Should You Go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care After a Car Accident?

Injured man photoBeing involved in a car accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience for anyone. When you have been injured in a car accident, adrenaline and shock tend to take over, leaving you in a dazed and confused state. It is important to understand that even if you are not in pain immediately after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. It is especially important to know when you should go to an emergency room to get care and when you should go to urgent care.

The Nature of Your Car Accident Injuries

If you have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury in a car accident, you should always go to the emergency room for treatment. As the name suggests, emergency rooms are ideally suited for major injuries such as severe burns, trauma, multiple bone fractures, uncontrollable bleeding, possible internal injuries, breathing difficulties and so on. If you have suffered relatively minor injuries such as bruise or minor cut, you should go to an urgent care clinic.

However, it is important to know that you may not “feel” injured immediately after an accident because of the adrenaline that is pumping through your body after a traumatic event. So, you should make a visit to urgent care even you feel you may not need it. If you have suffered any injuries, it is crucial to get medical proof of it as soon as possible, especially if you need to or intend to file a personal injury claim.

Waiting Times at Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are typically faster when it comes to treating patients. A vast majority of urgent care patients have a wait time of fewer than 15 minutes. While emergency rooms do treat emergency and crisis cases, they are places of high traffic and therefore, tend to prioritize cases based on their seriousness. Many urgent cares are open 24/7, which means you can seek treatment any time. Regardless of what time of day or week you have been involved in a car accident, you can visit an urgent care clinic for prompt medical care.

What is the Difference in Costs?

One of the main reasons car accident victims may choose not to get medical attention may be because they don’t want to pay the high costs of treatment. If you are able to win your personal injury claim against another driver, you could be compensated for your medical expenses as long as you have your receipts and documentation. Generally speaking, going to urgent care is less expensive than visiting an emergency room. But, if you are seriously concerned about the cost of treatment and don’t have life-threatening injuries, you could save significantly on costs by going to an urgent care clinic.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

You should seek medical treatment and care immediately after a car accident. There is no benefit to waiting to get medical attention. If you wait, it could not only extend your recovery time, but it may also jeopardize your injury claim. Insurance companies may accuse of waiting too long to get medical treatment and will likely infer that you weren’t hurt as badly you claim.

From your perspective, if you have been injured, you want to get to a doctor right away so you can receive your diagnosis and begin your recovery. California has a two-year statute of limitations when it comes to personal injury claim. But delaying your medical treatment could delay your case and car accident settlement. Seeking prompt medical attention also helps document the type of injuries you suffered and the treatment you sought.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured, it is important that you contact an experienced car accident attorney in Orange County who can help you prove your case and secure maximum compensation for your losses. You also need a vocal advocate who can help you pay your medical expenses and document all your losses, including compensation for future treatment and care. Call Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at (714) 898-4444 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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