5 Things You Need to Know About Going to the Emergency Room After a Car Accident
Brian White | December 10, 2020 | Auto Accidents
When a person is seriously injured in a car accident it is very common for them to be taken to an emergency room for treatment. While it might seem straightforward, what happens at the emergency room can greatly impact a case should that person decide to pursue legal action against the party responsible for their injuries.
What you say to the doctors and nurses who treat you can eventually make or break your case. While you might still be reeling from the accident, if you can remember five key things about going to the emergency room after an accident, it will help your case immensely.
Inform Medical Staff of All Your Injuries
One thing that is common is for crash victims to only identify their most significant car accident injuries. To some extent this makes sense, especially in emergency rooms where patients are triaged by doctors and nurses.
Because your head and neck are badly injured and you want to make sure those areas receive the most care from the medical staff, you might emphasize those injuries. But it is a mistake to overlook smaller injuries.
Not only could those smaller injuries become more serious later on, but they also could indicate other serious injuries. Finally, and unfortunately, too often it is the case that a person is denied fair compensation to pay for the treatment of injuries they failed to mention right away.
If you don’t mention the bruising on your legs, the pain in your foot, or other injuries, an insurance company might argue they were not the result of the accident.
Seek Follow Up Treatment After You are Discharged
In addition to identifying all of your injuries, it is important you seek follow up treatment after you are discharged. Doctors primarily treat life-threatening injuries in emergency rooms. If your injuries are determined not to be life-threatening you will be discharged relatively quickly. That does not mean you don’t need further treatment.
Failing to seek further treatment, even for minor injuries, can also be used by insurance companies to argue that you weren’t really injured in the accident. This could hurt your case and reduce the amount of compensation you might be able to recover.
Read All Documents Before Signing
Before you are discharged, you will likely be required to sign a mountain of paperwork. Make sure you read and understand each and every document you put your signature on.
If you sign something that makes it seem the extent of your injuries is limited or that you are accepting responsibility for your injuries, it could hurt your chances of recovering damages later on.
Keep Descriptions of the Accident Concise
When you tell your doctor or nurse how you got your injuries, it can be tempting to go into great detail about the accident. Unfortunately, your story could get twisted as medical staff paraphrases your story.
It is often best practice to keep all statements about your accident concise. The doctors and nurses who are treating you are mainly concerned about your injuries. However, if they write something in their reports that indicate you didn’t think the other driver was at fault, it could hurt your case either in settlement negotiations or in trial.
Hire a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Finally, because emergency room visits are so important to car accident cases, it is important to hire a qualified car accident lawyer as soon as possible. This can be right after you are discharged or even while you are still in the hospital.