Why You Shouldn't Wait to See a Doctor After a Fender-Bender

More than 7 million auto accidents occur every year in the United States. That’s about 20,000 per day or about 800 per hour. Some of those accidents are very serious, involving severe injuries and even death. Others are relatively minor, with few or even no visible injuries. If you’ve been involved in one of these so-called fender-benders, you might think there’s no need to see a doctor afterward. After all, your injuries are minor; you may have no symptoms at all immediately afterward. What’s the point of seeing a doctor for such a minor event?

On the surface, that might seem like sound logic. But the fact is, many seemingly “minor” motor vehicle crashes can take a surprisingly major toll on your body. And even though you might not have symptoms right away, you could develop pain and other serious issues within a day, a week, or even a month later. At Reno Regenerative Medicine, we perform evaluations and tests to check you from head to toe, making sure that a “little” accident doesn’t turn out to be a lot more than you bargained for. 

Injuries from "minor" car accidents

Whiplash is probably one of the most common types of injuries following a car crash, because it can occur even without a big impact. Whiplash happens when your head and neck snap back and forth rapidly. All it takes is one jolt to move a disc out of place or to tear tiny nerves around your neck and shoulders. With whiplash, you can have a lot of stiffness in your neck and shoulders, along with difficulty turning your head. If a nerve in your spine is compressed, you can also have symptoms like pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in your shoulders and all the way down your arm. Plus, whiplash can cause persistent headaches that can last for months after your accident.

Concussions are another relatively common injury following car accidents. Most people think you need to hit your head to have a concussion, but you can have a concussion from a non-impact injury, as well. Concussions occur when your brain makes contact with your skull. In a fender-bender, that might mean snapping your head back and forth — the same sort of motion that causes whiplash. Concussions can be very serious, sometimes even deadly. And while some concussions cause symptoms immediately, other concussions cause very slow swelling or bleeding inside your skull, with symptoms that can take days or more to show up. Having an exam right after an accident can help identify concussions right away so you can get treatment immediately.

It's important for insurance

Of course, the main reason to see a doctor after any car accident is to make sure you get the care and treatment you need to avoid more serious problems in the future. But there's another important reason you might not have considered. If you do have injuries from your car accident, seeing a doctor right away creates a paper trail that can be used to support your claim. If you don't bother seeing a doctor, it can give the impression that you felt 100% fine afterward. And if you wind up developing headaches or nerve-related symptoms later, it's going to be more difficult to prove they're related to the accident and not to some other event in your life.

Sure, you might not want to go through the hassle of an insurance claim. But medical bills from car accidents can add up quickly, and some injuries involving nerves can take months or even years to treat. If you don't have the doctor's records to prove your injuries were caused by your car accident, you could wind up paying most or even all of those bills out of your own savings.

Don’t wait — schedule an evaluation today

Even a small car can weigh more than a ton. Larger cars and trucks can easily top two tons and more. Even at a low speed, that kind of weight can cause a lot more damage than you might imagine, even if that other vehicle “just taps” your car. That’s why even a “small” car accident needs to be taken seriously. If you’ve been in any type of car accident, you owe it to yourself, your health, and your future to have an exam and evaluation to make sure you’re not surprised by pain or other symptoms in the future. Don’t delay your exam. Book an appointment online today.

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