Whether you have suffered a severe injury or don’t feel any symptoms yet, finding a doctor is one of the most important steps you can take after a car accident. Not only will early medical care help improve chances of recovery, but it can also be helpful to any insurance claims as well. Because car accidents are not a common occurrence, you may not be sure where to go first. Read on for 5 tips on how to seek treatment whether you are having soreness, trouble with motion, or a headache after a car accident.
1. Seek Medical Care As Soon as Possible
This goes without saying when it comes to emergency care, and most likely you will have some provided at the scene of the accident. But after any urgent issues are treated, or if you are lucky enough to walk away seemingly unscathed, it is still important to continue seeking care. Many common aches and pains from car accident injuries do not begin to appear until hours or days after the accident itself, long after the first responders have left. Concussions, whiplash, soft tissue damage, and spinal injuries can all appear with delayed symptoms, but can be detected early with a trip to the doctor. This proactive visit will allow you to discover any injuries and begin treating them immediately.
Additionally, there is usually a period of time in which insurance expects you to seek medical treatment in order to include your injuries in a claim. Finding a doctor quickly shows that you are taking your health seriously and can help with future compensation.
2. Choose a Specialist Rather Than Your PCP
While your primary care physician is most likely a great doctor, they are not the best choice to see after an accident. Their area of specialty has more to do with internal medicine and long-term conditions than immediate injuries. If you visit your PCP with a broken bone or headache after a car accident, they will most likely refer to you a specialist anyway, adding time before you are able to get the proper care.
Instead, a car accident specialist will be able to identify and treat your injuries quickly. They will also be very familiar with the process of documenting your injuries in the way required by insurance and legal parties. These medical records tend to be more accurate and can improve your chances of winning a personal injury claims case.
3. Be Open with Your Doctor
A doctor will need your complete medical history in order to properly treat any new injuries or conditions. Many people are hesitant to tell a car accident doctor about pre-existing conditions, but this is not only helpful for your claim, but it is actually required. Not disclosing an accurate history can be used against you. For this reason, you will need to talk to your doctor about the circumstances surrounding your accident, what symptoms you have and when they began, as well as a full medical history.
This also helps them to accurately diagnose your injury and treat it properly, which will lead to a better recovery in the long run.
4. Listen to Those You Trust
When searching for the right doctor, it can be tempting to find the first one with availability to be proactive. But a little bit of research can go a long way. Something as simple as reading reviews online will help you understand what kind of service you can expect, where a doctor’s expertise lies, and if they are a good fit for you.
But more than reviews online, ask for recommendations from friends and family. Word of mouth is the best way to discover a skilled practitioner, so if you have anyone who has been in an accident before, see who they went to and if they were satisfied.
5. Accident Experience Is the Gold Standard
The most common doctors you may be sent to after an accident include chiropractors, orthopedists, and neurologists, which are all excellent fits for many common injuries. Many of these physicians actually specialize not only in their field, but specifically in treating people with injuries related to car accidents. They will be familiar with the mechanics of the body after a car accident, as well as the billing and paperwork process required for these patients.
AICA Marietta offers a team of specialists, including physical therapists and radiologists in addition to physicians, who see accident victims every day. Whether you are suffering a headache after a car accident, fear you may have broken a bone, or simply want to be evaluated out of caution, AICA Marietta will be able to diagnose you and create a personalized treatment plan. Call us today to learn more!