What To Do If You’re Injured in a Car Accident


Even minor car accidents can cause major injuries. If you believe you’ve sustained a car accident injury, you may be wondering where to turn for help and treatment. Keep reading to learn the next steps you should take to protect your health and well-being following a car accident.

1. Seek Care and Treatment From an Experienced Medical Practice

For your own health and well-being, you should always seek a medical evaluation after being in a car accident. Some accident injuries may not be visible right away due to the shock and adrenaline rush you experience directly following a high-impact collision. But symptoms like neck pain, back pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, headaches and muscle spasms may appear over the next several hours or days. If you feel any unusual pain, sensations or symptoms in the days and weeks after a car accident, see a doctor. Even a common headache — which you may attribute to stress or tiredness — may be a sign of a concussion or whiplash.


Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s a smart idea to undergo a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If a car accident injury appears in the future, you’ll need medical documentation if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Delaying a doctor’s visit or not seeing a doctor at all could affect the compensation you’re offered for injuries. 


After a car accident, your primary care physician (PCP) may not be the best choice for an evaluation and treatment. PCPs are trained for preventative care, general medicine and diagnosis and treatment of internal conditions. However, many PCPs don’t have the training or experience to properly treat traumatic injuries from a car crash. Instead, seek care from a specialist with experience in musculoskeletal conditions and car accident injuries. 


At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have the training and expertise to identify, diagnose and treat common car crash injuries like whiplash, concussions, fractures, herniated discs, pinched nerves, soft tissue sprains and strains, back pain and neck pain.    

2. Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you during the claims process. You should always call your insurance company to report a car accident and follow the steps to file a claim for injuries and car damages. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating you for injuries and damages.  


Once you file a car accident claim, your insurance company (or the other driver’s insurance company) will attempt to settle the claim as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. You may receive a settlement offer within a few days to weeks after your accident. If you accept the offer, you’ll likely be asked to sign an agreement and give up your rights to pursue further compensation in the future.


The problem with accepting an early settlement offer is that you may not know the full extent of your injuries until weeks or months after a crash. Significant accident injuries can cost thousands of dollars in doctor visits, treatments and rehabilitation. Additionally, unless you’re a medical professional, you probably don’t know how to determine the true value of your injuries and the medical care you need. You may not be able to assess whether or not the insurance company is offering you a fair compensation amount.


A personal injury lawyer will fight on your behalf to recover adequate compensation for your treatments and medical bills.    

3. Rest and Recover

The most important steps you can take if you’re injured in a car accident are to rest and recover. Car accidents are traumatic incidents that place your body and mind under extreme stress. While everyone’s road to recovery is different, it may be weeks or even months before you’re back on your feet after a crash. Giving your body the time it needs to heal and following your doctor’s treatment plan ensures that you have the best chance of a full recovery.


Failing to seek treatment for car crash injuries — even minor ones — can have potentially devastating future consequences. Acute injuries can worsen into long-term injuries without proper treatment. Many people who aren’t properly treated for their injuries develop chronic back and neck pain and long-term whiplash symptoms that affect their quality of life in the future. 


Do you need some help on the road to recovery? Check out our guide here:


The 9 Steps to Recovery After an Auto Accident

Call Integrity Spine and Orthopedics After a Car Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident and need treatment for your injuries, contact Integrity Spine and Orthopedics. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have experience treating common car crash injuries like whiplash, concussions, soft tissue damage, fractures and spine damage. 


Call us today at 904-456-0017 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment.

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