After being involved in an car accident, even if you do not feel you have been seriously injured, it is best to be seen and evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Many clients feel sore, fatigued, and stiff after being involved in a car crash, and while these symptoms may seem minor, some can be indicative of a more serious injury.
Being seen by a doctor soon after the accident, will help strengthen your claim and maximize your chance for receiving compensation for your injuries. But being seen by the right doctor is equally important. It is important to be seen by a doctor who specializes in treating car accident victims and understands how to treat and document car accident injuries.
Emergency Room or Urgent Care
Many people operate under the misconception that they should only go to an emergency room in the event of a life or death emergency. However, the emergency room or even an urgent care is recommended for most car accident injuries, at least as a first step. The best time for a person to be evaluated after a car accident is immediately after it has occurred. If you want to accurately document your injuries and receive immediate evaluation and care, go to an emergency room or urgent care center. They will be able to take x-rays and ensure that you are not suffering from any internal injuries that may not be visible to the naked eye.
You will also be able to bill your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance directly from the ER, which makes the process more efficient for processing these types of claims. However, after being seen by an ER or urgent care doctor, they usually recommend the patient follow up with his or her primary care physician within a few days.
Primary Care Physician
Even if the car accident victim has been evaluated by an ER doctor, it is always advisable that he or she follow up with an appointment to his or her primary care physician. This person knows your medical history and can do a thorough evaluation based on your needs. Do not be surprised if the primary care physician refers you out to a specialist, depending on your injuries. The primary care physician may also order additional tests to determine what injuries were sustained based on the patient’s prior medical history. Your primary care physician can also prescribe medication, request physical therapy, or even order X-Rays, MRI’s, and CT scans.
Many primary care doctors will refer patients to specialists to conduct a more thorough evaluation of injuries since these specialized medical professionals focus their practices on one specific area of the body. If the doctor has concerns that the patient suffered from a brain injury, they will refer the person to a doctor who specializes in this area, such as a neurologist. The patient may also be referred to an orthopedic surgeon in the event of a back injury.
Some injuries from a car accident do not manifest right away. In fact, some of the more common ones are those that are not readily visible. These injuries can appear hours or even days after the accident, including symptoms related to whiplash or soft tissue injuries. Scar tissue can build up or muscles can be strained to the point where the person is not able to physically move freely. Physical therapy may be needed to help reduce the pain associated with these injuries and to restore muscle movement. Physical therapists are often referred by the patient’s primary care physician, and they specialize in handling these types of injuries through special techniques and therapies that need to be performed over the course of time.
It is important to seek immediate medical treatment and speak with an experienced Orlando auto accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash, particularly if you have suffered serious injury as a result. Many people believe you should call the insurance company first before speaking with an attorney, and while it is important to report the accident to your insurance company- insurance companies do not have a duty to act in your best interest (even your own insurance company). Only an attorney must act in your best interest. By contacting an attorney, you can make sure you get compensated fairly for your injuries and damage sustained to your vehicle.
Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. is based in Orlando, FL and was founded in 1966. The firm is comprised of award-winning trial lawyers who have obtained significant verdicts and settlements for the injured and their families throughout the State of Florida. We provide free consultations to all families suffering from wrongful deaths or injuries caused by car accidents or catastrophic injuries. If you are not sure where to turn following a serious car accident, call us today at (407) 843-7060.
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A civil trial attorney with the firm Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A., Mr. Damaso concentrates on cases involving personal injury and wrongful deaths and solely represents individual victims and consumers. He takes his clients' cases personally and is committed to their best possible outcome. His strong sense of community has led to his support of numerous charities in the Orlando area.