Do I need to see a doctor after an accident?

Many people are reluctant to seek medical help after an accident or injury. They may think a doctor visit is unnecessary because they feel fine, they aren’t sure where to go, they are worried about the cost, or for any number of other reasons. However, if you’ve been involved in an accident, it is very important to have your health evaluated by a physician. Seeing a doctor will strengthen any lawsuit you may wish to bring in the future, and, more importantly, promote recovery and ensure your continued well-being.

Protect Your Health Even If You Feel You Have No Symptoms

Often, accident victims downplay the severity of the symptoms and injuries. Even if you feel like your injuries are minor or non-existent, visit a medical provider to get checked out. This visit is important because:

  • Doctors are trained to recognize symptoms patients easily overlook. Medical professionals can identify signs of health problems that a victim may not even think are related to the accident. They are trained to recognize concussions, soft tissue injuries, internal injuries, and more.
     
  • The body may still be on a “high” after an accident. An accident can be a high energy time for the body. Typically, the body’s response to the high stress situation is to release endorphins. Accident victims will experience a rush of endorphins that evoke extra energy and block the feelings of pain. Once this feeling subsides, which can take time, the true nature of any injuries will be revealed.
     
  • Minor injuries can develop into more significant health concerns. In rare circumstances, a seemingly minor injury can progress into a much more serious health problem. If the problem can be addressed early, accident victims may be able to avoid future suffering. Additionally, if the future issue cannot be avoided, the insurance company will have documentation that the problem is related to the accident.

The Legal Effects of Seeking Medical Treatment

In addition to addressing important health concerns, seeking medical treatment helps to add credibility to a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation case related to the accident or injury. Today, insurance companies gather as much information as possible. They calculate what they think is an appropriate settlement offer based upon a number of factors, including how quickly a victim saw a doctor. If the victim sought medical treatment within 72 hours of the accident, this adds significant value to the claim.

Additionally, those involved in workers’ compensation claims need documentation from a doctor to prove the injury has negatively impacted their health and their ability to work.

Where To Seek Medical Help in Georgia

For some people, doctor’s visits are rare. Many victims don’t seek treatment because they simply aren’t sure how. If you are concerned about finding the right treatment, try:

  • Calling your family physician. Most general practitioners can easily see a patient before the 72 hours are up. If your doctor is particularly busy, explain the situation to the office staff. They will work with you to find a good time or set you up with a partner in the practice.
     
  • Visiting an urgent care facility or emergency room. These are set up to see patients short on time or for injuries that need immediate attention.


Hospital emergency rooms are obligated to evaluate everyone who comes to them for help following an accident, regardless of whether they have insurance or the ability to pay. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, the experienced lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak may be able to help. Call our Atlanta office today at 888-522-7798 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.