Being involved in a personal injury car accident is scary. Although you may think your injuries aren’t very serious, seek an evaluation from a health care provider as soon as possible. Symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness or numbness can appear days after the accident:
If you wait several days or weeks after the accident to seek medical attention, it will be harder to prove that your injuries were the result of the car crash.
Who can provide immediate treatment to auto accident victims? Health care providers such as physicians, chiropractors, emergency room providers can treat auto accident victims. You may go to the ER, Urgent Care or a Family Doctor.
Emergency Department Treatment:
Emergency departments (ED) are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are an area of a hospital that is prepared to treat people who need immediate medical attention for serious traumas. Emergency medical care is defined as a medical condition that comes about by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, to lead a prudent person who possesses average knowledge of health and medicine to reasonably conclude that lack of immediate medical attention will likely result in any of the following: serious jeopardy to the person’s health or, with respect to a pregnant woman, serious jeopardy to the health of the woman or her unborn child; serious impairment to the person’s bodily functions; or serious dysfunction of one or more of the person’s body organs.
If you choose to visit an ED after an accident, make sure to cooperate fully with the medical professionals and staff and allow them to perform whatever tests they believe are needed to address any immediate or life-threatening medical conditions. Listen carefully to their questions and give them as much information as possible about your symptoms, how you’re feeling, etc. You will eventually see a doctor who will do an initial exam to detect any risk of life- or limb-threatening emergencies. He or she will do a visual inspection for external bleeding or misaligned bones, and an assurance that my heart and lungs were functioning normally. Depending on the severity of the pain in a part of your body or the visual effects of the accidents, the physician might order a radiographic study (X-Ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound) of that portion of the body to get a better assessment of your injuries.
Once the tests are completed and the studies reviewed, the physicians will determine whether you are stable enough to go home and follow up with a physician or if the injuries are severe enough that you need to be admitted to address the injuries immediately. If your injury or condition requires ongoing care, the emergency room doctors should ask for the names of your regular doctors and then may recommend further testing or visits to specialists, as needed. Once your condition is stabilized, you should take these recommendations seriously, but remember that you have the right to more than one opinion about your ongoing care.
Urgent Care Treatment:
Even though an ER is an area of a hospital that is prepared to treat people who need immediate medical attention for serious traumas, an urgent care center is ready to treat the less serious, more everyday ailments and conditions that also need prompt care from skilled clinicians. People do not need to make appointments at an urgent care center; they can just walk right in and be seen and usually they are staffed beyond the hours of most primary-care practices and include evening and weekend hours. In addition, they are also located in the communities of the people who need the help, so they are very convenient. Also, they can be a faster and cheaper way to get care for less serious conditions.
Some of this more minor auto accident injuries that may require a visit to urgent care include the following: lacerations – deep cuts or wounds that may require stitches; and sprains, strains, or deep bruises;
Primary Care Physician Treatment:
Following a car accident, you can see a doctor if you feel any level of pain and discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in a good position to determine whether you incurred any serious injuries in the accident. Your doctor can also can give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential injuries, including the sorts of red flags to watch out for.
The comfort of seeing one’s own doctor can be important to those injured in a car accident. It can be better to go to a center affiliated with someone’s own doctor because there is a continuum of care that the medical professionals within an affiliated health care network have with each other. They also have quick access to a patient’s information, history and test results.
It is usually well known that chiropractors are trained to relieve pain commonly associated with car accident injuries. They can provide drug-free treatment for the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Through spinal manipulation and pressure release techniques, chiropractors restore joint mobility from tissue injury. Many see this approach as free from the side effects that come with surgery or medication. Chiropractic care can treat a range of injuries and conditions caused by auto accidents including whiplash, back pain, chronic neck pain, headaches, should and upper back pain and numbness. In essence, any type of injury that has affected your spinal cord, soft tissue, muscles, or nerves can be treated by a chiropractor.
Whatever path you choose to take, make sure to keep note of any doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals that you receive treatment from, and each medical provider that referred you to other caregivers. Keep a detailed diary of the treatments or medications you receive.
If you’ve suffered significant injuries after a car accident, or you just want to make sure the claims process goes smoothly, please call us at 850-863-5297 or email our firm today to schedule a free initial consultation with Dennis or Paul Brannon.