You may feel okay, and you may have been checked out by paramedics or EMTs after the scene. But you still can’t be sure you are in the clear. Car accidents often cause delayed or hidden injuries like concussions and internal injuries. Plus, while your fight-or-flight response is engaged, you may not notice pain or other symptoms. The only way to protect your health – and your rights – is to get medical attention.
So, see a doctor as soon as possible, ideally on the day of the accident. Go to the emergency department at Cape Cod Hospital or a local urgent care clinic like Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care. If your primary care provider offers walk-in hours or same-day appointments, that’s a good option as well. Either way, tell the doctor about all your symptoms, head to toe. Don’t exaggerate, but don’t leave anything out. Your doctor needs this information to both diagnose and document your injuries.
It's also critical that you follow your doctor’s instructions. If you are prescribed medication, take it as prescribed. If you are referred to a specialist or sent to get diagnostic tests like X-rays, go to those appointments. If you’re instructed to rest, then take it easy. And make sure you save copies of all medical records, including visit summaries, doctor’s orders, prescriptions, and bills.