If you’re a typically healthy person, going to the doctor can feel like a chore. While you might be able to wait out a cold without medical attention, shoulder pain after a crash is different. It’s unlikely that many shoulder injuries will heal on their own, and even “minor” injuries like whiplash can disrupt and derail your life.
What’s more, in the stressful moments after a crash, your body’s natural stress response often masks the signs of severe injury and pain.
That’s why we always recommend that people who’ve been in car crashes get medical help whether they “feel” hurt or not—you just might be suffering from a hidden injury that will show up hours or days later. Many shoulder injuries require treatment, like anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and even surgery. Getting help immediately reduces the likelihood that an injury will go unnoticed and get worse over time, saving you time, pain, and money.
In addition to helping you recover, there’s another good reason to go to the doctor right away after a crash—your car accident insurance claim or lawsuit. A successful claim needs evidence, and your word is not enough. Having medical records that detail the extent of your injuries (like x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, doctor’s notes, specialist consultations, and more) is crucial for getting the compensation you deserve after a crash.
To successfully litigate a car crash claim, you’ll need to prove that someone was negligent. That means you must show:
- Someone violated their duty of care (like a driver’s duty to drive safely follow the rules of the road.
- Their conduct caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages, like medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, due to your injuries.
Your medical records are essential at steps two and three of this analysis, since they can link your shoulder pain to the crash and explain how your injuries have changed your life.
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