When involved in a PA auto accident, or an accident of any sort, it is important to seek medical attention right away, advises Bristol, PA personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile, Jr. Even if it appears that you only have minor injuries like cuts or bruises, or some soreness, it is important to get checked by a doctor. An accident that may at first appear “minor” can leave you with considerable injuries.
Initial Medical Treatment – ER or Family Doctor?
Of course, there are serious accidents where there is no question that medical transport to the nearest ER or trauma center will be necessary. We hope that is not a situation you ever find yourself in. But in an instance where you feel you are not that badly hurt you may opt to not go to the hospital. While it is always a good idea to be taken to the ER from the accident scene, some people choose not to, for a variety of reasons. If you are in a Bucks County auto accident and do not go to the hospital, make sure you go to your family doctor just as soon as possible, which should be within a day or two of the accident.
Document the Incident
One important reason for visiting your family doctor after an accident is to have everything documented – any complaint of pain, discomfort, limited movement, dizziness, memory loss, anxiety, etc. Any of these symptoms could be indicative of a serious injury caused by the accident. You may not feel the full extent of the injury right away, as some conditions take a fews weeks to manifest, but you will have the initial symptoms noted by your doctor. If necessary, your doctor will send you to a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor or a neurologist.
Furthermore, you need to be able to show the insurance company that you are truly injured and taking all measures necessary to treat your injuries. Those who wait weeks before seeing a doctor are not taken as seriously by an insurance company; they feel that if you are really injured from the accident, you should have gotten medical attention right away. As is often the rule, the longer you wait to visit a doctor, the less solid your personal injury case is going to be.
In case you are putting off going to the doctor after your accident because you cannot pay or do not have health insurance, you should know that your auto insurance (in most cases) covers your medical costs up to your policy limits. Make sure you get a claim number when you report the accident to your insurance company, and provide it to your family doctor’s billing department so that your medical bills will get paid.
By describing the accident in detail to your doctor – where impact occured, where you were sitting in the car, what you felt your body do during the collision, etc. – it will allow for specific diagnostic testing to be done to see if any damage was incurred to bones, discs, or your brain. Doctors who frequently treat car accident victims know the potential for specific types of injuries and may want to send you for testing right away, especially if there is suspicion of brain or spinal injury.
Being involved in an accident can leave you confused, frustrated, startled, and injured. First, get yourself checked out by your doctor. If you are injured, start thinking about filing an injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company to receive fair compensation for your damages. Get answers to your questions and learn how to not be taken advantage of by an insurance company in our PA car accident guide. Down load it here.