A car crash can be terrifying, and the accident scene is often chaotic. You might be out of touch with your body at this time due to the shock of the crash and the adrenaline you’ve produced. This can make it easy to downplay or ignore your injuries. However, you need to know when it is necessary to go to the ER for immediate treatment. Even if you decide not to go to the ER, you should still seek prompt medical care to ensure that you don’t have life-threatening injuries.
When Should I Seek Care at the ER?
Emergency rooms are specially equipped to handle serious, life-threatening injuries. Getting timely medical care after a severe accident can save your life. If you have been involved in a car crash and have any of these injuries, you should call 911 and get to an emergency room as soon as possible:
- Deep or widespread burns
- Large broken bones or open fractures
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe internal pain
- Sudden sickness or pain that occurs in the hours or days after the crash
If your injuries are less serious, you should still seek medical care. An ER may still be the best choice if it is close by, but an urgent care center is also a viable option. They are generally open 24 hours and typically have much shorter wait times than an ER. They are also more affordable than an ER. If you’ve been in a minor fender bender and suffered no apparent injuries, you may decide to make an appointment with your health provider instead. Still, you should try to get in promptly after your accident to rule out any hidden issues.
Why is Medical Care After a Car Accident Critical?
After an accident, you may have a lot of adrenaline running through your body, which can often mask the signs of serious injury, especially if it is internal. Some victims can be gravely injured and not realize it. For this reason, it is always recommended to seek an immediate medical evaluation after a crash, even if you feel fine. If your car did not escape the force of the crash unscathed, you likely didn’t either.
The other reason for getting prompt medical care is to create a record of your injuries that can be referenced if you decide to seek compensation for your damages. If you go to an ER immediately after the crash and they diagnose your injuries and provide you with care, it is straightforward to prove that those injuries resulted from the collision. If you wait several days or weeks before seeking medical care, it opens the door for the insurance company to argue that your injuries weren’t actually severe or were caused by something that occurred after the crash. This could have negative consequences for your personal injury claim.
How Will I Pay for an ER Bill?
Many people hesitate to go to the ER after a car accident because they are worried about how they will pay for it. This is a valid concern at a time when healthcare costs are so high, and not everyone has good health insurance. Urgent care can provide medical services for a lower cost if you have less serious injuries. However, your health needs should be prioritized in a life-threatening situation. Going to the ER may be the best choice for you in the long run because you will get the immediate care you need and have the necessary proof of your injuries to file a personal injury claim against the other driver and their insurance. You can then receive compensation for your medical bills as part of the damages awarded if your claim is successful.
If you had to seek emergency medical care for injuries sustained in a car accident and you are concerned about how you are going to pay your bills, contact our office for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers: 303-500-1376