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Featured Image Car Accident

Experiencing a car accident can be one of the most jarring events in a person’s life, leaving you in a state of shock and confusion. Understandably, you might be wondering, Should I go to the doctor after a car accident? In the immediate moments following the crash, it’s possible you might not understand the full extent of your injuries. Sometimes, you might not even realize you are injured for a day or two after the accident. That’s why it’s imperative to recognize the signs you should go to the hospital after a car accident. 

Immediate Symptoms to Watch for After a Car Accident

Watch for severe symptoms after an accident, such as a loss of consciousness, severe pain or inability to move, difficulty breathing, and visible injuries

Loss of Consciousness

Any loss of consciousness, no matter how brief, should prompt an immediate visit to the hospital. It could indicate a concussion or more severe traumatic brain injury. Getting any potential head injuries checked immediately is crucial because it can improve your overall prognosis. 

Severe Pain or Inability to Move 

Severe pain, especially in the neck, back, or abdomen, can signal significant injuries like fractures, internal bleeding, or spinal damage. Don’t dismiss intense discomfort; it warrants professional evaluation. On the other hand, if you cannot feel your legs or move one of your extremities, it also warrants an emergency trip to the hospital. You could have nerve impingement or something more serious like spinal cord damage. 

Difficulty Breathing or Chest Pain

These symptoms can suggest serious issues, including internal injuries, broken ribs, or even heart problems triggered by the stress of the accident. 

Visible Injuries

Obvious injuries such as deep cuts, broken bones protruding from the skin, or burns should be treated immediately to prevent complications. Don’t skip going to the hospital if you think you have a severe injury that needs medical attention. 

Symptoms That May Develop Later

It’s not uncommon for some symptoms to develop in the hours or days after an accident. Immediately following the accident, the rush of adrenaline can mask pain. Once things settle down, you might start noticing pain and other symptoms of something seriously wrong. 

Nausea or Vomiting

Developing nausea or vomiting after an accident can be a sign of a concussion or other brain injuries. It’s essential to seek medical attention if these symptoms appear, especially if your nausea or vomiting gets worse. 

Changes in Physical Function

If you notice difficulty with balance or coordination or experience weakness in any part of the body, these could indicate injuries to the brain or spinal cord. Please don’t wait to seek treatment for these symptoms, as they could point to something severe. 

Changes in Sensation

Numbness or tingling sensations, particularly in the extremities, could signal nerve damage or spinal injuries, necessitating immediate medical assessment.

Emotional or Cognitive Changes

Disorientation, confusion, and memory problems can indicate a concussion or more severe brain injury. Changes in mood or behavior should also be taken seriously.

When in Doubt, Get a Medical Exam 

Even if you don’t have visible injuries or immediate pain, it’s wise to visit a doctor after a car accident. Some injuries, like soft tissue damage or internal bleeding, might not show symptoms immediately. A medical professional can assess your condition and advise on necessary treatments or follow-up care. 

Sometimes, your doctor or urgent care physician might recommend you go to the hospital immediately. You should get a thorough check-up to ensure nothing more serious is going on. Not all life-threatening injuries are visible to the naked eye.

It might require a doctor to diagnose them through various diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. 

Tips for Long-Term Care 

If you recognize any of the signs you should go to the hospital after a car accident, be sure to follow through on all the recommendations the emergency room doctor gives you, whether it’s to seek follow-up treatment or schedule an appointment with a specialist. Follow-up care is crucial for many types of injuries. Going to the hospital after a car accident isn’t enough if you don’t follow through with the entire care plan. 

Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer at Mehta & McConnell, PLLC 

Understanding when to visit the hospital after a car accident is crucial. Not only can it impact your health, but it can also affect your future personal injury claim. Even seemingly minor accidents can result in significant injuries that only become apparent with time.

Recognizing these signs and taking immediate action can dramatically impact your recovery. It not only safeguards your health but protects your rights to pursue compensation from the at-fault parties. 

At Mehta & McConnell, our legal team understands how scary the aftermath of a car accident can be. We can help you get the care you need and fight for the compensation you deserve following a North Carolina car accident.

Our attorneys have decades of combined experience representing injured car accident victims in North Carolina. We know what it takes to build a solid case. If you suffered injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, get in touch with our office today. Please schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help you. 

Author Photo

Jason McConnell

Jason McConnell is the managing attorney of Mehta & McConnell Injury Lawyers, a Charlotte, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law firm. In his free time he enjoys playing golf, cooking, traveling and following the UNC Tar Heels and Carolina Panthers.

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