The kind of doctor you see after a car accident in Maryland depends on the circumstances and the severity of your crash. If you are injured in a car accident in Maryland, you may not have the choice of whether you go to the emergency room.
If you sustain serious injuries, you could be transported by ambulance from the accident scene to the emergency room. If you sustain life-threatening injuries on the congested I-695 around Baltimore, you might also be airlifted to a local intensive care unit. It is usually best to go to the emergency room over an urgent care, however. Visiting an urgent care center could result in you paying out of your own pocket or being denied treatment altogether.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for your free case assessment with our Maryland car accident lawyers.
When Should I See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
If you sustain light to moderate injuries, you might opt not to accept EMS transportation. Nevertheless, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Insurance companies look out for any delay in seeking treatment to minimize the seriousness of your injury in a later claim.
A more important question than what kind of doctor you see after a Maryland car accident is when you see a doctor after a car accident in Maryland. Our Baltimore car accident attorneys can assist you with any questions or legal concerns you might have regarding this process. See a medical provider as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are not severe. If you wait for weeks to see a doctor and ignore niggling pain, it will likely jeopardize any personal injury claim, or lawsuit brought down the line. If your condition is not life-threatening, you should consider visiting your family doctor. Your family practitioner has access to all of your medical records, and the process can be more seamless.
What Happens When the ER Treats You After a Maryland Car Accident?
If an ambulance takes you to a hospital, you are likely to be treated more quickly than if you walk into an emergency room. You will also be able to gain access to MRI and CT facilities that can diagnose more serious conditions. You could also be referred more quickly to specialists who can diagnose and treat specific conditions. By visiting the emergency room, you will usually have faster access to surgeons and on-site pharmacies.
Visiting an Urgent Care Center After a Car Accident
If your injuries from a car accident are not severe, you may consider going to an urgent care center. These centers are often less costly than visiting an emergency room. However, it’s important to note that urgent care centers typically do not have the same types of equipment and resources as an emergency room, which could result in certain injuries going undetected.
Urgent care is intended for individuals who require prompt treatment, but usually when their injuries are not considered critical or serious. For instance, if you are experiencing severe broken bones after a car accident, urgent care is not the appropriate place to go. Instead, urgent care is better suited for minor injuries and provides more specialized treatment for more common types of injuries. This typically includes care for bruises, minor fractures, and superficial lacerations. Due to their smaller size compared to hospitals, urgent care centers have a much more limited capacity to examine you fully and provide imaging tests, like CT scans and neurological tests.
It is important for people to be aware of a concerning trend in urgent care facilities that has developed over the last few years. Some urgent care centers are refusing patients with valid car insurance in order to avoid waiting for payment from insurance providers. The common practice has been for car accident victims to receive care by providing their car insurance information. The urgent care center would then be reimbursed at a later date to cover those costs. Now, it seems urgent care centers would rather turn away patients than wait for payment.
Of course, this has the unfortunate effect of victims being turned away and having to seek more costly care elsewhere. In these situations, it is best to simply go to the emergency room, where you cannot legally be denied treatment and get the care you need.
Which Injuries Require a Visit to the Emergency Room in Maryland?
You should not take a chance with certain injuries and symptoms. If you are not sure if you are injured, get checked out anyway. If you decide to go to an urgent care facility, you should be aware that it is likely not equipped with the equipment required to treat serious injuries from a high-impact car wreck. Go straight to the emergency room if you have serious pain and restricted movement consistent with a fracture or suffered a loss of consciousness. An emergency room visit is also appropriate if you sustained injuries to your back or spinal cord injuries. Burn injuries and excessive bleeding are also better treated by visiting the emergency room.
Should You Visit a Specialist for Car Crash Injuries in Maryland?
If you suffer ongoing complications, seek help from a specialist. Your doctor should refer you but push for a referral if you have ongoing issues. Although some people recover quickly after a car accident, there are many potential complications. Neck and spinal injuries can be particularly troublesome because of the complex network of nerve cells and support cells in and around the spine. Even a common neck injury can cause ongoing issues.
For instance, whiplash is a very common problem suffered by car accident victims. This condition typically requires treatment from an orthopedic specialist, a physical therapist, or a chiropractor. Also, seek a consultation with an orthopedic office if you suffered bone fractures, ligament tears, or spinal disc injuries.
Should I Visit My Primary Care Physician for Car Accident Injuries in Maryland?
You might also choose to see your primary care physician. If so, it is vital that you do it within 48 hours of an accident, even if you think your injuries are minor, so you do not give the appearance that your injuries do not actually need treatment. Your doctor can assess any injuries that may have gone unnoticed initially. Like urgent care centers, however, physicians’ offices are also much smaller and less equipped than most emergency rooms. Also, your primary care physician is unlikely to take car insurance as a payment method, causing you to either use another form of insurance if you have it or pay out of pocket.
Should I Visit a Chiropractor for Car Crash Injuries in Maryland?
If you’ve been in a car accident, visiting a chiropractor may be necessary as part of your ongoing recovery process. Thankfully, many insurance policies cover chiropractic treatment. However, it’s important to note that a chiropractor should not be your first stop on the road to recovery.
Instead, you should seek treatment from an emergency room physician who can then recommend the appropriate specialist for your continued care. Your doctor will typically suggest chiropractic treatment as part of your plan, and your car insurance company is more likely to approve it if it has been recommended by a doctor.
What to Do If You Suffer from PTSD or Anxiety After a Car Accident in Maryland
Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological problems often set in after a car accident in Maryland. About 9 percent of car crash victims suffer from PTSD. Insurance companies routinely try to dismiss or talk down psychological issues.
They will try to claim you suffered from these conditions before the accident. Even if you suffered from conditions like depression, a car wreck can exacerbate the symptoms. People may suffer flashbacks and be terrified to get back behind the wheel again.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you should see a therapist, a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse. Emotional trauma forms part of the pain and suffering damages you can claim against the driver who caused the crash.
Mood changes, depression, and other cognitive problems can be caused by a traumatic brain injury. It’s important to get tested for the symptoms of a possible mild traumatic brain injury. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can be permanent and require a lifetime of medical help.
What If I Did Not Get Medical Care Immediately After My Maryland Car Accident?
If you were unable to seek medical attention immediately following a car does not mean that you will not be able to recover compensation. Although not getting medical help right away can complicate insurance negotiations, it does not necessarily mean you will not recover. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to visit a doctor as soon as you can.
If a specialist has been prescribed by your doctor to treat your car accident injuries, it is important to schedule an appointment with them to begin treatment as soon as you can. This usually involves receiving treatment from chiropractors and physical therapists and could require multiple visits per week based on the severity of your injuries. Further, your treating physicians might suggest seeing other specialists if they notice any further damage. For example, you might be referred to a surgeon if your injuries require more invasive procedures.
It is crucial to attend all required appointments in your treatment plan, such as daily physical therapy sessions. Consistently attending scheduled appointments demonstrates the necessity of the prescribed care for your injuries and your commitment to your health. The records created from each visit serve as evidence of your efforts to treat your injuries and aid in calculating the medical damages you can claim.
Of course, a major concern for many car accident victims that leads to them not seeking medical care when they need it is the expense associated with emergency room visits. However, this can actually cost you more if you pursue compensation in the future, as failing to seek medical care can be used to lower or deny you a settlement for your injuries. If you lack insurance, some doctors might still provide treatment under what is referred to as a letter of protection, which agrees to repay the doctor from any personal injury settlement or award you might receive.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case review with our Rockville car accident attorneys, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (443) 339-8368 today.