What Type of Doctor Should a Car Crash Victim See?

woman with arm in braceThe most important thing to do after getting injured in a car crash is to seek medical treatment. You need to be evaluated by a qualified medical professional to diagnose, stabilize and begin treating your injuries.

But what type of doctor should you see? Can you go to your primary care doctor? Do you need to be seen by a specialist who has detailed knowledge about the type of injury you suffered?

These are all important questions. We discuss this issue in detail below, and if you have more questions, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis car crash attorneys are here to answer them. We know this is a confusing time, as we have helped countless crash victims through the legal process.

Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about our services.

Should You Just go to the Emergency Room?

Many crash victims decide to go to the emergency room, and this is often the best option, particularly for severe injuries. Some victims are taken directly to the hospital via ambulance, as they have severe or life-threatening injuries that need to be treated right away. If the crash happened in the evening or at night, an emergency room may be the only option.

If you can walk away from the crash, you may not think your injuries are severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. However, that may not be the case. Minor symptoms could be a sign of something more serious.

Maybe you hit your head but there is no bruise, and it is not bleeding. However, even if you did not lose consciousness, you could have suffered a brain injury. Pain in your abdomen could be a sign of internal bleeding or damage to an internal organ. Waiting to seek treatment could allow things to get much worse.

Even if you only go to the emergency room out of an abundance of caution, this is better than waiting to seek treatment. The good thing about an emergency room is they have the equipment to diagnose your injuries and the expertise to start treatment.

Are Urgent Care Centers Similar to Emergency Rooms?

While primary care doctor’s offices are often closed in the early evening or even late afternoon, urgent care centers may still be open. This may be a viable option, depending on the severity of your injury. If an injury is too severe, the urgent care center is likely to just send you to the emergency room. They are not set up to treat true medical emergencies.

Some victims may need an extra push to go to the emergency room and being sent there by a doctor at an urgent care center may be that extra push.

Even if you go to the emergency room and find out your injuries are not that bad, it is better to know than to be uncertain.

Can My Primary Care Doctor Treat Me?

Some primary care doctors have a blanket policy of not treating crash victims. Not only are primary care doctor’s offices not set up to bill auto insurance for crash victims, but some family practice doctors may not want to deal with the extra legal paperwork required by insurance companies or lawyers. They also may have a fear of the legal process such as being called to testify at a deposition or in a trial.

Even though you may be comfortable with your primary care doctor, it is probably best to only see the family doctor once in the beginning and then transfer your care to a facility set up to work with auto insurance and lawyers. Once your injuries have been diagnosed, you will want to be referred to specialists for better specialized treatment

Another problem with seeing your primary care doctor first is that you may not be able to see him or her soon after the crash. Typically, you need to make an appointment and you might not be able to get one for one day or more following the crash.

You do not want to have a significant gap in time between the crash and when you started medical treatment. The insurance company may use this as a reason to claim you were injured by something besides the crash. They may also claim your injuries are not that severe, otherwise you would have sought treatment sooner.

Explaining Your Injuries

When you meet with a doctor after a crash, be sure to explain all the symptoms you are experiencing, even if you think they are minor in nature. Tell the doctor about the body parts that were impacted in the crash. For example, did you hit your arm on something? Did your head hit the steering wheel?

If you have been seeking treatment for an existing health issue, tell the doctor. He or she may be able to determine if the crash could make that existing injury worse.

Contact TSR Injury Law to Discuss Your Claim

You may be thinking you do not need to work with an attorney because Minnesota is a no-fault state, and you will be dealing with your own insurance company.

However, insurance companies are committed to profit, not providing full compensation to policyholders who file claims. Even claims that seem perfectly valid could be denied or undervalued by the insurance company.

You need a trusted advocate fighting for your best interests. At TSR, there are no upfront fees or legal obligations. If you decide to hire our firm, we do not get paid unless you get paid.

Call TSR Injury Law today for legal help. (612) TSR-TIME