Dayton, Ohio – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last reported that nearly 3.9 million people were treated in an emergency department following a motor vehicle accident.
With so many injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents on an annual basis, it is no wonder a frequently asked question shortly after an accident is about medical treatment and what type of physician should be consulted.
Lawyers are not doctors and should not give medical advice. However, the only way to ensure that you are free from injury is to be evaluated by a physician. So, when is the best time to see a physician and what type of physician should be seen? The answer is simple: after you experience or recognize any physical abnormality.
When Should I See a Doctor?
The sooner, the better. A delay in medical treatment can significantly jeopardize your claim. Insurance companies typically criticize claims that do not include medical treatment within 72 hours of the accident. The rationale (which we disagree with!) is that those injured in an accident would not wait 72 hours or longer to receive medical treatment. Therefore, any complaints forming after 72 hours “must not be related” to the accident.
Insurance companies will use any argument, even frivolous arguments, to minimize your claim and deny you compensation. If you have been in an accident and sustained any physical injury (headaches, soreness, stiffness, loss of range of motion, loss of strength, etc.), it is important to seek medical treatment immediately.
What Type of Doctor Should I See?
It is recommended that you seek medical treatment from a hospital emergency department if you experience any injuries after an accident. While this is common sense for catastrophic and obvious injuries, medical treatment options can be more confusing if you have not sought emergency treatment and experience a slow onset of physical problems. Primary care physicians and chiropractors are often good places to begin treatment. Primary care physicians will provide a basic and general diagnosis, then make the appropriate referral to a chiropractor, physician or physical therapy office. Chiropractors often deal with soft-tissue injuries which are commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents and are trained to treat soft-tissues injuries while also making referrals for more specialized care (neurologist, neurosurgeon, etc.).
Who Pays for All This Medical Treatment?
There answer is not as simple as you think! There are various options governed by law and an experienced personal injury lawyer should help navigate these bumpy waters. Typical considerations include private health insurance, Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid and Medicaid Management Health Organizations, Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay), Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Liability Insurance and No Insurance. You can read more detail about this process in our previous blog post found here.
The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman handle claims involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death. We routinely recover compensation on cases that other law firms reject.
Cowan & Hilgeman offers free personal injury case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your personal injury case.