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What Type of Doctor Should You See After a Car Crash?

moving patient through hospital hallwayWhile there may be much uncertainty after a car crash, one thing many crash victims know is they need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Should you go straight to the emergency room? What about your primary care doctor? When should you go see a specialist?

Our experienced Harrisburg-based vehicle accident lawyers discuss medical treatment after a car crash and who crash victims should see. While our attorneys pursue compensation for crash victims, we know the most important thing is your health and well-being. We want you to get the treatment you need to make the best recovery possible, given your injuries.

Getting appropriate treatment also helps to validate and strengthen your case, which may improve your odds of recovering full compensation, particularly if you have experienced legal help.

Emergency Room Physicians

Many car crash victims are treated in the emergency room, particularly if the injuries are potentially life-threatening or the victim is physically incapacitated after the crash. When the accident happens at night or outside of normal business hours, the emergency room is basically the only option.

The goal after the accident is to have your injuries diagnosed and stabilized to try to prevent serious consequences, like excessive bleeding, organ failure or even death.

What About an Urgent Care Center?

Urgent care centers have sprung up over the past 15-20 years and they operate sort of like a primary care doctor’s office. You can go in without an appointment and get care for something right away, provided it is not a true medical emergency or something that could prove fatal.

This may be an option, depending on the severity of your injuries. However, it is difficult for victims to determine how severely they may be hurt. If you go to urgent care, they may send you to the emergency room anyway. The urgent care center may not have all the equipment needed to diagnose your injuries. You are probably better off just going to the emergency room.

Primary Care Physicians

You may feel more comfortable seeing your primary care doctor for treatment after a car crash. However, you should only do this for minor injuries.

The problem is your primary care physician may not want to examine someone after a car accident. They may refer you to the emergency room. Primary care doctor’s offices are often not set up to treat someone following a car accident. They often do not have the expertise to treat all your injuries.

Your primary care doctor may be a point of contact after your initial treatment. For example, your primary care doctor may refer you to specialists to treat the areas of the body you hurt. For example, if you have issues with your joints, you may be referred to an orthopedist. If you have neurological issues, you may be referred to a neurologist.

It is probably best not to go to your primary care doctor right after a car crash. You may not be able to get in the same day or even the next day. This gap could raise doubts about the validity of your claim with the insurance company. Even though these obstacles can be overcome, they could make your claim more difficult than it needs to be.

Talking to Your Doctor About Your Injuries

Make sure you are thorough in explaining all the symptoms you are experiencing and your level of pain. If you have preexisting injuries, inform your doctor so he or she can differentiate between symptoms caused by preexisting injuries and those caused by your new injuries.

Your goal is to help create a clear, consistent record of the injuries caused by the accident and how they affect you. This helps to link your injuries to the accident, which helps strengthen your claim.

As your symptoms improve or worsen, be sure to inform your doctor so these changes can be noted in your medical records.

Schmidt Kramer is Here to Assist You After a Crash. Call Today

Unsure of what steps to take following a crash? Feel like you are being misled by the insurance company?

At Schmidt Kramer, we know what crash victims are going through because we have been helping them secure compensation for more than 30 years.

There are no risks in contacting us because there are no upfront fees. You are also not obligated to hire our firm after meeting with us. The decision about what to do next is up to you.

Call today to learn more. (717) 888-8888