After a motor vehicle accident, it’s essential to see a doctor. Even if you do not think you are injured, you do not want to risk it. Putting off seeing the doctor will delay your treatment and can lead to pain and suffering for longer. It may also put you at risk of your treatment not being covered by insurance as it will be harder to connect your injuries to the accident.
Seeing a doctor experienced in treating auto accident injuries will help you get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. This medical specialist will be familiar with the type of injuries to look for. The following are just some of the most common auto injuries that your doctor will likely check. There are 3 million people sustaining injuries in auto accidents annually in the United States alone; you may also have other injuries than those described below.
It should not be surprising that broken bones are among the common car accident injuries in New York. Your bones cannot handle the impact and stress associated with car collisions. You can break various bones in a car accident, from the seatbelt fracturing your ribs to your arm getting stuck between the door and your body to your fingers breaking on the steering wheel. Every fracture injury is different and should be evaluated by an orthopedist.
Bruising is another common auto injury. Even those in minor collisions are likely to have bruises. Although some bruises can be less severe than other injuries, they may require medical attention. However, it is recommended to visit your doctor to confirm the severity of injuries during your post-accident examination.
As part of diagnostics, neurologists commonly complete tests like lumbar punctures, nerve conduction studies, electromyography, and electroencephalography. Other tests they require include magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and computer-assisted tomography.
There is a distinction between a neurologist and a neurosurgeon. Neurosurgeons are surgeons who specialize in neurology, while neurologists do not perform surgery.
Neurologists do perform some procedures, including the NCS/EMG and LP tests mentioned above. Those with specialization can also perform other procedures, such as endovascular procedures and autonomic testing.
There can be a range of minor to severe injuries requiring a neurologist’s attention after a car accident. An example of a serious injury would be a rupture or herniation of the spinal discs. These are not only painful, but they also limit your mobility. This type of injury may not be permanent, but you should typically expect a longer recovery time and the potential that your doctor may suggest surgery.
Although not something most people want to think about, a neurologist will often deal with traumatic brain injuries. These can be life-altering. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) will change how your brain functions, potentially including how it processes emotions and handles information. There is some degree of recovery from brain injuries, but it can require lifelong treatment and adaptations.
Whiplash is when the muscles and ligaments in your body move back and forth suddenly, leading to strains. Whiplash can be incredibly painful and may take weeks to recover. Luckily, although painful, it may not be as severe as some other auto accident-related injuries. Just be sure not to rule out whiplash simply because you do not have symptoms right away. It can take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear.
After a car accident, seeing a neurologist is always a good idea as this specialist can diagnose your injuries, provide treatment, recommend therapy, refer you to another specialist, and more.
The sooner you see a doctor after a car wreck, the sooner you can begin treatment and start to feel better. Most people prefer to get back to their daily lives quickly after an accident, which only possible if you seek and receive proper treatment.
By getting your injuries diagnosed and treated early, you reduce your risk of aggravating them. For example, if you continue to use a broken bone, it may heal incorrectly. Or if you get nerve damage, you could lose feeling in your limbs.
In addition to providing treatment, your neurologist will provide you with documentation that confirms your injuries and the timeline. If you do not have proper documentation, some carriers may argue that your injuries did not result from the accident and deny coverage.
Board Certified Neurologist
Neurologist + PT, Chiro