Choosing Between the ER and Urgent Care After a Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car crash, you should see a doctor. Which doctor to see can be a more challenging question. There are several considerations to keep in mind, including the severity of your injuries, the treatment you might need, how much the medical care will cost, and others. Read on for advice on how to decide between the emergency room and other treatment options after a car crash, and call an experienced Kingston car accident lawyer for help after an accident in New York’s Hudson Valley.
How Serious is Your Injury?
Determining where to go for medical attention after a car accident depends on a number of factors. First and foremost, however, you must assess the severity of your injuries. If you are suffering from critical or life-threatening injuries, you need to get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Accept the assistance of emergency response officials and take the ambulance ride; worry about cost and reimbursement later.
Even if your injuries are not life-threatening, if they are particularly serious, you should still likely head to the emergency room. Serious injuries can become life-threatening or permanent if you do not get emergency treatment quickly. It is only when your injuries are not critical that you should be weighing your options for where to seek diagnosis and treatment.
Differences Between Urgent Care and ER
Assuming you are not suffering from a critical injury and instead are concerned about things like lacerations and bruises or possible fractures, you’ll need to decide where to go. It’s still important to get to a doctor as soon as you can after an accident; you could have hidden injuries such as organ damage, a concussion, or internal bleeding, and it’s important to get those diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Additionally, if you wait to see a doctor, a negligent driver or insurance provider might try to argue that your injuries arose after the accident in some other situation, limiting your chance at obtaining a full recovery.
Many factors might weigh into your decision. Urgent care centers and hospital emergency rooms differ in many key ways, but ultimately your preferences, the nature of your injuries, and other aspects of your situation will be the ultimate deciding factor. Some of the elements to keep in mind include:
- Waiting time. Urgent care centers are typically much faster. Patients typically wait fewer than 15 minutes to see a doctor at an urgent care clinic, while they may need to wait one or more hours to see an emergency room doctor (assuming the patient is not in critical condition).
- Cost. Accident victims are often hesitant to seek medical attention because of the cost. And, indeed, it’s true that medical care in the United States is extremely, and often prohibitively, expensive. If you were injured through someone else’s negligence, however, then your medical bills should ultimately be covered by that driver or their insurance. Typically, emergency rooms are significantly more expensive than urgent care visits.
- Quality of care. While you can expect to get perfectly adequate treatment at an urgent care clinic, and in some cases the physicians there might be exceedingly competent, on average the physicians in the emergency room are more likely to be the best in the region. If you have a serious injury, you want the added comfort of having the best doctors around giving you their attention.
- Comprehensive testing, referrals. Emergency room care is about triage, fixing immediate, emergency problems. Emergency rooms are not about long-term treatment and ongoing care. Often, if your injuries are not life-threatening, they’ll treat what they see and then refer you to a primary care physician. An urgent care clinic may be more inclined to give more comprehensive care before discharging you, as there is less urgency to free up space for the next emergency patient.
Whatever you decide, make sure you get medical attention soon after your accident. Call a seasoned car accident lawyer for advice and assistance in recovering compensation for your medical costs and other damages.
Seasoned Advice and Representation After a Hudson Valley Car Accident
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a negligent driver in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the efficient and effective Hudson Valley car crash lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a free consultation at 845-331-4100 (Kingston) or 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).