During these unique and challenging times, it is important to know what to do after a car accident. Emergency rooms and hospitals across the state are bracing for an influx of patients with COVID-19.
But as we all know, accidents still happen, even during a pandemic. If you have been the victim of a car accident, consider visiting an Atlanta orthopedic urgent care facility like AICA Orthopedics.
Here are some alternative options to help avoid exposure to the virus, support your community, and stay healthy.
Practice Social Distancing at the Scene
You and the Other Driver
Even at the scene of an accident, it is important to practice social distancing to protect yourself and others from possible exposure. When you exchange contact information with the other driver, try to stay a safe distance away.
If possible, you may want to both write down your information and take a photo on your phone so you can avoid exchanging hands. If you do come into contact with anything the other person has touched and have access to hand sanitizer or a similar cleaning product, cleanse your hands as soon as you possibly can.
If police are called to the scene, pay attention and follow their directions closely, as they may also be including social distancing protocols in their methods. Do not shake hands and try to stay six feet apart when possible.
In these instances, you want to protect not only yourself from potential exposure to the virus but also protect law enforcement. They are part of first responder teams who our society will depend on in these trying times ahead, and we want to do our part to help them stay safe and healthy.
If paramedics come to the scene and are wearing personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, allow them to examine you. While they ask you questions and examine you for any injuries, you may also want to speak with them about whether or not you have been exhibiting any symptoms of the virus. If not, you can ask for a detailed description of your injuries so you can pass along that information to a car accident injury specialist instead of going to the ER.
Visit an Orthopedic Urgent Care Instead of the ER
If your injuries are not severe or life-threatening, visit a car accident clinic or orthopedic urgent care facility instead of the ER or local hospital. Due to the virus outbreak, emergency rooms and hospitals are prepared to handle both COVID-19 patients and those not experiencing symptoms, but the risk of exposure is high. Consult with paramedics at the scene as necessary, and if your injuries are non-life-threatening, you may want to avoid the risk of exposure by visiting the hospital.
These facilities are just as equally equipped to provide proper medical care to car accident victims. Car accident doctors specialize in treating common car accident injuries such as whiplash, concussion, sprains, strains, and even broken bones.
An added benefit to visiting a car accident clinic from the beginning is that you can establish a place for continued care in a medical facility that is dedicated to your type of injury and not on the frontlines of fighting the virus.
It is important to note that some symptoms of common car accident injuries, such as whiplash and concussion, do not always present themselves right away. Delayed symptoms can include headaches, sore or stiff muscles, nausea, and other discomforts. Seek medical attention from car accident clinic doctors who know what signs and symptoms to look for and can help you assess any hidden injuries as soon as possible.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In addition to helping take the load off of our first responders and hospitals, you may also want to contact your insurance company to discuss payments and reimbursements. With a potential financial recession and economic uncertainty ahead, speak with your insurance provider to determine if there will be any type of assistance or support available for bill payment. Ask about payment plan options or whether or not it is possible to extend the due date for a bill.
Car accident victims should still seek out medical care and treatment because these injuries can be serious and have adverse effects on your health and well-being. Specialty clinics are equipped with doctors who can help diagnose and treat injuries, as well as physical therapists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals who can develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
It is important to address injuries as soon as possible to avoid any long-lasting damage or chronic pain, even in the middle of a pandemic. Contact AICA Orthopedics today to find out how we can best assist you during this time.