Those who are in car accidents should see a doctor as soon as possible. This is because those who suffer car accident injuries and wait too long to have injuries such as soft tissue injuries or traumatic brain injuries documented by a doctor after a car accident may find themselves with an insurance company refusing to pay for their medical expenses. When car accident victims wait too long to seek medical treatment, insurance companies will claim their injuries were caused by something other than their car wreck and refuse to pay for the injuries via a car accident claim.
A car accident injury can be masked by endorphins or adrenaline at the scene of the accident, and those hurt in auto accidents often don’t realize they’ve been injured for days, weeks or even months after their accident. Because of this, it’s vital that you seek medical attention as soon as you can after an accident even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt.
However, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may be wondering about what kind of doctors for car accidents you should see, whether they be emergency room doctors, primary care doctors or other doctors.
What Treatment Should I Get Following An Auto Accident?
You should call 911 and get to safety immediately following an accident if you can, especially if traffic is heavy at a time like rush hour. This ensures your safety and ensures anyone else injured in the accident will receive prompt medical attention.
When police arrive, you should speak to them and let them know if you are injured or not. If the police ask if you’re injured and you don’t have any obvious injuries, you should tell them that you need to talk to your doctor, then schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.
If you have obvious or visible injuries, you should seek medical attention in an emergency room. Don’t drive yourself there – take an ambulance or have a loved one drive you there.
After you’ve seen a doctor, they’ll refer you to an appropriate specialist, who may or may not be a car accident doctor who specializes in treating car accident victims.
Types Of Doctors You Might See After A Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might see one or more of many types of doctors. You might be referred to these doctors by the first medical professional you see after an accident. Alternately, if you hire a car accident lawyer, your lawyer may refer you to doctors who will treat your injuries. A personal injury attorney can also bill auto insurance companies for you to help you get your medical bills paid.
Emergency Room Physician
If your accident gave you a serious injury which requires prompt medical attention, you’ll be sent to the emergency room immediately after your accident. Injuries which may require an immediate emergency room visit include broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, such as head injuries which result in a loss of consciousness.
An emergency room physician will make sure that any serious injuries are treated right away. They’ll do their best to make sure that serious injuries like broken bones or internal bleeding are treated before they develop complications or lead to your death.
Once you are deemed healthy enough to leave the hospital, you will be discharged and may be referred to another doctor for further treatment.
An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in diseases and injuries which affect the musculoskeletal system, which is composed of soft tissues, joints, muscles and bones. While orthopedists are surgeons, they will often assist people in getting relief via nonsurgical options.
Orthopedists often treat car accident victims who suffer injuries that lead to back, knee, hip, shoulder, ankle or wrist pain. To diagnose accident victims, orthopedists will physically examine them and order tests such as x-rays and MRIs.
Once an orthopedist diagnoses an accident victim’s injuries, they may provide treatment such as pain management or physical therapy.
If the accident victim requires surgery, they will receive a referral for orthopedic surgery.
Neurologists are doctors who specialize in treating and diagnosing diseases of and injuries to the nerves, spinal cord and brain. Neurologists know the function, anatomy and the conditions which affect your nervous system and nerves. Your nervous system essentially issues commands to your body. It controls whatever you do, feel or think – from your heart beating to the movement of your arm.
Neurologists often see car accident victims who have suffered the following injuries:
- Soft tissue injuries involving the neck or spine like strains or sprains from whiplash
- Neck or back fractures which result from whiplash
- Concussions or cerebral contusions which happen upon impact
When you visit a neurologist after a car accident, the doctor will diagnose you after checking your brain or nervous system with tests such as MRIs, vision tests, hearing tests, reflex tests and balance tests. You’ll also have follow-ups scheduled during which you’ll be checked for delayed symptoms which occur in the weeks following the accident.
If it’s needed, your neurologist will plan out long-term plans for treatment including rehabilitation and pain management, which may include medication, physical therapy or other methods.
Primary Care Physician
You may visit your primary care physician after a car accident. This may be voluntary, or an emergency room may tell you to see your primary care doctor as a follow up to your emergency room visit.
The situation you’re likely to see your primary care doctor in after an accident is if you haven’t been injured or if if you’ve only suffered minor injuries. A primary care doctor may be able to do things like prescribe pain medication or check how a wound you suffered in your car accident is healing.
However, primary care doctors often refuse to treat patients who are injured in car accidents, so you may need to see other doctors instead.
