When you call for support after a car crash, one of the first things that the dispatcher will ask you is whether you or other people require medical assistance. Especially if you use an emergency number to report the collision, an ambulance staffed by emergency medical technicians could be on the way in a matter of minutes if you indicate someone there has an injury.
However, you could very easily decline medical intervention and then discover that you have a noteworthy injury sometime after the crash. It is very easy for you to overlook signs of injury in yourself, especially when flustered and panicked right after a collision occurs. How can you determine if you should go see a doctor or not after a crash?
Look for warning signs of an injury
Did your seatbelt dig into your stomach and chest during the crash, leaving you with tender tissue that you think will probably bruise? Did you hit your head on the window or lose consciousness during the crash?
You may already have some of the warning signs of a serious injury with delayed symptom onset, such as internal bleeding or a traumatic brain injury. If you suffered blunt force trauma to your midsection or head or if you lost consciousness even for a few seconds after the crash, you may require a professional medical evaluation.
Check the condition of the vehicles
The more severe the damage to your vehicle, the more likely it is that you, as its occupant, may have suffered some kind of serious injury. In a scenario where your vehicle is no longer safe to drive or where it got rolled over as part of the crash, you have a higher risk of delayed onset internal injuries and would likely benefit from a professional medical evaluation.
Don’t let insurance determine your choices
Whether or not you have health insurance, possibly a policy with a high deductible, you should not have to forgo medical treatments out of financial concern following a major car crash. The driver who is at fault for the wreck should have liability coverage, and their policy could cover the cost of your examination and any other medical care you may require.
The decision about whether or not to seek care should depend on the severity of the crash and whether you have reason to suspect an injury. Securing proper medical evaluation is one of the most important steps for protecting yourself following a major car crash.