Male Driver Getting Out Of Car And After Road Traffic Accident

Always Seek Medical Attention After a
Car Accident

Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC July 27, 2022

Everyone knows that car accidents can be dangerous, but did you know that when a car is traveling as slow as 20 miles per hour and collides with a stationary object, it creates close to 20,000 pounds of force? The physical force generated from that impact and sudden stop would be similar to the weight of a large African elephant dropping on your chest. Hard to believe, right? Well, it's true. Car collisions generate massive force, and even the most minor of car collisions can have a lasting impact on your physical well-being and finances. 

Despite how you may feel in the immediate moments following a car accident, you may actually be more injured than you think. Many people make the initial mistake of not seeking medical attention, only to regret their decision later.

If you have been injured in a car accident, our team at Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC has the resources, knowledge, and experience necessary to assist you and your loved ones. We proudly serve clients in Durango, Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners, Colorado. 

Common Injuries After a Car Accident

The causes of car accidents vary greatly. Additionally, many factors contribute to the type and severity of injuries when cars collide. Seat belts, vehicle safety features, speed of travel, and driver impairment or distraction are just a few considerations that can significantly impact the outcome of the accident. That being said, there are some injuries that are common in car collisions. These auto injuries are generally categorized as impact injuries or penetrating injuries. Impact injuries occur when a part of the body makes contact with the car’s interior parts. For example, bumping your head on the steering wheel would be classified as an impact injury. Penetrating injuries involve puncturing, cutting, or scraping of the skin. A piece of shattered glass that sliced the driver’s arm would be an example of a penetrating injury. 

Although both of these injury types can create significant trauma that prompts first responders to immediately initiate medical attention, there are a few hidden injuries to consider if you think you feel fine following the wreck. 

  1. Neck Injuries — Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries. Without prompt treatment, the effects of a neck injury can be long-lasting. Whiplash is a complex injury that requires personalized medical treatment and rehabilitation to fully recover.

  2. Brain Injuries — Concussions are very serious injuries, and the symptoms may not show up right away. You do not have to get “knocked out” or lose consciousness to have a concussion. 

  3. Back Injuries — Swelling, strained or disjointed muscles can cause numbness or paralysis that affects you over time. Even the avoidance of addressing minor aches and pains can lead to serious spinal cord problems down the line. 

  4. Soft Tissue Injuries — These injuries to the feet, ankles, knees, arms, elbows, and shoulders are notorious for delayed awareness. 

  5. Internal Damage — Despite not being outwardly evident at all, internal damage to organs or body systems can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms may not show up until you’re already in serious condition. 

Reasons to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Although it might be tempting to skip the trip to the doctor in the moments following a car accident, there are plenty of good reasons why you should always seek medical attention after you’ve been involved in any type of car accident. Here are just a few:

  1. Your Own Sake — Your personal health and wellness should always be your top priority. Even if you think you aren’t injured or that your injuries are minor, you need to seek medical attention. Sometimes, symptoms don’t appear for days or even weeks, at which point it may be too late to reverse the damages.

  2. Documentation — When filing an insurance claim, you will need official documentation of a medical diagnosis. 

  3. Insurance Companies Can Use It Against You If You Don’t — Some insurance companies, especially in cases of a claim against an at-fault driver, will use the delay in seeking medical attention as evidence that the injury was not serious enough to warrant financial compensation.

Another critical consideration is to follow through with the treatment or rehabilitation plan. For the same reasons that it’s vital to seek medical attention, it’s just as important to follow the plan outlined by the doctor or physician responsible for your recovery. 

Seek Legal Guidance Today

Even if you think your injuries are minor or there are no immediate indicators, if you have been in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation under the law. Not seeking medical attention after a car accident is risky business. 

At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC, we have experience navigating all types of car accident injuries and claims. We can answer your questions and put your mind at ease. 

If you have been in a Colorado car accident and have questions about your next steps or how to file a claim, contact our team today. We provide representation for accident victims and their families in Durango, Telluride, Pagosa Springs, and Cortez, Colorado.