If you are involved in a car accident, even a minor one, it’s a good idea that — regardless of how healthy you may feel — you seek a doctor immediately.

No matter the severity of the auto accident, injuries can happen, and often the extent of the physical or mental damage can be hiding at first. A proper diagnosis from a medical expert can alert you of potentially life-threatening conditions and other lasting health issues.

There are many commonly delayed symptoms of vehicle accident injuries that could take several days to appear. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Pained or stiff neck and shoulder — a common sign of the injury whiplash
  • Numbness in arms and hands — another sign of whiplash
  • Back pain — could indicate damaged muscles, ligaments, nerves or vertebrae
  • Abdominal swelling, bruises or pain — may be signs of internal bleeding
  • Dizziness and fainting — also could indicate serious internal bleeding
  • Headaches — may signal a concussion, a brain clot or other serious damage
  • Mental changes or altered physical ability — may signal a brain injury from a concussion
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — may include flashbacks and nightmares

Having a doctor’s diagnosis immediately after a crash is also an important aspect to support your personal injury claim if you plan to seek financial compensation for the crash. It’s essential that you keep track of all the ways your life changed due to the crash, from doctors’ visits to missed workdays to family activities you can’t do.

Some of the claimable medical expenses from a car crash may include:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Medical consultations
  • Therapy, both physical and cognitive
  • Accessories like crutches or heat pads
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • In-home services, even non-medical

An attorney could also file a lawsuit for you to pursue compensation for your damages related to mental or physical distress. In the worst-case scenario that you or a family member die as a result of a vehicle crash, if another motorist is liable, the surviving family could also claim compensation for wrongful death, as well as any related medical costs.

Vehicle accidents can be traumatic, terrifying and incredibly expensive. Don’t lose out on the money you deserve simply because you don’t feel hurt immediately after the crash. That’s why it’s important you understand your legal rights and begin medical diagnosis and treatment right away.