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Should I Visit the ER or a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

on  Car Accidents

As an international tourism destination and important business center, Florida is a dynamic place, constantly in motion. Anxious drivers are always hastening from one activity to the next, making traffic quite intense. This has made Florida one of the states with the worst statistics for car accidents.

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), approximately 200,000 car accidents happen in Florida every day. That adds up to more than 500 car crashes every day.

In many of these accidents, people are lucky enough to walk out with minor injuries. But sometimes, the injuries attained are so severe that victims have to rush to the hospital.

If you experience the misfortune of being involved in a car crash, you may find the situation painful and overwhelming.

Whether it is a minor fender bender or a big crash, and no matter how slight or severe your injuries are, it’s always best to seek medical attention to ascertain the severity of the injuries. Choosing which health professional to see after a car accident can be confusing. You sometimes don’t know whether to go to the emergency room, urgent care, or see a chiropractor.

Here’s what you need to know when choosing the type of doctor to visit after a car crash.

ER or Chiropractic Treatment for Car Accident Injuries?

After being involved in a car accident, the first thing you need to do as a victim is to seek medical attention. Many times, car crash victims will feel little to no pain after the initial impact of the crash. The pain usually develops a couple of hours after the incident, sometimes after a day has passed. Still, those involved in the crash should always seek medical attention from the emergency room, urgent care, or chiropractor.

When you suffer car accident injuries, many parts of the body are affected.

Medical doctors at the ER cover general health and wellness. They may be able to determine which part of the body is affected and the extent of your injury, and in cases such as whiplash, they refer you to someone better placed to treat it like a chiropractor.

Chiropractors focus on the spine and the musculoskeletal system in general.

When to go to the Emergency Room

After a car accident, it’s critical to get checked by a medical doctor as soon as possible. This will protect your life, health, and legal rights for possible compensation from your insurance company.

If you feel moderate to severe injury after a car accident, you should always rush to the emergency room for treatment. As the name implies, emergency rooms are best suited for life-threatening emergencies such as major broken bones, uncontrollable bleeding, severe burns, severe trauma, and breathing difficulties.

The emergency room has registered doctors who are well equipped to treat your trauma and other severe injuries, and they can see you as soon as possible without an appointment.

If you don’t feel any pain or your injuries are less severe, and you don’t believe you need the ER, urgent care may be another viable option to get a medical assessment for accident-related injuries. The extent of car crash injuries can hide under the initial adrenaline rush that pumps through the body after such a stressful incident. So, even if you don’t feel like you need to, you should visit urgent care for examination.

Since emergency room visits can be expensive, it’s essential to obtain medical proof as soon as you can for insurance purposes. Depending on your auto insurance policy type, personal injury protection (PIP) policy may cover emergency room visits. PIP coverage gets active after colliding with another motor vehicle, pedestrian, or object.

With your life and health at stake, it’s crucial to make safety your priority after an auto accident. Going to the ER helps you receive the medical care you need and immediately begin a suitable treatment program. Emergency room doctors know how to handle the type of trauma your body experiences after a crash, check for any underlying medical issues, and provide a pain relief plan. Moreover, it helps you file your legal claim and take the necessary steps to receive the compensation you may deserve.

When to See a Chiropractor

Some car crash injuries are serious enough that they demand a trip to the emergency room, maybe even using an ambulance. But what if the pain that you believe would be best handled by a chiropractor?

Essentially, it’s always best to see a chiropractor after an accident regardless of whether you go to the ER or not. Without a head trauma, excessive bleeding, or broken bones, you may feel a visit to the ER isn’t necessary but seeing chiropractic is.

The most common type of injury victims experience in an auto accident is whiplash.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a fall. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.”

Although it’s stated that you should see a chiropractor if you feel neck pain or other symptoms of whiplash (including pain in the back, arms, or shoulders; tingling or burning sensations; constant; headaches; nausea; blurred vision; dizziness, and depression).

Often, whiplash symptoms take time to develop fully due to various reasons. A chiropractor will perform a medical exam or workup to examine your condition. This will help identify your injury so that you seek prompt medical care. After the exam, the chiropractor will create a report with results and recommendations, which you can use to decide your next treatment steps and whether or not a chiropractic program is right for you. If your injury is severe or outside what a chiropractic treatment plan can solve, the chiropractor will refer you to the right doctor to treat the type of injury you obtained.

Waiting Times at Emergency Rooms vs. Chiropractic Care

When considering waiting times at each facility, chiropractic care has less traffic than emergency rooms. Urgent cares are typically the fastest, with a wait time of fewer than 15 minutes. Emergency rooms have high traffic, and if another patient has a severe case needing immediate attention, you’ll have to wait even longer. However, most emergency rooms are open at all hours each day of the week, allowing patients to seek medication at any time. Chiropractic care, however, works with fixed times of the day, meaning some hours of the day, especially nights, the facilities are closed. Some chiropractors may need an earlier booking to get an appointment for treatment.

Cost Difference Between Emergency Rooms and Chiropractic Care

A major reason car crash victims may skip over visiting a health facility for medical attention is the cost of receiving the treatment. While this might be an obstacle, visiting a chiropractor or an ER after an auto accident is still important and could save you future health problems.

It is not a secret that emergency room visits tend to have a significant upcharge. But if you have life-threatening injuries, then it is worth it.

Visiting a chiropractor is generally less expensive than going to the emergency room. If you are worried about treatment costs and do not have severe injuries, you could save on costs by visiting a chiropractor or an urgent care. Besides, with solid proof of injuries, receipts for the bills, and a good car accident lawyer, you can win your personal injury claim against the other driver and get reasonable compensation for medical costs and any other damages incurred.

Ultimately, the decision to go to the ER, urgent care, or chiropractic care after a car accident is up to you. Either way, seeking medical attention will give you necessary health care and provide you with proper evidence of injury that may be necessary down the road when you file a lawsuit. Whichever you choose, ensure that you go to the right facility where you are most comfortable soon after the crash.

Why Your Choice of a Health facility is Important in a Lawsuit

After getting necessary medical care after a car accident, you may need to file a claim for either your auto insurance policy or compensation from another driver. Filing a claim for your auto insurance allows you to claim compensation for accident-related property damage and reimbursement for the medical bill. Similarly, if your crash was caused by another person’s negligence, then you have the right to file a claim for them to pay for the damages.

However, particular physicians from some specialties are often needed when filing a claim. The wrong health facility or doctor can dramatically lower your personal injury case value. Insurance companies and juries prioritize the opinion of an MD more than a chiropractor. Insurance companies will argue that those who go to chiropractic instead of the ER sustained less serious injuries leading to a lower settlement payment. So the decision regarding which doctor you visit after a car accident is vital to your case value.

If you or your loved one got into a car accident, contact us and get a free case evaluation. The legal team at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA  will work tirelessly to examine your crash and calculate your damages. The car accident attorneys will also negotiate with the insurance company covering the other driver for a fair settlement that fully compensates you.