After a car accident in which you are injured, the vast majority of the time, you will end up in the emergency room. Emergency rooms serve a vital function by providing care and injury assessment early on after a collision. Should you go to the ER after a car accident if you were hurt? Yes.
Many people misunderstand what being “discharged” by the emergency room means. This article gives you some helpful tips for getting treatment after an injury accident.
Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident?
Yes, if you have sustained any injury or even suspect an injury. Taking a chance with your health is not a good choice. Going to the hospital is probably unnecessary if you are not injured and have no discomfort.
Yet, time and again, we see people who thought they were not hurt right after the crash having major issues the next day or two. When in doubt, don’t take the chance is our advice.
Go to the ER after a car accident if it is a major impact or you feel any discomfort.
The Medical Professionals Will Determine if the Injury is Life-Threatening
Emergency rooms act as triage, trying to determine the severity of the injury soon. Emergency rooms are not designed to render ongoing care except in the most serious of cases where immediate surgery is required or the condition is life-threatening.
Be prepared for a long wait unless the staff deems your condition emergent. In Houston, TX wait time to be seen can take hours.
If your injury is not deemed life-threatening or requires immediate treatment, you will likely be discharged with instructions to follow up with your primary care doctor or a specialist.
The biggest mistake personal injury attorneys see is the injured not taking action to receive needed follow-up treatment after being discharged from the emergency room after an accident.
Follow up with the appropriate medical provider soon after being released from the hospital.
Be Careful What You Sign
When you are first transported to the hospital, you will be given many forms voluminous to sign to receive the treatment you need. If you have health insurance, make sure the hospital will bill your health insurance.
Some Texas hospitals refuse to bill health insurance when they learn the person was injured in an accident like an 18-wheeler wreck where the negligent party may have substantial insurance coverage.
Sign no assignment of benefits if you can avoid it and submit the hospital bills yourself to your health insurer. Also, follow up on the hospital bill payment by your health insurance.
The Hospital Charges Will Be High
In Texas, hospitals are given the opportunity to file a hospital lien. The hospital lien statute offers hospitals priority over you or other claimants from settlements from an accident.
Unfortunately, many hospitals have taken advantage of the power of the hospital lien and charge uninsured victims full rates that often are excessive. The good news is you or your car accident lawyer can often negotiate a reduction to excessive hospital charges.
If the hospital files a lien, always contact the hospital regarding a reduction of full billing amounts. Also, always provide your attorney with any correspondence about the hospital bill.
What the Nurse Writes Down About the Accident Matters
Inevitably, a nurse or other medical professional will ask you questions about the crash. You should keep the response on how the accident happened short and concise. Statements such as “I was rear-ended” or “he T-boned me” are okay, but long-winded descriptions of the accident can only hurt your injury claim.
Doctors and nurses don’t care about the facts on the cause of the crash as they are there to treat your injuries. Unfortunately, if you give a lengthy account of what happened, it only increases the chances that a nurse will paraphrase your description to your detriment.
If the statement is in your medical records, you will end up living with it. Statements on the stand, like “I did not say that,” are seldom believed by a jury if the medical records say otherwise.
Keep what you say about the collision short, true, and concise, or it will be used against you!
Tell the Medical Providers Every Place It Hurts
It is human nature to focus on the most painful areas. However, when being examined in the emergency room after an accident, you should mention every area of discomfort or pain, even if it seems relatively insignificant. Case after case has proven items that are not the most painful early can prove chronic later and a problem later on.
If you do not mention an area of discomfort in your initial doctor visit, you can be assured the insurance company will dispute the later identified injury.
Always tell the doctors about every area of discomfort or pain.
Call the Injury Attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm for a Consultation!
Get a Free Consultation about a personal injury accident. Call Baumgartner Law Firm in Houston for a no-obligation consultation about your rights, options, and next steps if another’s negligence hurts you. Call (281) 587-1111
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069