Why You Should See a Doctor Immediately After a Car Accident, Regardless of Vehicle Damage

Related Attorney: Timothy E. Dinan

June 3, 2024Why You Should See a Doctor Immediately After a Car Accident, Regardless of Vehicle Damage

Car accidents are jarring experiences that can leave you feeling shocked and unsettled, even if the visible damage to your vehicle seems minor. Many people mistakenly believe that if their car isn’t badly damaged, they aren’t either. However, this assumption can be not only incorrect but also harmful to your health and well-being. Here's why you should see a doctor immediately after a car accident, regardless of the extent of vehicle damage.

Hidden Injuries Can Be Serious

First and foremost, not all injuries manifest symptoms right away. Conditions such as whiplash, internal bleeding, or even traumatic brain injuries can have delayed symptoms. Whiplash, for example, might not show symptoms for hours or even days after an accident. Symptoms like pain, stiffness, and headaches can appear long after the event, and if left untreated, these injuries can lead to long-term pain and complications.

Similarly, internal injuries, such as a slow internal bleed or organ damage, can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated promptly. The adrenaline rush during an accident can mask pain and symptoms, leading you to believe you are uninjured. A medical professional can perform the necessary checks and diagnostics to ensure there are no hidden threats to your health.

Protecting Your Legal and Insurance Claims

From a legal and insurance perspective, visiting a doctor immediately after an accident is equally important. If you decide to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you will need documentation linking your injuries directly to the accident. Delaying medical treatment can sometimes lead insurance companies and courts to question the severity of your injuries or whether they were related to the accident at all.

Seeing a doctor right away not only starts the documentation process but also establishes a clear link between the incident and your injuries. This documentation can be crucial in ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Psychological Impact

The impact of a car accident isn’t always physical. Psychological effects such as anxiety, PTSD, or depression can occur after such a traumatic event. These conditions can disrupt your daily life, affecting your work, personal relationships, and overall quality of life. A healthcare professional can help diagnose these issues early and refer you to the appropriate mental health support, helping you recover holistically.

Medical Records Are Essential

Having a comprehensive medical record starting from immediately after the accident provides a baseline to track your recovery and any potential complications. Regular follow-ups create a documented history that reflects the progression or resolution of your injuries. This is vital for both your health and any legal actions you might take related to the accident.


Even if the damage to your car is minimal, the risks to your health after an accident are significant and varied. Seeing a doctor immediately ensures that any injuries, apparent or not, are professionally assessed and treated. Additionally, it provides essential documentation that protects your rights and supports any claims you might need to make.

Remember, the health risks following a car accident can extend far beyond the visible damage to your vehicle. Prioritize your health and legal protection by getting a thorough medical examination as soon as possible after any accident.

Questions? Contact Tim Dinan at tdinan@lcrlaw.com, or (973) 729-1880.

See our previous blog post here.