Is medical attention after a car accident necessary?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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A car accident can change your life. Even if you do not suffer serious injuries, the event could result in feeling residual apprehension about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle in the future. Of course, serious injuries are a common result of car crashes and can easily prove life-changing.

In some cases, serious injuries may not even show themselves right away after a crash. Between the shock of the accident occurring and the adrenaline coursing through your body, you may not feel any pain after the incident. However, that does not necessarily mean that you are uninjured.

Is going to the ER necessary?

You may have seen many accident sites that have police cars and ambulances and EMS workers talking to those involved. You may have even witnessed those workers placing people into the back of an ambulance to take them to the hospital. Unfortunately, needing to go to the emergency room after a serious crash is common.

However, if you do not feel hurt after a crash, EMS personnel may ask you whether you need to go. While you may feel shaken, you do not necessarily think that it constitutes a visit to the ER. Still, you should answer the EMT’s questions truthfully because they may recognize a symptom that you do not, and ask to take you to the ER for further evaluation.

What if you do not go to the ER?

If asked, it is up to you whether going to the ER is necessary. Keep in mind, though, that symptoms of serious injuries could show up just hours after the accident or even a few days later. If you decide to go home after the crash and feel unwell later, seeking medical attention immediately is wise. Even if you do not experience severe symptoms, you may want to check in with your primary care physician soon after the crash just in case.

Being humble and downplaying your concerns or trying to deal with the pain on your own after a car accident is unwise. Seeking medical attention can ensure that any injuries you suffer are adequately addressed. Your medical records could also act as evidence if you decide to file a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault for the crash. If you delay seeking treatment, that decision could negatively affect any potential compensation.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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There are two things to establish in any motor vehicle accident case: the cause of the accident (fault) and the full cost of the injuries and losses. As we prepare your case, we will investigate both of these.


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Claims related to sports and recreation injuries can be complicated. These cases often include issues involving waivers and the “assumption of risk” defense.


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When you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life changes dramatically. Even mild TBIs can lead to years of recovery and rehabilitation.


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