Should I Go to the Hospital or ER after a Car Accident in Ohio? | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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You might not realize you’ve been hurt right away. Adrenaline runs high after a car accident, making you feel and look fine. However, once the chaos calms down, your injuries can leave you in considerable pain.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
January 31, 2023

Even if you feel fine, visiting a doctor after a car accident is imperative. Some life-threatening injuries can have little to no symptoms at first. A medical professional can ensure you are safe, treat you accordingly, and provide helpful documentation for when you file a claim later. After consulting a medical professional, make sure you contact an Ohio car accident attorney as well to make sure your case is ready.

Here are a few reasons to get medical care ASAP after an Ohio car accident.

1. Many Injuries After a Car Accident are “Silent”

Injuries can show up immediately after a wreck, or they can take hours, days, or weeks until you notice them. Some of the most common injuries after a car crash that are initially overlooked are:

These injuries might creep up on you. When you realize you’re hurt, they’re likely harder to treat.

2. Not Getting Medical Care Can Make Things Worse

Failing to see a doctor after an accident could mean missing out on a full recovery. Here are just some of the consequences when you don’t seek immediate medical attention:

Don’t Risk Your Health or Life

Traumatic conditions such as a brain injury can cause significant damage if left untreated. Annually, around 80,000 people have permanent disabilities after a traumatic brain injury, and 50,000 people die.

You may not notice any injuries, but that doesn’t mean there are none. Not going to a doctor after a car accident can put your future health and life at serious risk, leaving you with a disability or even death.

3. You’re Giving Insurance Adjusters Leverage

When you are in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll need to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company and seek a settlement that covers your expenses. This isn’t always easy.

Insurance companies want to hold onto as much money as they can. If you did not seek emergency medical care after your accident, you lose power over your outcome and give it to insurance adjusters.

The adjuster may try to downplay your injuries since you waited a while to get medical attention. They might argue that it can’t be proven the crash caused your injuries or that your pain is not severe. Insurance companies will always look for ways to lower your claim amount. Holding off on seeing a doctor only adds fuel to the fire.

4. Evidence Gets Lost

If you seek prompt medical attention, you will likely be given several documents, such as discharge papers, that describe your visit. These forms will provide details about your injuries and treatment. They will also explain when you need to follow up and with whom.

Medical documents can serve as valuable evidence when you file a claim. Having records from your doctor’s visits increases the chance of being compensated for appointments, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, assistive devices, and other healthcare costs.

Not going to a doctor after a car accident means not having this critical evidence, potentially causing you to miss out on total compensation.

Where Can You Get Medical Care after a Car Crash in Ohio?

Where you receive medical attention after an accident can vary depending on the severity of your injuries. The nearest trauma center or emergency room is best if your injuries are life-threatening or severe. You may visit an urgent care for less critical injuries that require immediate help. In some minor cases, people visit their regular doctor after a car accident.

Knowing the difference between the types of care is essential in making an informed decision.

Trauma Centers

Trauma centers are specifically staffed to treat people after serious events like motor vehicle accidents. These facilities directly address your car accident injuries with specialists who are trained in handling them.

Level I trauma centers offer the highest possible level of care. In Ohio, Level I trauma centers include:

Trauma centers are optimal if you have life-threatening injuries, such as severe head injury, loss of consciousness, or severe bleeding. If you have any of these after a car accident, an ambulance will likely take you to a trauma center near you.

Emergency Room

The emergency room is like a trauma center because they both deal with emergencies. However, unlike trauma centers, the ER is not specific to treating accident-related injuries. Emergency rooms handle more general injuries and conditions, ranging from heart attacks to broken toes.

Since ER doctors are trained to treat a variety of cases, the resources and care are different from a trauma center. That does not mean emergency rooms aren’t a good option after a car crash—if you have severe injuries, the ER still offers essential and life-saving help.

Urgent Cares

Urgent care can be a convenient alternative to the ER. Typically, you can walk into an urgent care clinic and see a doctor that same day. They still offer general health care but are not intended to treat emergency injuries. Therefore, urgent care might be best if you need to get treatment quickly after a car accident but your injuries are not life-threatening.

Your Primary Physician

A primary care physician is great for general check-ups and concerns. But the most important thing after a car accident is to seek immediate medical attention. If your primary care doctor can fit you in quickly and your injuries are not severe, it may be a good idea to see them. You likely already have a comfortable relationship with them, and they know your medical history.

However, you may not know your injuries are serious or life-threatening until it’s too late. Other care centers have more resources to quickly evaluate, treat, and stabilize you when you face emergency injuries.

After a car accident, you may have severe burns, uncontrollable bleeding, broken bones, and trouble breathing. Your regular doctor will likely not be able to treat these.

FAQs about Post-Accident Medical Care

What if I’ve Waited Too Long to See a Doctor?

Hope is not lost if you don’t notice your injuries until later or wait too long to seek medical attention. You may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries. First, you should see a doctor immediately, even if it’s a while after your accident. They can still provide essential treatment and documentation.

It may be harder to prove your injuries are severe and resulted from the accident if you waited a while. However, a doctor should have the education and experience to help determine the facts. These facts will be important in your claim.

What Do Doctors Need to Know about My Accident?

Regardless of where you go, make sure you should tell the doctor and nurses everything that happened. Tell them everywhere you feel pain in as much detail as possible. If your airbags are deployed, let them know. Tell them if you aren’t sure if you hit your head. Any minor detail can impact your case and treatment.

Being as transparent as possible will not only help improve your outcome but also helps improve your chances of recovering compensation for all of your injuries when you file a claim. Additionally, keep copies of the documents doctors give you. Make sure to hold onto receipts if you pay anything out of pocket, like prescriptions or over-the-counter treatments.

Can an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

An experienced personal injury lawyer can gather important evidence and help you secure the maximum compensation possible. They will assist you in filing a claim after your car accident and fight against insurance companies who offer less than you deserve. Ultimately, an attorney’s legal guidance and resources are most peopl’s best option to move on past medical bills and financially recover from an auto accident.

Call KNR for Help

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment is essential, and taking your injuries seriously can make a difference in recovering compensation. 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 CincinnatiColumbus, 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.