What You Should Know Before Going to the Emergency Room
Dec. 21, 2022
In 2020, there were nearly 16,000 people who were injured in car crashes in the state of Kansas. This data, courtesy of the Kansas Department of Transportation, is a startling reminder of just how many people are involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident every day. Understandably, after an accident like this, you’ll want to obtain medical attention as soon as possible and this often means a visit to the emergency room. However, there are some things you should know ahead of time about what to do and what not to do when visiting the ER after an accident.
If you’d like to learn more about this or your rights in the ER, contact a personal injury attorney at Grover Law Firm, LLC. Located in Overland Park, Kansas, the firm can handle cases throughout Kansas and Missouri, including Independence, Shawnee, Liberty, Olathe, and the entire Kansas City area.
Always Seek Medical Care After an Accident
Before discussing the rules for visiting the ER, it’s necessary to point out the importance of seeking medical care after an accident in general. Anytime you’re injured in an accident (even if your injuries are minor), you should be professionally evaluated by a doctor. Many times, injuries sustained after an accident can take days or even weeks to fully present themselves. If you wait too long to get care, it could mean that your injuries actually become worse. Additionally, you’ll want to start documenting all your medical treatment as soon as possible so you’ll have evidence should you want to file a personal injury claim.
What You Should Know Before Going to the ER
Many people want to know, “Should I go to the ER after an accident?” but the answer isn’t always so easy. Of course, if you’re in immediate need of medical attention, you should go to the ER right away. However, for more minor injuries, it may be okay to wait a day or two to see your own doctor or a specialist. If you do decide to visit the ER, keep these tips in mind:
Communicate all your injuries and pain
Anytime you visit a doctor, but especially at the ER, you want to disclose everything you can. It’s important to be 100% honest about all your symptoms and you should never leave anything out, even if you feel it’s only a minor symptom. Only a trained medical professional can adequately evaluate your condition to determine an accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, by clearly communicating all your injuries, you’ll have an accurate record to use when filing claims.
Watch what you say
Doctors and nurses should be recording all relevant information that you convey to them during your visit and this includes anything that has to do with your injuries or how you sustained them. Because of this, you should be careful about what you say to them regarding why an accident happened or who was at fault. This information can be useful for your own personal injury attorney to use, but it can also be used by the other driver’s insurance company if they’re trying to prove their policyholder wasn’t actually responsible for the crash.
Request copies of your records
Always retain copies of your records and any documentation you receive from the ER including charts, doctor’s notes, diagnosis, and billing statements. It’s easiest to request this at the time of your visit, but this can also be done after the fact.
Ask for written notes on your treatment plan
If your provider suggests continuing care or an ongoing treatment plan, ask them to write it out for you and make sure you retain a copy of this. Many car accident injuries can require months or even years of rehabilitative treatments and this means you could be visiting specialists or physical therapists long down the road. It’s essential that you not only follow these instructions, but also that you have documentation of them to use in your claim. The treatment will add additional costs to your total damages and they should be included in your final settlement.
Read before you sign
Finally, be careful what you sign. Anytime you enter the ER, you’ll be asked to sign several documents that allow the medical personnel to administer treatment and submit bills for your care. Whenever possible, read these documents before you sign so you fully understand what you’re agreeing to. Because your injuries were sustained due to an accident caused by someone else, you shouldn’t be held liable for paying any of the costs associated with care and this should be made clear to your provider and the records staff at the hospital.
Trusted Guidance When You Need It Most
If you’d like to speak with an experienced car accident attorney in the Overland Park, Kansas area including the state of Missouri, reach out to the team at Grover Law Firm, LLC to schedule a consultation.