Perhaps you are the victim of a minor vehicle crash. Your nerves take a beating, but you appear to have no physical injuries other than a bruised elbow.

Nevertheless, you should see a doctor promptly because you could have underlying injuries. Furthermore, a medical report will be important when you file a claim for insurance compensation.

How your body reacts to a crash

The human body is not equipped to deal with the kind of violent jolt that occurs during a vehicle crash, even something as seemingly minor as a rear-end collision. As the driver or passenger of the struck vehicle, you will probably not see what is going to happen, making you unprepared for the impact. To compensate for the unexpected, the body releases chemicals that can temporarily mask pain and hide the symptoms of many kinds of injuries.

When you should seek medical care

You should have a medical evaluation as soon as possible. To begin with, symptoms that suggest an underlying injury may not appear for hours after the accident, if not days. If you do have an injury—a concussion, for example, or an injury to your spine—you will need treatment. Medical bills can mount, and to file a claim with an insurance company, you will need to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan promptly. If too much time passes, the insurance company may deny your claim, taking the position that the car crash was not the cause of your injury.

Why you should keep records

As the victim of a vehicle crash, you have the right to expect financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more. When you file a claim, the insurer will want to see the doctor’s medical report, and you can add to this any other records that you have kept. These include medications, treatments, physical therapy and doctor’s appointments, as well as your own notes regarding your recovery. Providing this information to the insurer will help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injury.