Being a member of the U.S. military is the honor of your life. While driving around Fort Walton Beach is significantly different from the war zones you may have experienced, you could find yourself in the middle of an automobile accident. Even though your military service taught you to be tough, avoiding medical treatment after a vehicle collision could be a big mistake. 

Motor vehicle accidents in Florida are not exactly rare. In fact, there were more than 400,000 automobile accidents in the Sunshine State in 2017 alone. That number represents a 1.6 percent increase over the year before. If you have an accident on Florida’s roadways, you may not want to visit a hospital. Failing to seek medical treatment, however, is generally not a good idea. 

Injuries may be more severe than you think 

Unless you are a medical doctor, you probably cannot accurately evaluate the severity of your injuries after a motor vehicle collision. Beyond that, the stress of an accident may affect your ability to feel pain or correctly treat your injuries. Either way, obtaining a professional medical opinion is the only way to be certain you have not sustained a serious injury. 

Symptoms may not appear immediately 

Some injuries may plague you for life. Unfortunately, with traumatic brain and other injuries, symptoms may not show up immediately. The human body handles stress by increasing the flow of adrenaline. As your body prepares to fight or flee, you may not realize you have sustained an injury. While a trip to the hospital may take a few hours, protecting your long-term health is worth your time. 

Insurance providers may dispute your claim 

If you want to pursue compensation for your injuries after an accident, you need a complete record. In addition to obtaining the name and contact information of everyone involved in the incident, you should seek a formal police report. You also must document the accident yourself. When you have a doctor examine and treat you, you create a record of your injuries. This record is an invaluable resource for obtaining payment from an insurance company. 

Serving in the armed forces requires grit and toughness. Unfortunately, these qualities may not serve you well following a motor vehicle accident. Even if you think you have emerged from the wreck unscathed, obtaining medical treatment is the best way to protect both your long-term health and your legal rights.