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Do I Always Need Emergency Medical Care After a Crash?

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Apr 22, 2022 in Car Accidents

emergency medical care after a crashMost accident victims are initially in shock, which means they may not even be aware of their injury symptoms or any pain. That is why many victims wait to seek treatment. However, waiting to seek emergency medical care after a crash could put both your health and any injury claim at risk.

At Goldberg & Finnegan, we understand why many people may want to skip medical treatment after being in a car crash, especially when they think their injuries are minor. However, it is impossible to know if you are hurt, or how badly, without a proper medical diagnosis. It is equally important to get examined by the right type of doctor. Learn more about getting a medical examination after a crash, including how it protects your health and your ability to recover damages.

To find out if you have a claim, we recommend seeking legal assistance. You can meet with one of our licensed attorneys at no cost to you. Our Silver-Spring-based car crash attorneys are ready to discuss your situation and how we may be able to help.

Call 24/7 for your FREE case review. (888) 213-8140

Is Emergency Medical Care Always Necessary After an Accident?

Seeking emergency medical care after being involved in a car crash is usually necessary. Whether that means a trip to the ER is up to you. That said, you should always be aware that you could have severe injuries even if you feel no immediate pain or see a visible wound after a crash.

If someone called 9-1-1, emergency personnel may assist you at the scene. However, all they can do is help to stabilize your visible wounds and advise you based on your symptoms. Getting a full examination and diagnostic testing helps to ensure there are no internal injuries that could be putting you in danger.

When Should I Go to the ER After a Car Crash?

After most car crashes, going to the nearest emergency room is the optimum choice for many reasons, but especially because:

  • Hospital emergency rooms are open 24/7
  • Diagnostic equipment and staff are on site to assess you
  • If you need surgery, you rarely need to be transported elsewhere
  • Getting medical care quickly reduces the risk of your injuries getting worse 

Another critical reason to go to the ER after a crash is that emergency room doctors are trained to know what to look for after a motor vehicle accident. Having access to this expertise can help you get diagnosed sooner. If you do have serious internal injuries, getting medical care you sooner can make a significant difference in your ability to recover.

What About Going to an Urgent Care Center Instead of an ER?

Seeking urgent care instead of going to an ER may be okay in some cases. For instance, if you had a minor fender bender. Many health insurance plans may cover this visit. However, not all these centers have around-the-clock care. Some urgent care centers may also not have the necessary diagnostic equipment on hand when you go. In many cases, you may end up having to go to the ER anyway.

Why Not See My Primary Care Doctor After a Crash?

Your primary care physician (PCP) is probably the medical professional you trust the most. Even though he or she is familiar with your medical history, however, a PCP is not optimum after a serious accident. Often, you cannot get an emergency appointment with any PCP. Additionally, they do not have the same type of training as an ER doctor. They also are unlikely to have the diagnostic equipment needed to fully check you out on site. They would likely tell you to go to the ER for emergency medical care after a crash.

What About a Virtual Medical Appointment?

Virtual medical appointments are fine for everyday situations, such as if you have allergies or a sore throat. Many of these medical needs may initially be diagnosed virtually, without an immediate need for an in-person visit. However, it is not emergency medical care.

The ER is typically the optimum choice after a crash. Any delays can allow severe injuries to worsen. When the damage is internal, such as with a head injury that is bleeding internally, the situation could become life-threatening.

Why Seek Emergency Medical Care After a Crash if I See No Injuries?

There are a lot of internal injuries that you may not be aware of right after the crash. Even severely injured victims may feel no pain because they are still in shock. The adrenaline rush after a crash can block the immediate ability to feel pain. Some of the worst injuries may not show any symptoms for hours, days or even weeks after an accident.

Common injuries that may have delayed symptoms include:

  • Spinal injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Concussion
  • Internal bleeding
  • Retinal tears or retinal detachment
  • Intracranial hematoma
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disc

Obtaining emergency medical care immediately after a crash can help to minimize the risks associated with severe injuries. Time is often critical when it comes to treating crash injuries.

Medical Records Help Link Your Injuries to the Car Crash

When you seek medical care, it creates a medical record of your visit. This documentation is important as it will also contain other vital information about your injuries. For instance, your doctor's notes, X-rays, MRIs and other diagnostic tests, as well as any follow-up appointments, all become part of your medical records. This matters if you later file an injury claim. It helps to link your injuries to the crash and shows the extent of your injuries.

Why Not Getting Medical Care Can Hurt Your Claim

Putting off getting medical care after a crash could damage your ability to file a claim. The insurance company would likely take the opportunity to argue you were either not injured, not seriously injured or were injured somewhere else. They may also try to say that you avoided seeking emergency medical care because you felt responsible for the crash in some way. 

Pure contributory negligence applies in Maryland, so insurers have every incentive for trying to shift some of the blame onto you. If they can show you were at least one percent liable for causing the crash, you do not have a case. If you have no case, the insurance company saves money.

Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Help After a Car Crash

The knowledgeable attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan have been helping crash victims for decades. We have a strong record of recovering maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. 

If you suffered an injury in a crash and are unsure what steps to take next, we are prepared to help. If you have a claim, we are ready to fully manage your case to help you get the compensation you need. You can learn about your legal options in a completely free, no-risk case review. There is nothing to pay up front if we take your case and no fees to pay unless we win.

Experienced Lawyers. On Your Side. (888) 213-8140

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