When you are in a car accident, it is perfectly natural to be unsure of what to do. The entire process of getting into a wreck is overwhelming and traumatic, leaving most people without a clear head. For this reason, I always recommend calling me immediately, since doing so allows me to give advice regarding every aspect of the process, including what to do for medical care. Here are answers to a few questions I regularly receive on this issue:
Should I go to the ER?
That really depends on the extent of your injuries. If you have been seriously hurt, have a broken bone, cannot walk properly, or are bleeding, you should call an ambulance and have them transport you to the hospital for urgent and immediate care. You should not ignore visible injuries like this because they need medical care and could also be a sign of a more serious issue.
Can I just drive to the emergency room?
If you know that you are injured but do not feel that it warrants an ambulance trip, you could have someone else drive you to the ER. The thing to remember is that it could take you longer to be seen, so make sure you weigh these options carefully when deciding where to go and how to get there.
After a car wreck, can’t I just see my regular doctor?
If they can treat you the same day, you can certainly go to your normal doctor. However, your doctor may not have all of the diagnostic equipment necessary to complete a full examination. Many people suffer head and brain injuries during a car wreck, so this is one clear area of concern, and if your doctor suspects head trauma, they may tell you to go to the hospital for further testing. This is why many people will head to the ER regardless. Another thing for you to keep in mind is that if you do see your regular doctor, you can ask for a new medical file to be started for your accident claim only. Doing so will prevent the insurance company and their attorneys from seeing anything unrelated to the accident and preserves more of your privacy.
Should I go to a chiropractor?
Many people seek chiropractic care after being in a car wreck. As a car accident attorney, I do not make recommendations regarding the type of care you need or what you will benefit from because that is up to you and your team of doctors. Instead, my job is to make sure you can receive all the medical care you need to recover. If you feel that you need chiropractic care or a particular procedure that the insurance company is denying, I can work with them to ensure your medical bills are paid.
Do I have to pay for everything out of pocket?
No. After being in a car accident, your insurance company should pay for your medical expenses while your treatment is ongoing. There may be a cap or limit to what they will pay based on the type of insurance policy that you have, but initially, they should provide you with a claim number that your doctor can use to bill them directly. Challenges can arise when the insurance company either does not want to pay for treatment already received or does not want to pay for what the doctor is recommending. In either case, you should call a car accident lawyer to protect your rights.
What are my legal options for having medical bills paid?
Primarily, you are supposed to file a claim with your own insurance company. However, if there will be more than $1,000 in medical bills, you could go after the other driver and try to get a settlement from his or her insurance company above and beyond what yours entitles you to. It is wise to discuss this option with an attorney.