Should I go to the hospital after a car accident?

Car accidents can be scary, whether you were only involved in a minor fender bender or a much more serious crash. Even if you try to stay calm, adrenaline is most likely flowing through your brain at the moment after an accident. The adrenaline can cloud your normally sound judgment as your body reacts to the perceived threat, and can also mask the aches and pains of any injury you may have incurred during the accident.

Man has sore neck after a car crash

For this reason, even if you don’t think you’re hurt after a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as it’s reasonably possible following the crash. Choosing to seek medical care is a straightforward decision, but choosing which medical facility is best suited for your injury needs can be a little more confusing. Do you need to seek treatment from an emergency room or is an urgent care facility a better fit? Knowing the differences between two of the options available to you can help you make an informed decision about where to best be treated after your car accident.

Any time you are hurt in a car accident, be sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to document your injuries and have a record connecting them to the date of the accident. You can then talk to a Tampa car accident lawyer to get help seeking compensation from the people responsible for your injuries.

Differences in Treatments Available Between ER and Clinic

If you have sustained serious or life-threatening injuries, always head to the emergency room at the nearest available hospital. This includes if you are in serious pain or are experiencing limited mobility.

Emergency rooms are equipped to handle car accident emergencies, such as serious burns, internal injuries, major bone breaks, trauma, and breathing issues.

If you haven’t suffered any major injuries, urgent care may be a better choice for you. Urgent care centers can deal with many minor injuries associated with vehicular accidents.

As mentioned above, even if you don’t feel injured at the time of the crash, it is still important that you head to an urgent care center or clinic to get checked out by a doctor in case the adrenaline is hiding any injuries. Even if you really don’t see a need, seeking medical treatment and receiving a doctor’s report following the crash is often the only evidence that you will have that you were injured. This evidence will become important if you are looking to file a claim with your insurance or need to file a personal injury suit later.

Differences in Waiting Times

Even though urgent care centers sometimes have a long wait time, emergency rooms typically take longer to treat patients, especially those who are not critically injured.

Urgent care clinics typically operate under the “first come, first served” model of service, ensuring that you have a solid place in line while waiting, whereas you are not guaranteed a certain place in line at the emergency room. Even once you’ve been called back to a room in the emergency department, you still may have to wait a long time as more urgent needs will supersede your own.

Urgent care centers are typically open outside of normal business hours, giving you an option other than the emergency room for accidents that happen at odd times. If you are not critically or seriously injured, it is likely that an urgent care facility will be able to treat you more quickly than an emergency room.

Differences in Cost

One of the main reasons why people may choose not to receive medical attention unless absolutely necessary after a car crash is the cost associated with medical care. Though neither option is completely free, spending this money now may help you save in the future. As mentioned earlier, without a doctor’s report detailing your injury, you may not be able to receive money to help cover your medical care from your insurance or the driver at fault, if you should decide to file a personal injury claim in the future.

Generally speaking, an urgent care facility will be able to treat you more cheaply than a hospital. If you are concerned about the cost of your care and don’t have life-threatening injuries, choosing to go to an urgent care facility can help save you money. Both urgent care centers and emergency rooms will have cost-sharing, sometimes including a deductible and copays. However, because emergency departments technically provide services through multiple service providers, and the overall costs of care are higher, you are likely to pay many times what you would at an urgent care facility by visiting the ER.

Ultimately, the decision about where to receive medical care after an accident lies with you. The important thing is that you decide to seek treatment at all. You should choose to go to wherever you will feel the most comfortable and confident in the care you are receiving. Either facility will be able to provide you with the paperwork you need to be able to prove you sustained injuries due to the auto accident in which you were involved.

Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Tampa

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries or even death, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced car accident attorney. At Darrigo & Diaz, our experienced attorneys have been representing car accident victims in the Tampa area for over 20 years.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, an attorney from our firm will be able to guide you through the stressful time following the accident, allowing you to heal while resting in the knowledge that you have someone on your side. If you are unsure about the next steps, one of our attorneys can help guide you and ensure that everything that needs to be taken care of will be. If you decide to file a personal injury claim, your experienced Tampa car accident attorney can help gather evidence, both of your injury and to prove that the other driver was at fault.

Our attorneys will fight for you and help ensure that you have the best chance possible at receiving compensation for the injuries you or your loved ones received as the result of a car accident. To meet with one of our experienced attorneys at no cost or obligation to you, please call us at (813) 774-3341 or contact us online. During your free case consultation, we will listen to the specifics of your case and provide you with personalized advice about how to best move forward.


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