Seeing a Doctor
When you get into a car accident, the first thought that will likely pop into your head is, “Am I injured?”
Based on our experience in working with auto accident victims in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and throughout Texas, we can assure you: If another driver’s negligence caused the crash, your injuries – and the treatment they require – will continue to be the primary focus for you.
Here, we examine the role that medical treatment will play in your case as you pursue compensation through an auto insurance claim or, if necessary, through a lawsuit. Of course, to discuss medical treatment and all related issues in your case, please call Tate Law Offices today or reach us online. We can provide a free consultation.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
First, let’s review the injuries that you are most likely to suffer in an auto accident. As you can see in this list below, many of these injuries will be apparent to you right at the accident scene. However, some injuries – serious and potentially life-threatening ones – may not be so easily detected.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Fractures – You will likely know right away if you have fractured an arm, leg, wrist or ankle or if you have suffered the fracture of facial bones. However, broken ribs are also common in auto accidents – and they may not be readily apparent.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Some injuries can have a permanent effect on your appearance, including cuts, burns and fractures. In some cases, the medical treatment you receive can result in a permanent scar.
- Burns – A fire, explosion or friction may cause burns that lead to permanent skin, muscle or nerve damage or result in potentially deadly infections. A burn can result in the loss of function of the affected body part.
- Organ damage – A fractured rib may puncture an organ such as the lungs or stomach. As our attorneys have observed, spleen, liver and kidney damage also are common injuries among auto accident victims.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash is a type of neck injury that often occurs in rear-end collisions. This happens when the neck is violently snapped back-and-forth upon impact. A whiplash victim may be left with chronic pain.
What type of doctor should I see?
If you don’t know what type of doctor to see, we can help you find the right doctor for your injuries. Most of the time car wreck victims see a doctor of orthopedic or neurology. Orthopedics is the area of medicine that deals with bone and joint injuries, including injuries to the neck, back, knee, and shoulder. Neurology is the area of medicine that deals with the nervous system. If you have a brain, spinal cord, or nerve injury, it would be good to see a neurologist.
If either of these doctors determines you need to see another doctor, he can advise you during your appointment. However, prior to seeing one of these doctors, most people go to the emergency room immediately after the wreck to get checked out to make sure they are not in imminent danger. We highly encourage an immediate trip to the emergency room after the wreck so the ER doctor can advise you of your condition.
Should I use my health insurance to pay the doctor?
Many people have health insurance, but whether to use health insurance for a car wreck is not a simple decision. Sometimes health insurance companies refuse to pay medical bills if your injury involved a car wreck because they try to claim that the negligent driver’s auto policy should pay. Also, using your health insurance can cause the auto insurance company to pay you less than they would have to if you did not use your insurance.
Additionally, if your health insurance company pays the medical bills, it will probably want to be reimbursed out of the injury settlement or verdict. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries and how your wreck occurred, we can discuss other options with you about how to pay the doctor and if your insurance should be used.
I don’t have health insurance, how can I see a doctor and pay my medical bills?
Should I see my own doctor?
If you have a primary care doctor, you can certainly see him for his opinion. However, most primary care doctors cannot diagnose a spine, brain, knee, or shoulder injury like a specialist can. Therefore, we encourage you to see a specialist. If you are already treating with a specialist and are satisfied with the care you are receiving, then we encourage you to continue with that physician. However, should you need a recommendation, we also know many specialists who can treat your injuries.
If you have further questions regarding your case, consult with us in a free case review today.