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Should You See a Doctor After a Minor Car Accident?

Car crashes are a common cause of serious and potentially catastrophic injuries, and even a seemingly minor fender bender can result in bodily harm. Failing to go to the doctor in the aftermath of a car accident can adversely impact your health while putting your rights to compensation in jeopardy. In addition to providing a paper trail of your injury and your prognosis for recovering, which can be used in negotiating insurance company settlements or as evidence in a lawsuit, reporting your injury and the accompanying symptoms helps to ensure you get the care you need to recover.

Major Damages Caused By Minor Accidents

While some types of injuries, such as broken bones and severe cuts or lacerations, are immediately obvious after an accident, others are less common, with symptoms that can take days or even weeks to appear. Common types of injuries suffered in these accidents that may appear minor, while having lasting ramifications.

Soft Tissue Injuries

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, any bump, blow, or twisting of the body can result in soft tissue injuries, which often do not appear until up to 48 hours after an accident. These types of injuries impact muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and without proper medical attention, can result in ongoing pain and permanent impairments. Common types of soft tissue injuries include the following:

  • Contusions, which are bruises that crush the underlying muscle fibers or tissues. While these may be considered mild, a severe contusion can cause permanent damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments underneath.  
  • Sprains, involving stretching or tearing in the connective tissues which support and stabilize the joints. These injuries may require braces to immobilize the injury while it has a chance to heal, or even surgery to repair the damage.
  • Strains, which impact tendons and muscles and could result in complete tears. Surgery may be required to repair the damages, in addition to lengthy recuperation times to avoid injuring the site.  

Head Injuries

Head injuries are among the most common type of accident injury, with the potential for having the most significant impacts. The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAUSA) states that even a mild bump or blow to the head can result in long term and potentially permanent physical and cognitive impairments. Unfortunately, brain injuries are often hard to detect, with symptoms that may go unnoticed by the victim. Anytime a blow to the head is suspected, the patient should get medical attention immediately and be closely monitored for the following symptoms:

  • Problems remembering details of your accident;
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy,
  • Experiencing nausea and vomiting;
  • Difficulty communicating with others or understanding what is being said;
  • Exhibiting uncharacteristic personality traits, such as depression or outbursts of anger .

We Can Help You

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our experienced Portland personal injury attorney right away. At the Johnston Law Firm, we act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf, protecting your rights and assisting you in achieving compensation.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.