Each year, nearly 6 million car accidents happen on roads across the United States. Some serious accidents involve fatalities or life-altering car accident injuries, while others are simple fender benders or minor accidents with few to no injuries. After a car accident, most people know they need to call the police and their insurance company. But once the police report is filed and the insurance claim is made, do you just head home or should you seek medical care from an injury doctor? The simple answer is that it depends. You might need to get to an emergency room pretty quickly after the accident, or you might need to head there later in the day once the police and insurance details are resolved. Perhaps you do need medical care but don’t feel the need to get emergency care—what do you do then? Take a look at your different options when it comes to post-accident care with an injury doctor.
Emergency Care May Be Necessary
Sometimes, car accidents are severe enough that there is no question about whether or not emergency care is necessary. An ambulance may come to the scene to treat individuals or they may take the injured to the nearest emergency room. Other times, you may feel a little beat up and hurt, but you don’t feel like emergency care is needed. However, it’s important to note that internal injuries may be more severe than you realize and in most cases, it’s better to be safe and cautious than to regret not seeking care later. If you suspect anything is broken, if you have any large lacerations or extensive bleeding, or anything involving your head or neck is sore or injured, it’s best to head to the emergency room. It’s possible that your care will be better dealt with by an injury doctor outside of the ER, such as at an orthopedic clinic, but it’s never a bad idea to let the emergency room treat you right after an accident, especially if you can’t get an appointment with a specialized injury doctor right away.
Specialized Care May Be More Effective
If you don’t have life-threatening or severe injuries, you may be able to wait a day or two until you can get into your local injury clinic for an appointment. Even if you do seek emergency medical care after the accident, it’s still a good idea to follow up with a specialist a few days or weeks later, particularly if you’re still experiencing discomfort or if the emergency room doctor recommends it. An injury doctor at a specialized clinic will have specific expertise in your injuries and in how best to help you heal. Anything dealing with your bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and spine can be treated by a specialized injury doctor, so be sure to visit one after your accident.
Know That Symptoms Don’t Always Present Themselves Immediately
Some people may feel perfectly fine after an accident, with no physical injuries and no soreness whatsoever, only to wake up the next day with incredible pain and soreness all over. This is one of the reasons why it’s best to seek care right after your accident, even if you don’t see or feel any injuries. Sometimes symptoms take a day or two to manifest themselves, and if you can get checked out right after the accident, you’ll be better prepared to handle the discomfort. Additionally, an injury doctor may be able to tell you what to expect after the accident in terms of pain, so you’ll know right away if you need to go back into the doctor’s office or if you can just wait for the pain to subside without additional intervention.
Injury Claims May Be Affected if Treatment Is Delayed
If you happen to be in a car accident that leads you to file for a personal injury claim against another driver, it’s especially important that you get medical treatment right away. Delaying a doctor’s appointment or not getting immediate care may result in a delayed or denied injury claim from your car accident. Be sure to seek the care of an injury doctor if you anticipate filing for a personal injury claim, as they have more expertise in car accident injuries and what is involved in those types of situations.
If you have been injured in a car accident but don’t have life-threatening injuries, be sure to call the specialized injury doctors at AICA Orthopedics. With AICA, you’ll get the quality comprehensive care you need to quickly get on the road to recovery.