Should I Go to the Hospital or ER after a Car Accident in Ohio?

Dec 03, 2020 Car Accidents

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Getting medical attention after a car accident should always be your priority. Some injuries are not apparent immediately, while others are obvious and painful.

So, getting yourself checked out at a local emergency room is best, even if injuries seem minor. However, you might have questions about the ER process and what will happen once you arrive.

Do I Need a Doctor After a Minor Car Accident?

Whether you have a significant crash or a minor fender bender, you could be up and walking around afterward feeling fine. It’s important to remember that even a minor accident can lead to significant injuries.

You may not realize you’ve been hurt at first since adrenaline typically runs high after an accident. After things have calmed down, your injuries could catch up with you and possibly leave you in considerable pain.

Types of Injuries That Occur After a Car Accident

Injuries can show up immediately after a wreck, or they may crop up hours, days, or weeks later. Some of the most common injuries include:

Head Injuries

You may be concerned about a concussion if you hit your head on the steering wheel or windshield. You can also suffer a head injury simply from jerking violently back and forth in the crash, even if your head doesn’t strike anything. Symptoms may not be obvious, but a head injury can be fatal, so you should see a doctor immediately.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Back injuries can cause lifelong difficulties. Instead of waiting until you’re in debilitating pain, have your doctor give you a thorough examination after you’ve been in a car accident.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to soft tissue include damage where there isn’t bone, including ligaments or muscles. People in car accidents frequently suffer from whiplash, a prevalent and painful soft tissue injury.

See a Doctor Promptly

Failing to see a doctor puts your health at risk and can also affect your personal injury case. When you are involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and seek a settlement that covers your expenses.

This isn’t always that easy. Insurance companies are more interested in holding onto as much money as possible. They aren’t so concerned with ensuring you have been fairly compensated.

The insurance adjuster will look for ways to lower your claim amount. Holding off on seeing a doctor will only add fuel to their fire. If you wait even a few days to get medical attention, the adjuster might try to say you weren’t hurt in the accident.

Which Hospital Should I Go To?

You have many options for where to go after a car accident in Ohio. You should go to the nearest emergency room if you are severely injured. However, if you can choose, you should select a trauma center. They are specifically staffed to treat people after serious events like motor vehicle accidents.

Some Level I (the highest level possible) trauma centers near you might include:

These hospitals can address common car accident injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and whiplash. These injuries are usually significant and require specialists.

Checking in at the Hospital

When you go to the emergency room, you give the receptionist or nurse your name, contact information, and insurance information. You will likely have to show your ID and insurance card as well. This will give the hospital enough information to get you into their system.

You will likely be asked to sign several documents, including a “Permission to Treat” form and a release to bill the insurance company. If you were in a car accident, you should notify the receptionist.

Emergency Room Intake

After checking in, you will wait to be called, and a nurse will check your vital signs. The nurse will take your blood pressure, temperature, heartbeat, and other baseline measurements. The nurse will also ask you about your symptoms and medical history to determine how urgent your condition is.

Medical Treatment in the Emergency Room

Once a doctor sees you, your injuries will be assessed and treated. You may be given prescriptions to manage the pain. The doctor may order tests like x-rays, bloodwork, and an MRI. If you have preexisting conditions or are expected to stay in the hospital, the doctor may give you an IV and get fluids.

You should tell the doctor and nurses everything that happened in your accident. Let them know if your airbags went off and how you were injured. Tell them everywhere you feel pain and give as much detail as possible. This record will be vital when you make an insurance claim later.

The emergency room doctor will likely tell you to follow up with your primary care physician. Ongoing care is just as crucial to show that your injuries are significant and require compensation.

Documents You Will Get in the Emergency Room

You will likely be given several documents and forms, including discharge papers that detail your visit. This will provide information about your injuries and treatment. It will also explain when you need to follow up and with whom.

You may also get a written prescription for steroids or pain medication. You will need to take this to the pharmacy, but before you do that, take a picture of it or make a copy. Keep copies of everything the ER gives you.

Keep track of the bills you get as well. Make sure you keep receipts if you pay anything out of pocket, such as prescriptions or over-the-counter treatment. You may be able to recover compensation for all your various expenses.

Call KNR for Help After a Car Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, go to a nearby emergency room immediately. Medical treatment is essential, and taking your injuries seriously is often the difference in recovering compensation. Then, as soon as you’re able, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation about your insurance claim.

Our offices are conveniently located throughout Ohio, including Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. As one of the largest personal injury firms in the state, we have the experience and history of success to ensure your rights are respected. We don’t earn a fee unless you recover compensation.