Should I Go to the Hospital After a Florida Car Accident?
It’s hard to think clearly after a car accident, including figuring out the best course of action for medical treatment moments after a crash. Should you go to the hospital, see your regular doctor or a chiropractor, or go home and see what happens?
Going to the hospital may be recommended as a first course of action after a car accident, as well as other options that personal injury attorneys may suggest.
Why Seeking Medical Treatment is Important
Whether your car accident resulted in severe property damage, or it was more of a fender bender, it’s crucial that you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible. This is true even if you don’t immediately notice any injuries.
Often, the adrenaline rush from an accident results in you not feeling pain or noticing anything is wrong until hours (or days) later. Your body is in “fight or flight” mode, so you might have sustained a severe injury without realizing it. Even soft tissue injuries can lead to permanent consequences if they’re not treated promptly.
Delaying medical treatment for accident injuries is not only dangerous for your health, but it can also jeopardize a personal injury case. Without documentation from a doctor about the injuries that you experienced due to the accident, the insurance companies can argue that you were not actually injured.
Alternatively, if there is later evidence of an injury, but you did not seek immediate medical treatment, the insurance company may claim that your injuries existed before the crash, and are, therefore, not eligible for compensation.
Therefore, even if you are not positive about the extent of injuries in the accident, it’s always a good idea to visit a doctor to confirm that nothing is damaged.
Pros and Cons of Going to the Hospital for Post-Accident Medical Care
When you have apparent injuries that need immediate treatment, going to the hospital is a logical choice. There are several benefits associated with hospital care after a Florida accident:
- You can be seen without an appointment
- You have access to a specialized medical team
- State-of-the-art equipment is onsite for diagnostics and treatment
- You cannot be denied care or turned away
- You can fill your prescriptions at the hospital with minimal waiting
- Piece of mind
However, there are also significant drawbacks:
- Long wait times
- Services tend to be more expensive
- The hospital typically checks for life-threatening injuries and does not provide any care for soft-tissue injuries to your spine
Medical Alternatives to the Hospital
A 24/7 emergency clinic can combine the best features of a hospital and a regular doctor’s office. You can get seen immediately by a specialist without paying the high prices that tend to be associated with hospital emergency rooms.
Addressing Cost Concerns of Medical Treatment
One of the reasons people fail to go to the doctor or a hospital after a car accident is the fear of high medical bills, especially if they don’t have health insurance. Florida requires that drivers maintain PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage, which will cover your expenses up to the $10,000 limit set by the state.
Further, to file a PIP claim, you must seek medical care within 14 days of the accident. Otherwise, you may not be able to receive the benefits of this coverage.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
“Should I go to the hospital after a Florida car accident?” is a question many people ask, and the short answer is that it depends on several factors. If your injuries are catastrophic, then it’s a resounding yes.
Get medical care, either from a hospital or your regular doctor, as soon as possible. This is the best decision for your health, and it can also help your personal injury claim. To schedule a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at Lyons & Snyder, call us at 786-605-8500 or contact us online.