Car accidents are inherently stressful events. To help you manage the crisis, your brain releases stress hormones that both inhibit pain receptors and increase heart rate. Consequently, you may not realize you have suffered an injury in a collision until hours or even days after the crash.
Going to the emergency room after any type of car accident is a good idea, as doctors there have a variety of ways to diagnose and treat potentially catastrophic injuries. Because doctors can be intimidating, you may want to employ three strategies to help you get the diagnosis and treatment you deserve.
1. Take someone with you
Because of your pain and the stress of the accident, you may not be thinking clearly after a collision. Therefore, consider bringing a trusted friend or relative with you to the emergency room. This person can explain the collision and take notes.
2. Explain how the crash happened
To treat you effectively, the doctor may need to know how the accident unfolded. While you should not be afraid to discuss the details of the crash, you should not accept blame for the collision.
3. Discuss your symptoms
Your doctor should ask you about your pain level and symptoms. When discussing these, tell your doctor everything you feel and leave nothing out. Also, inform the physician about your medical history and any medications you are taking.
Remember, the role of an ER doctor is to address trauma. Even if you have a productive discussion with an ER physician and receive a treatment plan, you should probably follow up with your primary care doctor or even a specialist to boost your odds of recovering completely.