Where Should I Go for Medical Care After a Car Crash?
Car accidents may cause minor to life-threatening injuries, but in the aftermath of a collision, it can be difficult for victims to know how badly they may be hurt. This is why seeking immediate medical attention after a crash is vital to protecting your health. That said, where should you go to get treated?
Below, our New Jersey auto accident attorneys discuss the type of medical care you should consider getting after a crash.
If you have questions about your legal rights following an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, call us today. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room After a Crash?
Whether your injuries require a visit to the Emergency Room (ER) depends on their severity.
If you suffered an obvious injury, but do not want to get charged for an ambulance ride, ask a family member, friend or loved one to take you to the ER. If the person taking you to the hospital is not at the scene of the crash with you, it may be in your best interest to call 911 for an ambulance. You do not want to risk your health just to save money that you may end up getting back as part of your insurance claim.
In some cases, you may not know your symptoms are a sign of a more severe injury. That is why it may be a good idea to have an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) treat you at the scene to determine whether you should go to the hospital.
When in doubt, request medical attention at the scene of the crash. Early medical care may help catch a serious injury before the onset of symptoms. It may also help establish the link between the accident and your injury, which can help protect your claim.
What is the Difference Between Emergency and Clinical Treatment?
When you seek emergency medical treatment, it is usually to stabilize an injury. However, after any car accident getting a full medical examination is often a good idea, especially after a more severe crash. Emergency rooms are fully equipped to diagnose your injuries, including internal damages, and prevent them from becoming worse or life-threatening.
For example, whether you have internal bleeding or a bone fracture, emergency treatment should be able to diagnose and stabilize those injuries. Other emergency care services include:
- Emergency transportation services (such as by ambulance or helicopter)
- Same-day, on-site imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans and X-rays
- In-facility pharmacy for things like painkillers
- Onsite access to necessary specialists
Clinical treatment, on the other hand, is helpful for ongoing treatment once your injuries have been stabilized. In this setting, your treating doctor will set up a recommended care plan for your ongoing recovery, which could include things like:
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Holistic medicine
It is important to note that both types of medical care contribute to your overall health and well-being.
What if My Primary Care Provider Refuses to Treat Me?
A Primary Care Provider (PCP) turning a car accident victim away is very common. There are good reasons this may happen, including:
- PCPs have different training and are not qualified to treat an accident injury
- Primary care offices do not have immediate access to diagnostic equipment
- A PCP office may not be set up to bill an auto insurance policy
- Primary Care Providers may not want to testify in court
If your injuries seem minor and your PCP refuses to treat you for any reason, our attorneys may be able to help get you an appointment with a doctor who will. For accident victims who are more severely injured, it is best to go to the ER or an urgent care clinic.
Keep in mind that even urgent care clinics may not accept an auto insurance policy in place of health insurance.
What if I Do Not Have Health Insurance?
Under federal law, an ER cannot refuse to treat you if you meet the definition of an emergency medical condition. If your injuries are less severe and you do not have health insurance to cover the costs of medical care, you may be able to use your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance instead. New Jersey is a no-fault state, so every driver is required to carry this coverage. PIP insurance should cover your medical expenses.
The minimum PIP limit is $10,000, but drivers can add more for a higher premium. If your damages exceed your PIP insurance, you may be able to recover the difference from the liable party.
Call an Experienced Attorney Today
Getting medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident is important. Not only can this benefit your overall well-being, but it may also help protect the value of your claim.
Whether you need emergency care or clinical care should be up to a medical professional. However, when in doubt, accident victims should never risk their health by delaying medical care.
Call our knowledgeable attorneys for legal help after a car accident. We have a history of proven results and are prepared to seek full compensation for your damages.
No upfront fees. No risks. Call (800) 518-0508 today.