sooner.

How long should you wait to seek help?

The sooner you make appointments with your doctor and chiropractor, the better. There’s no minimum time you should wait before seeking medical attention. The sooner you’re seen by a professional, the faster your injuries can be diagnosed and the quicker your treatment plan can begin. Even if you feel fine, getting yourself checked out is one of the first and most important things to do whenever you’re involved in a car accident.

About the author

Matt has been helping providers within the healthcare setting for over a decade. He realizes how best to solve a patient’s problem by understanding the individualism of each patient. Therefore knowing what their true needs are.  To focus on the patient and the “Why” they need their particular service that goes beyond the initial reason for them to seek treatment.

Matt has been with Veeva since 2018. He also has access to over 75 years of combined real-life hands-on experiences from the many doctors within the Veeva Chiropractic landscape.

Read more about Matt here >>