What Doctor to See: After Car Accident Medical Care Advice
Car accidents and car accident injuries affect millions of Americans every year. There are thousands of motor vehicle crashes every day, most of which leave victims with some level of pain or injury. In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, it can become overwhelming trying to figure out where to go from there. Seeing the right doctor should certainly be the top priority.
Seeking medical care after a car accident is a must- even if the collision was minor and the injuries do not seem significant. The nature of car accident injuries is tricky, and a lot of things are not always obvious at first.
Other than a trip to the emergency room immediately after the incident, many people are confused and unsure what doctor to see. Is the usual primary care physician enough, or should I see a specialist? If a specialist is the answer, what department is relevant? Read on to learn more.
What Kind of Doctor Is Best to See After a Car Accident?
Various medical professionals could be relevant after a car accident. It largely comes down to the types of injuries suffered. Car accident victims suffer from an extensive range of injuries- all of which have a different specialist to look at them. In general, the best doctor to see first (other than the emergency room doctor straight after the incident) is a personal injury doctor.
Some doctors specialize in assessing overall injuries. There are even some dedicated car accident doctors. If you have one near you, then this is the best option. The emergency room doctors are likely to refer you to somebody with the relevant expertise, but it may still be worth getting looked at in a personal injury doctor's practice.
Car accident doctors know what to look for and how to report it for the purpose of a claim.
Is a Primary Care Doctor a Suitable Choice?
A primary care doctor is not the best choice after a car accident. Of course, anybody can go to see their main medical doctor for an opinion or advice, but it should not be the only trip they make.
Why Not to Visit a Primary Care Physician
Primary care doctors look at general health, not traumatic injuries. If a person goes to visit their regular doctor after a car accident, they are probably going to be sent elsewhere. Most doctors working in a general primary care practice do not have the access to everything needed to diagnose and treat car accident injuries accurately- especially in severe cases. Even an ER doctor is going to send car accident injuries to other departments eventually.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The best doctor to see in the long run depends on the types of injuries the person has. These common injuries are amongst the possible effects a car crash can have.
Whiplash and Neck Pain
A treating physician can diagnose whiplash very easily and provide pain medication accordingly. Although whiplash does not usually last for very long, there are other types of chronic pain that come with neck injuries.
The neck is a sensitive area with many muscles and soft tissues. Serious injuries to the neck can lead to life-changing problems that only specialized treatment by a qualified doctor and rehabilitation can ever hope to treat.
Soft Tissue Damage (Lacerations, Bruising, etc.)
One of the most common injuries after a car accident is soft tissue damage. Any medical professional can treat cuts and bruises- some can even be cared for at home. It is still essential to visit an emergency room doctor if these are the only symptoms showing, as they could symbolize internal bleeding or some other damage.
A concussion is potentially very dangerous and can sometimes require urgent care. The immediate symptoms include dizziness, trouble focusing the eyes, and a desire to sleep. Again, a physical examination at the ER is a must.
Orthopedic doctors are popular with car accident victims because of all the broken bones. They are specific injuries that require assistance from a certain department. An orthopedic specialist is the best person to see for medical care and any further treatment for the broken bone.
The care for this type of injury is long-winded since it takes time to fully heal. Other types of doctors may come into play later depending on the place of the break and how long it has been in recovery.
Torn or Strained Muscles
Torn muscles can cause significant pain and may require physical therapy. Although not life-threatening, they can become quite debilitating if not properly cared for. The treatment process for muscle damage involves several types of doctors, which is why it is best to see a doctor who can provide a full overview first.
If a damaged muscle does not improve, the best doctor to call is a physical therapist. They can run some exercises and arrange scans to find out what exactly is causing the pain.
Some car accident victims suffer burns over part of their bodies. Burns units in hospitals have many specialist doctors, including recovery doctors, therapists, cosmetic doctors, and people to look after the general well-being of the wound and person.
If a person starts to notice a burn wound beginning to look infected or it is not healing well, they can visit their primary care physician who can assess the situation and refer further if necessary.
Damage to the Nerves
Many car accident injuries can lead to nerve damage, in varying degrees of severity. The best doctor to see in this case is a physical therapist, but a general personal injury doctor can help to refer you.
Common parts of the body where nerve damage can happen are the hands, feet, and limbs since they are often the first things to get hit during a crash. If a person starts to experience numbness, tingling, or burning pain in their extremities, they should contact a doctor that works with nerve treatment.
A herniated disc, fracture to the vertebrae, or a severed spinal cord are all examples of spinal injuries that can result from a car accident. Doctors who work with spinal injuries are usually referred by the personal injury doctor or ER attendant that first examines the patient.
The chances are that anyone who suffers a spinal injury in a car accident is taken to hospital immediately in an ambulance and the relevant specialists are arranged and waiting.
Brain damage is, of course, one of the most severe possible outcomes, but it can happen. A neurologist is amongst the long list of doctors involved with caring for brain damage patients. It can take several types of doctors, all of whom are likely to be assigned upon a visit to the ER after the accident.
If there is even the slightest hint of a head injury, the injured party must get to a hospital as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence in cases like that because death is a possible result of this injury.
When to Call a Doctor
The time to call the doctor is immediately. Contacting an ambulance or emergency services at the accident scene for severe injuries is a must, as not all injuries show straight away. Time is crucial in a situation like this, so don't waste it.
Don't wait until the injuries worsen. The earlier a doctor can assess the situation, the sooner the road to recovery can begin. It also helps when the lawyer goes to the insurance company to make a compensation claim.
A car accident doctor or personal injury doctor is the best choice for all victims of car accidents to see. After an auto accident, it is easy to get distracted, but this is something that should never wait. If the injury is specific, then a specialist is also necessary. A personal injury doctor can help to arrange a consultation and can help you get a settlement.
Don't forget to call an ambulance if there is any chance that one of the parties has sustained an injury. At least head straight to the ER afterward to get checked out.
Call Us Today for Expert Advice and Assistance
A doctor is not the only person you need to call. The best car accident lawyers in Columbus are here to pursue justice and compensation on the injured party's behalf so that they can focus on healing and recovering.
If you have suffered a car accident injury, The Keating Firm is here to help. We support accident victims and help them through the legal process that usually follows. Our team is amongst the most advanced and experienced in the state when it comes to personal injury and pain and suffering. You can expect unrivaled dedication, attention to detail, and legal talent- all put to work to get you the help that you deserve.
Call now to arrange a free consultation. The Keating Firm LCD is the second call to make after you speak to a doctor.