Car accidents are devastating experiences that can leave you reeling from injuries that may affect you for the rest of your life. 

However, many people often fail to seek medical attention in the aftermath of an accident, particularly if their injuries appear minor. 

Unfortunately, this can severely impact their health and lives months or years later. 

When Should You See A Doctor Following A Car Accident?

As a general rule, you should see a doctor within 72 hours of being involved in an accident. 

While it’s recommended to get a medical examination immediately after an accident, the adrenaline rush and disorientation you might experience in the immediate aftermath of an accident can cause you to numb for several hours. This might cause you to assume that you’re okay. 

If you’ve suffered any external injuries, the physical sensation will often kick in the next day, causing you to check yourself into a hospital. However, even if you don’t feel any pain, it’s still advisable to see a doctor to rule out any internal injuries. 

What’s The Problem With Waiting Too Long To See A Doctor?

Putting off a doctor’s visit following a car accident can have severe implications for your health. The longer your injuries remain untreated, the higher the chances of developing severe complications. This means you’ll take longer to heal, robbing you of valuable time that you would otherwise put to productive use. 

Failure to visit a doctor also increases your likelihood of developing latent injuries. These complications show up several weeks or months after an accident due to untreated injuries. Common latent injuries that you might develop include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Neck and back pain
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of balance

Delaying a doctor’s visit for more than 30 days after an accident can compromise any personal injury claim you might decide to file. 

The insurer of the liable party might dismiss your injuries or argue that the injuries you suffered weren’t serious enough; that’s why you opted not to see a doctor immediately. 

Such an argument can put a dent in your case, and the court may award you less compensation than you deserve.

Other Injuries That You May Suffer From An Accident

Besides the immediately apparent injuries such as fractures and broken bones and latent injuries that appear further down the line, there are various other injuries that you may get from an accident. These include:


Concussions are brain injuries that occur due to trauma when a victim’s head is jerked forward or backward forcefully. 

The injuries are typically hard to detect since they don’t often cause pain. As such, medical tests must be done to determine whether an individual is suffering from it. 

Nevertheless, some symptoms manifest in people suffering from concussions include frequent headaches, tingling in the ears, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

The impact of a car accident can cause injury or damage to your tendons, muscles, and soft tissues. These injuries are painful and can also affect your mobility if not treated in time. 

Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries typically don’t show up in x-ray tests. Instead, you might need an MRI scan done on the affected area.  

What’s The Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Cases in Florida?

Florida has a statute of limitations that sets a time limit for filing personal injury claims. 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you must file your claim within 12 months. Otherwise, your case might be rejected. 

This often applies to cases where the injuries have been discovered immediately after the accident. However, if the injuries are found later down the line, you can file your suit within two years from the date of the accident. 

Is It A Must To See Your Primary Physician

While Florida and other states recommend that victims of car accidents see their primary physician before filing a claim, this is not a requirement. 

If it’s not feasible to see your family doctor for any reason, you can visit the nearest emergency clinic for a medical examination and treatment. The reports provided by these facilities are still admissible in court as evidence. 

In Conclusion

While seeking immediate medical attention for injuries sustained in an accident increases your chances of receiving compensation, failure to do so doesn’t automatically mean that all is lost. 

Depending on your evidence and how well you argue your case, you may still receive compensation for your injuries and losses. 

So, if you’ve been injured in an accident, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to advise you on the best course of action when filing your claim.