Airbags, crumple zones, seat belts and other features make modern cars, trucks and SUVs generally safer than older ones. Despite these safety features, approximately 4.4 million Americans suffer injuries in car accidents every year. Still, the stress of a car accident may increase your pain threshold, making you not realize you have sustained an injury until hours or days after a crash.
Even if you think you are fine, you should go to the doctor for a complete medical evaluation. You should also visit your doctor for continuing care. Missing follow-up appointments may complicate your situation in at least three ways.
1. The lack of ongoing care
A serious injury can take time to treat successfully. By regularly seeing your doctor, you give him or her the opportunity to examine you and recommend different types of care. Your physician should also monitor your progress to ensure you are recovering properly.
2. The possibility of injury complications
Even if your injury appears to be healing fine, you always have the possibility of developing complications. These may include additional injuries, illnesses, drug reactions or psychological problems. By continuing to follow up with your physician, he or she may spot injury complications before they become too difficult or impossible to treat effectively.
3. The risk to your personal injury case
You should not have to pay for someone else’s bad driving. When you continue to receive follow-up care, you clearly document the extent of your injuries. If you plan to seek an insurance settlement or file a personal injury claim, your ongoing medical records are likely to be invaluable.
While virtually no one enjoys going to the doctor, skipping follow-up visits with your doctor is a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, continuing to see your physician regularly is likely to be in your physical, mental and legal interests.