If you are involved in an automobile accident, then you may need to visit an urgent care center so that your injuries can be assessed and treated. The car accident doctor will perform a number of diagnostic tests so that they can determine how severe your injuries are and so that an individualized treatment plan can be quickly implemented. Your car accident diagnostic workup may include the following.

Neurological Examination 

Certain injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents can cause neurological damage. Because of this, your car accident doctor will perform a number of "neuro" tests to evaluate your cranial nerve function. The physician will assess your pupils to determine if they are equal and reactive to light. Normal pupils will dilate and constrict to lightness and darkness, and if your pupils fail to do this, you may have sustained optic nerve damage from your car accident.

Your doctor will also check your reflexes and ask you if you have any numbness or tingling in your arms and legs. The car accident doctor may also perform a hearing test to evaluate your vestibulocochlear nerve to determine if your hearing has been damaged from accident-related trauma. If your neurological examination reveals any cranial nerve abnormalities, you may be referred to a neurologist for further testing and treatment.

Imaging Tests

You may also need certain imaging tests after your automobile accident to determine if you have any broken bones, soft tissue injuries, or internal organ damage. Depending upon the extent and types of your injuries, your doctor may recommend a traditional x-ray, an MRI (otherwise known as magnetic resonance imaging), or a CT scan, which is also known as a computerized tomography scan.

It is important to note that while traditional x-rays show broken bones, the images captured through traditional x-rays do not reveal soft tissue damage such as torn ligaments or internal organ damage. Because of this, your physician will order either an MRI or a CT scan if he or she suspects that you have internal organ damage or other soft tissue damage as a result of your motor vehicle accident.

If you get injured in a car accident, seek medical attention either at an urgent care facility or at the nearest hospital. You can expect that the attending physician will perform a comprehensive neurological examination and order diagnostic imaging tests if warranted. After the results of your tests are evaluated, the physician will then implement an appropriate treatment plan.