Physical therapists are health specialists who treat and evaluate injuries to and disorders of the human body. They can help you manage injuries to your:
- Neurological system (brain)
- Musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones)
- Integumentary system (skin)
- Cardiopulmonary system (lungs and heart)
You may receive a benefit from seeing a physical therapist if, after a car accident, you’re experiencing:
- Problems sleeping
- Pain which lingers
- A limitation to your range of motion
- Problems concentrating
- Migraines or chronic headaches
- General fatigue or weakness
- Unexplained tingling and/or numbness
- Sore and/or stiff joints or muscles
Physical therapy can help to reduce pain, improve function and mobility, and regain balance and strength – all without having to use medication.
Chiropractors specialize in the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of mechanical disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system – typically affecting the spine.
Chiropractic treatment typically involves what is known as manual therapy, especially the manipulation of your spine, joints, as well as soft tissues.
Chiropractors are often consulted for the treatment of pain resulting from whiplash, an injury which often occurs in rear-end collisions. A chiropractor may be able to reduce your pain, swelling and inflammation after an accident, and may be able to improve your mobility after an accident as well.
If you have suffered burn injuries in a car accident, you may be referred to a burn specialist.
You will probably need to see a burn specialist if you have suffered:
- Burns involving major joints, the perineum, genitalia, feet, hands or face
- Any third-degree burns
- Partial thickness burns which cover over 10 percent of your body surface area
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Inhalation burns
- Burns and simultaneous trauma where the burn poses the highest risk of mortality or morbidity
- Burns and pre-existing conditions which may complicate management, affect mortality or prolong recovery
- Burn injury and you need special rehabilitative, emotional or social intervention
A burn specialist will assess how severe your burn is by performing a skin examination. You may require skin grafts in order to cover large burns.
A burn specialist can treat burns with treatments such as:
- Water-based treatments
- Fluids in order to prevent dehydration
- Medications for pain and anxiety
- Burn ointments and creams
- Antibiotics to fight infection
- Tetanus shot
- Skin grafts
- Plastic surgery
- Easing the flow of blood around a wound
- A feeding tube
- Breathing assistance
A trauma surgeon specializes in doing emergency surgeries for people who suffer a critical illness or injury. They are qualified for diagnosing and surgically repairing trauma which is caused by injury.
You may require the assistance of a trauma surgeon if you have suffered blunt trauma in a car accident or if you have suffered severe burns in a car accident.
A trauma surgeon can treat you in order to prevent morbidity or mortality from your car accident injuries.
What If My Primary Care Doctor Refuses To See Me?
You may wish to visit your primary care physician after an accident in which you suffered injuries which were not severe or life-threatening.
It is understandable why you’d want to see your primary care doctor – you’re comfortable with them. However, primary care doctors will often refuse to treat injuries which were sustained in a car accident.
While emergency rooms are obligated by law to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room and needs it, primary care doctors don’t have this obligation, so they can choose which patients they will and will not treat. The thing is, a car accident may create payment and insurance headaches for primary care doctors.
Most primary care doctors’ offices are set up for billing health insurance. However, for car accident injuries, other payment forms can be involved, like auto insurance, and health insurers sometimes reject payments for the treatment of injuries sustained in car accidents. Because of this, primary car doctors often refuse to treat car accident victims.
In addition, primary care doctors can feel uncomfortable treating car accident injuries which fall outside of their area of expertise, and may feel reluctant to get involved in potential car accident litigation.
If your primary care physician refuses to treat your car accident injuries, call us today for a free consultation. We can get you to doctors who will treat your injuries without charging you until your case is over.
When Should I Call A Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a car accident that’s not your fault, call a car accident lawyer today.
If you don’t get a lawyer, the at-fault party’s insurance company may refuse to pay you what you are entitled to under California law. By hiring a lawyer, you’re sending a message to the insurance company that you can sue them and win over a low ball offer.
Car accident lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney fees until and unless they recover financial compensation for you. The only fee you will be charged is a percentage of any money they recover for you to compensate you for your injuries.
A car accident lawyer can handle every aspect of your injury claim for you so all you need to do is focus on recovering from your injuries. The last thing you need after being injured in a car accident is additional stress from having to handle a long, complex, difficult accident claim. In addition, studies show that those who hire lawyers after being injured recover far more money for their injuries than those who don’t, even after taking lawyer fees into account. So, by hiring a lawyer, you’re making the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries far easier as well as ensuring you receive more compensation in the end.
Speak To An Experienced Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, call us today for a free consultation. Our experienced legal team can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and more.
We have recovered over $400,000,000 for our clients and have been helping car accident victims since 1990. Call us today so we can help you recover the financial compensationyou deserve after your auto accident.