When should I see my doctor after a car accident?

It may not seem too bad compared to a serious auto collision, but a minor crash is stressful. After a fender-bender, you need to spend several days dealing with the other driver, your insurance company and repair shops. The last thing you and other Georgia residents may be thinking of after a small crash is getting checked out by a doctor.

However, the week following an accident is the exact time frame you should be paying attention to how your body feels. You might have walked away from the fender-bender without a scratch, but you could be feeling sore as early as the next day.

Whiplash is a common injury suffered by countless people after minor collisions, especially rear-end crashes. This type of injury occurs when your head has been thrown back and forth by the impact. Often, you will not feel the effects of whiplash immediately, but you will begin to feel sore and stiff within a few days. The symptoms of whiplash can include the following:

  •        Pain, stiffness and loss of mobility in your neck and shoulders
  •        Headaches and difficulty concentrating
  •        Problems sleeping
  •        Tingling or numbness in your arms and hands
  •        Irritability and memory problems

You might not think whiplash and other minor injuries are a big deal. However, you may find the pain lasting longer than a few weeks and worsening over time. Some cases of whiplash require therapy and painkillers before they begin to heal. Whiplash is not your only worry after a minor crash, either. You may have suffered muscle or ligament damage, a minor concussion or small fractures you were not aware of at the time of the accident.

Even though it can seem like another tiresome item on your list of things to do after a crash, it is always a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible to rule out unknown injuries. It can also help to have a diagnosis of your injuries for the insurance claim.

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