One of the most common questions we encounter as a law firm is, “What type of doctor should I see after a car accident?” Let’s take a look at the kinds of medical professionals you may need after a crash, depending on the nature of your injuries.
The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention
The moments following an accident can be chaotic and confusing. However, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention, even if you feel fine. There are two primary reasons for this.
- Health: Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately but can have serious long-term effects if left untreated. It is important that a medical professional be seen immediately in order to ensure that all symptoms are recorded.
- Legal: Medical records serve as vital evidence in personal injury cases. They can help establish a causal link between the accident and your injuries.
Who to See Immediately After a Car Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you should seek help from:
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs): They provide first aid at the scene and can transport you to the hospital if necessary.
- Emergency Room Doctors: They handle life-threatening and serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal injuries, or head injuries.
- Urgent Care Doctors: They can help if you are experiencing pain and soreness but don’t have serious injuries. Urgent care centers have lower out-of-pocket costs than an ER, and you can usually get an appointment sooner than with your primary care doctor.
Follow-Up Care: The Next Steps
After receiving initial treatment, it’s important to follow up with your primary care doctor. In some cases, you may need to see a specialist.
Primary Care Physician
A primary care physician should be an accident victim’s first point of contact following an injury. As a patient’s main doctor, the primary care physician has a comprehensive understanding of your medical history and overall health. They can prescribe muscle relaxers and pain medication and refer the patient to specialists if required.
Seeing your primary doctor promptly after an accident establishes an official record of the injuries sustained. This medical record is critical evidence should you, the victim, choose to pursue legal action.
Orthopaedists & Neurologists
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need to see specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, or physical therapists.
After an accident resulting in injuries to the head, brain, or spine, it is crucial to see a neurologist. Neurologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders. They are best equipped to properly assess and manage conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Injuries to the musculoskeletal system – bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments – are common after a crash. In these cases, orthopedic specialists, or orthopaedists, are the doctors best equipped to properly diagnose and treat these types of injuries.
For accident victims seeking compensation, an orthopaedist’s expertise and documentation are invaluable. They can determine if injuries were directly caused by the accident in question and provide detailed prognoses on recovery timelines and long-term effects.
Documenting Your Injuries: A Crucial Step
Remember to keep a detailed record of all your medical visits, diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions. Make sure you also preserve bills and receipts for relevant medical expenses.
This is critical evidence when it comes to negotiating your compensation, as it can indicate the severity of your injuries and how they impacted your life and well-being.
Reach Out to a Car Accident Attorney
Once you’ve taken care of your health, it’s time to think about the legal implications of your accident. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Seeking appropriate medical attention is the first step towards recovery. If you have any legal questions or need assistance with a personal injury claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 954-915-7405. Our team of experienced lawyers is here to help, and we offer a free consultation for new clients.