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Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident?

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision

If you were involved in a car crash, there are important steps to take in order to protect your health, protect your livelihood, and preserve your rights. Many people wonder if they should go to the hospital after a crash, especially if they are not sure that they have any major injuries. Below, our experienced Pasadena car crash lawyer discusses a few reasons why you should always seek medical attention after a car crash, even if you are not sure whether you are hurt.

You Might Have Hidden Injuries

Not all injuries are readily apparent. A car crash can injure you in dozens of different ways, including traumatic brain injury, organ damage, muscle sprains, and more. You could have a latent injury such as internal bleeding, damaged organs, or concussion, and you might not experience any symptoms for hours or even days after a crash. These types of injuries can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, even though you might not even know you are injured at the time. If you were in a crash with any level of severity, it is important to get checked out just in case.

Prove the Accident Caused Your Injury

If you were hurt in a crash by another driver, securing full compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages requires proving both that the other driver was at fault and that they were the cause of your injuries. The at-fault driver and/or their insurance provider will likely hire a lawyer to try to lessen their liability.

One common defense to personal injury claims is that the complained-of injury was not actually caused by the accident in question. If you wait a week to see a doctor, the defense might argue that whatever injury diagnosis you ultimately receive resulted from something other than the car crash. Seeing a doctor right after the accident strongly undercuts the defense’s ability to disclaim liability for your injuries.

Emergency Room vs. Walk-in Clinic vs. Chiropractor

Having decided that you should see some sort of medical professional after your car crash, you must then decide which type of medical center to visit. If you have a serious, critical injury, you should certainly go to the emergency room as soon as possible. If your injuries are less severe, then your best option depends more on your circumstances.

Hospitals are likely to have the best doctors in the community, meaning you will receive the best diagnosis and treatment. If you believe you might have serious injuries, then the hospital is likely your best option. If you believe you have more minor injuries, then you might consider a walk-in clinic. You are likely to see a doctor much faster at an urgent care clinic than at a hospital. Hospital wait times can range up to several hours, especially if your injuries do not appear severe and other, more seriously injured patients arrive. Urgent clinics may be able to see you in a matter of minutes. Additionally, urgent care clinics will be less expensive, which can be a relief in the short-term even if you expect to be repaid through your personal injury claim later on. Whether you choose to go to the hospital or urgent care clinic thus depends on the severity of your injuries and your financial circumstances, among other considerations.

We should mention that some folks choose to go to a chiropractor after a crash. While chiropractors can be helpful in treating muscle, ligament, and joint pain, their expertise and the treatments they offer are limited. Insurance companies are also likely to downplay the severity of injury claims if the victim only sees a chiropractor rather than visiting a medical doctor. We strongly advise going to a physician for diagnosis and treatment, even if you also go to a chiropractor.

Help With Your Pasadena Car Crash Injury Claims

If a negligent driver in southern California has hurt you or someone you love, speak with an attorney who understands your concerns and can protect your interests with dedication and efficiency. Call Pasadena car accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.

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