When should someone seek medical attention after they’ve been in a car wreck?
Obviously if you are bleeding, have broken bones, or are in extreme pain, you need to get checked out right a way. Allow first responders to escort you to the nearest Emergency Room.
But for minor accidents, as a general rule, if there is any damage to your vehicle there very well may be damage to your body, and it’s worth getting checked out by a doctor. Many injuries from car accidents aren’t particularly obvious at first, but they can still have significant long term effects if not caught early.
So what you’re saying is, even though you might not be in pain, it’s still best to be examined by a doctor?
Absolutely. You really should go to the doctor within 24 hours of your accident. One big reason is from a legal standpoint, you don’t want to develope what is called a “gap in treatment” which refers to the time between the accident and the documentation of your injuries related to that accident. When dealing with your case, the longer you wait after your accident to see the doctor, the more challenging it is to prove those injuries were caused by the accident.
If you aren’t experiencing much pain, what should you tell the doctor who’s checking you out?
Tell your doctor, that you were in an accident. Your doctor is then going to check for signs of whiplash and other strains in the neck and back. He or she will also be able to determine if the trauma may have led to more serious conditions like nervous system or brain damage.
If the accident victim doesn’t have a primary care doctor what should they do?
They can go to an urgent care facility and get checked out. Urgent care facilities are typically much quicker than a traditional ER. Also an ER will immediately put a lien on your case which could affect the amount of the money you will receive with your settlement.
What about if they don’t have insurance, or are concerned about how to pay for the doctor’s visit?
If they are concerned about paying for the visit, they should contact a lawyer who may be able arrange a doctor’s visit with no initial costs under what is called a letter of protect.
David, how can someone contact Green & Phillips if they should have any further questions about when to see a doctor after an accident?
They can come by anytime or call our office 24/7 at 300-200.