Seeking Medical Help After a Nebraska Auto Accident
If you’re severely hurt or bleeding, you likely won’t need to be told to get to the hospital, stat. However, not every injured person seeks professional medical help after car accidents. Here are some reasons why:
- The accident left few visible injuries.
- The injured party has high-deductibles and/or high-copay health insurance. These features discourage “excessive” doctor’s visits.
- The injured party believes the injuries will heal/go away on their own.
- Adrenaline and other “fight or flight” hormones and neurochemicals spike after a crash and numb the victim.
- The injured party is simply too busy to schedule an appointment.
Here’s the bottom line: it’s always better to be safe than sorry concerning your health and well being, particularly if you experienced any head trauma, such as a concussion.
Some severe injuries will not be clearly visible, and some may even take several days to develop and exhibit symptoms. For example, an x-ray of a bruised wrist may reveal a progressively-worsening fracture. Scratches, gashes, and other wounds develop infections without proper treatment. Undergo a full physical exam by a medical professional to get peace of mind and produce vital records to substantiate any claims you later make.
Signs that you need medical attention
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms or legs
- Loss of bladder control
- Bloody nose, or other unusual bleeding
- Headaches—particularly at the base of the skull
- Chronic fatigue
- Bruises on or around the head
- Difficulty swallowing or eating
- Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and other difficulties seeing or hearing
- Neck pain
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Sharp pain anywhere on the body
- Problems with concentration and memory
Don’t neglect your mental health
Fortunately, research shows that the majority of motor vehicle accident survivors do not develop mental health problems that warrant professional treatment. However, the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) found that approximately nine percent of accident survivors develop PTSD. Among accident survivors who seek mental health treatment, PTSD sufferers make up an average of 60 percent across studies. One particularly large study of car accident survivors found that 27 percent had an anxiety disorder on top of PTSD, and 15 percent reported a phobia of driving.
Visit a mental health professional to detect possible symptoms of a problem, and begin treatment if necessary. Preserve records from any sessions.
Be proactive in your care
Especially if your injuries and symptoms are pronounced, obtain a complete, written diagnosis of the problem and how to treat it. This might mean getting a second medical opinion, perhaps from a specialist with experience treating the condition in question. Imaging programs like CAT scans, PET scans, and MRI scans all have varying success rates for identifying brain injuries. Do research and due diligence, and be sure the diagnosis is exhaustive. The current medical consensus (as of early 2016) is that MRIs generally produce more accurate readings of brain injuries.
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and schedule follow-up appointments to document the progress of your condition. Keep an injury journal to document your condition on a daily basis. Ideally, this should include pictures (at least once per week) of any visible signs of injury. Write down details about any pain you experience, including its exact location, severity, and type (dull, aching, pressurized, burning, stinging, etc.).
Your journal should also include all medication and treatment methods used to paint a clear, vivid picture of your experience. For example, you may underestimate the severity of your pain if you continually take high doses of pain-relieving medication.
For immediate insight into your Nebraska car accident, call Inkelaar Law to get the justice you deserve at (877) 537-4665, or visit www.JusticeYouDeserve.com.