The screeching tires, thundering impact, shattering glass, and exploding airbag have all gone quiet. You realize you were in an accident, but you are OK — at least, you think you are.
One of the most stressful possible events has just happened; you have been in a serious car accident. You may have immediately noticeable injuries, or maybe you feel surprisingly fine.
Either way, you should go to a trauma center after a car accident. Failing to do so could have serious consequences for your health and your possible car accident lawsuit.
First, we should clear up a common point of confusion: Trauma centers and emergency rooms (ERs) are not quite the same thing.
ERs are usually equipped to treat injuries that are not immediately life-threatening. Conditions that might warrant an ER visit include chest pains, broken bones, severe stomach pain, cuts, and minor burns.
Trauma centers, on the other hand, treat critical conditions that put patients’ lives at risk in the immediate future. Blunt force trauma, traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, and severed limbs are all conditions that call for admission to a trauma center. And these are all common injuries in car accidents.
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States. And in Alabama, someone was injured in a car accident every 11 minutes and 5 seconds in 2018, according to Drive Safe Alabama.
Many of the people who die from car accident injuries in Alabama do not die immediately after the impact. Many die of their injuries later. This is why going to a trauma center is essential — you need to have the best possible medical care immediately available should any complications from your injuries arise.
Keep in mind that your injuries may not be obvious to you right after the accident. Many injuries, such as whiplash and concussions, may not produce symptoms until hours or even days after an auto accident.
You do not want to wait until something goes wrong later on to start seeking medical care. It is safest to go to a trauma center to get checked out even if you feel fine after the crash.
There is an added bonus to going to a trauma center after a car accident: You create a medical record of any injuries that have resulted from the crash. This record is going to be important evidence if you decide to pursue compensation from the person who caused the accident.
Without a medical record of your injuries right after the accident, the at-fault party can try to claim that you are exaggerating your injuries or something other than the accident caused your injuries. But no matter the current situation with your auto accident lawsuit, an experienced attorney can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
The old cliche of “Better safe than sorry” applies to getting medical care after a car wreck. For both your health and your possible future lawsuit, it’s better to go to a trauma center after a car accident just in case.
Once you have been checked out by a medical professional, you may begin to realize the financial impact this accident is going to have on your life. Medical bills, lost income, and vehicle repairs are only the beginning. The good news? If someone else caused your crash, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation.