After an auto accident, it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed and confused. This is true for any accident, regardless of if it is a minor fender bender or a more serious crash. The adrenaline pumping through your body takes over, making it hard to think clearly in these high-stress situations.
Even if you do not feel pain or discomfort immediately after your accident, you must be evaluated by a doctor. However, you may wonder – should you go to the emergency room or urgent care?
Emergency Room or Urgent Care After a Car Accident?
If you experience a serious or life-threatening injury in a car accident, go to the emergency room immediately. The emergency room (as the name implies) is suited to handle these situations. Injuries requiring ER treatment include major broken bones, breathing difficulties, severe trauma, severe burns, and uncontrollable bleeding.
For injuries that are not as serious, go to urgent care.
It is important to realize that car accidents can cause hidden injuries. These are the ones hidden by the adrenaline in your body. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you should be evaluated at urgent care to ensure you are not dealing with hidden injuries.
By seeking medical treatment immediately, you have medical proof of what happened and how severe the injuries are. If you file a claim, this proof is invaluable.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between the ER and Urgent Care After an Accident
For some, waiting time is a reason to avoid seeking medical attention.
At urgent care centers, the waiting time is usually less than what is seen in emergency rooms. In fact, most urgent care centers will have wait times of 15 minutes or less.
The time you wait at ERs is usually longer because these are “higher traffic” areas. Also, people are seen based on injury severity. If someone comes in with a more serious injury than you, after you, they will be seen and treated first.
While this is true, emergency rooms and urgent care centers are typically open at all hours. This means you can seek treatment no matter what time an accident occurs.
While waiting time can cause some people to put medical treatment off, another cause is the high cost of medical care. While this is a problem for some, going to an ER or urgent care center immediately after an accident may save you in the future.
If your personal injury claim against the at-fault driver is successful, you can often recover compensation for the accident-related medical costs. However, you will need proof of your injuries and statements of the care you received and the cost.
Usually, going to urgent care is less expensive than going to the emergency room. Going to urgent care is recommended if you are worried about the immediate cost of treatment and your injuries are not life-threatening.
Quality of Care
Urgent care facilities offer adequate treatment. In some situations, the doctors can provide you with the specific treatment you need. However, most emergency room doctors have more experience and areas of expertise than doctors in urgent care.
If you experienced a serious injury, it is best to go to the best doctors in your area, which are likely at the emergency room or hospital.
Comprehensive Testing and Referrals
When you go to the emergency room, it is about triage and treating immediate and severe issues. Emergency rooms do not provide ongoing care.
If your injuries are not life-threatening, the emergency room doctor will treat you and refer you to your primary care physician. If you go to an urgent care clinic, you will likely receive more comprehensive treatment before you leave.
This is usually because there is no urgency to free up space for incoming emergency room patients.
Let Our Corpus Christi Attorneys Help You File an Accident Claim
If you are involved in a car accident, seeking medical treatment immediately is recommended. In most cases, the severity of your injury will determine if you go to the emergency room or urgent care.
Regardless of where you choose to go, you must get evaluated by a doctor after an auto accident. The diagnosis and treatment you receive can be used if you file a claim for compensation.
We are here to help with the legal process. Contact our office and speak to our professional legal team to learn more about your rights and options.