What Type of Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident in Houston, TX?
After a car accident you should always start by seeing an urgent care physician or visiting a local emergency room. These ER facilities are the best way to protect your health and detect any injuries that require immediate intervention.
For follow-up care people generally see their family doctor, an orthopedic doctor, or a chiropractor. However, more specific injuries may require a consultation with a different type of healthcare professionals. After being involved in traffic accident it is essential to seek medical attention promptly, even if you do not experience any immediate severe symptoms.
What Are The Common Car Accident Injuries?
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity from minor to life-threatening. The type and severity of injuries often depend on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the angle of collision, the use of seat belts and airbags, and the overall safety features of the vehicles. Some common car accident injuries include:
Whiplash: One of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth, causing strain on the neck muscles and ligaments.
Fractures and Broken Bones: The force of impact can lead to broken bones, including fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, and other bones.
Head Injuries: These can range from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which can result in long-term cognitive and motor impairments.
Cuts and Lacerations: Broken glass and debris from the accident can cause cuts and deep lacerations that might require stitches.
Chest Injuries: The impact of the collision can cause injuries to the chest, including broken ribs, bruised organs, and collapsed lungs.
Spinal Injuries: Traffic accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, ranging from herniated discs to paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries: These include injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often causing pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
Internal Organ Injuries: The force of the impact can cause damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys, leading to internal bleeding and other complications.
Knee and Leg Injuries: The lower extremities can be injured due to the impact, often resulting in fractures, ligament tears, sprains, and other injuries.
Psychological Injuries: Car wrecks can lead to psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
Facial Injuries: The face can be injured by airbags, the steering wheel, or other objects, resulting in fractures, bruising, and damage to the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Burns: If the vehicles catch fire after the accident, occupants can suffer from burn injuries.
It's important to note that some injuries might not manifest immediately after the accident and could take days or even weeks to become apparent. After any car accident, even if it seems minor, it's recommended to seek medical attention to ensure that any potential injuries are identified and treated promptly. Additionally, if you're involved in a car accident, it's essential to follow the appropriate legal and insurance procedures to ensure your well-being and protect your rights.
Should I use my health insurance to pay the doctor?
Whether you should use your health insurance to pay for medical expenses after being involved in an auto accident depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident, the terms of your insurance policy, and the laws in your jurisdiction. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you best decide whether using your private insurance would be beneficial in your circumstance. Here are some typical considerations to keep in mind:
Immediate Medical Attention: If you have sustained injuries in the accident that require immediate medical attention, it's important to prioritize your health and seek medical care promptly.
Coverage: Review your health insurance policy to understand what it covers in case of accidents or injuries. Some policies might cover medical expenses resulting from auto accidents, while others may have specific exclusions that may cause reservations.
Auto Insurance versus a Letter of Protection: If the accident was caused by another driver, their insurance might be responsible for covering your medical expenses. This is typically handled through the at-fault driver's liability insurance. However, in certain situations the attorney might advice that you see a doctor through a Letter of Protection. This letter is essentially a contract between the law office and medical facility whereby the doctor's office agrees to see you with no upfront cost and instead hold a lien against the case.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Some states or countries have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of auto insurance policies. PIP can help cover medical expenses, regardless of fault. Check if you have PIP coverage and understand its terms.
Claim Process: If you decide to use your health insurance, you'll need to go through the usual claims process with your health insurer. This might involve co-pays, deductibles, and potential impact on your premiums.
Subrogation: Some health insurance policies include a subrogation clause, which means your insurer could seek reimbursement from any settlements you receive from other parties, such as the at-fault driver's insurance or a lawsuit.
Medical Liens: In some cases, medical providers might offer to treat you on a lien basis, meaning they'll wait to receive payment until your claim is settled with the insurance companies.
Legal Advice: If you've sustained significant injuries, consulting with a personal injury attorney might be beneficial. They can guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions about using your health insurance versus pursuing other avenues for compensation.
Documentation: Keep thorough records of all medical expenses, treatments, and communications with insurers. This will help you provide evidence for claims and potential legal proceedings.
It's recommended that you contact your health insurance provider to discuss your situation and understand your coverage options. Additionally, if you're comfortable doing so, you might consider seeking legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected and you're making the best decision for your specific circumstances.
What if Your Primary Care Doctor Won’t See You After the Accident?
This is actually quite prevalent. Many medical professionals decline to see individuals injured in car accidents due to reasons such as:
Lack of infrastructure to facilitate billing through auto insurance companies.
Unwillingness to treat car accident injuries, as they might be required to provide court testimony.
While some primary care physicians still treat car accident victims, locating them has become increasingly challenging. If your regular doctor's office refuses treatment, consider reaching out to a personal injury law firm like Sneed & Mitchell. They can connect you with a local doctor willing to provide the necessary care.
In urgent cases when immediate treatment is essential and finding a suitable doctor proves difficult, you have the option to visit the emergency room or urgent care. Although you might need to cover the costs upfront, these expenses are typically eligible for reimbursement through your insurance claim.
Can a personal injury attorney help me find a doctor?
Yes, a personal injury attorney can often help you find a doctor within their established medical network, including surgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physical therapy professionals. Collaborating with a personal injury attorney who has a well-established medical network can be beneficial, as it can streamline the process of receiving appropriate medical care and documenting your injuries for legal purposes. These attorneys often understand the importance of thorough medical documentation to support your injury claim and can guide you toward medical professionals who are experienced in working with personal injury cases.
Do You Always Need to See a Doctor After a Car Accident?
Yes, you should always see a doctor even when you're feeling well. Numerous injuries resulting from car accidents might not become immediately evident, and their severity can escalate rapidly once manifested. To illustrate, the following injuries could be present without immediate awareness:
Head and neck injuries like whiplash, concussion, or cerebral blood clots.
Damage or harm to muscles, nerves, or ligaments in the back.
Spinal column injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries.
It's possible to disregard symptoms like headaches, minor discomfort, numbness, or swelling, yet these could all signify a more critical condition. It's prudent to undergo a medical assessment, just to be cautious.
I don’t have health insurance, can an attorney still assist?
Yes, even if you don't have health insurance, a personal injury attorney can still assist you. In fact, personal injury attorneys in Houston, Texas often work with clients who don't have health insurance or who are concerned about the medical expenses associated with their injuries.
What if You Can’t Pay For an Attorney?
If you're concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, there's no need to be anxious. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This essentially signifies that you won't be required to make any payments to us upfront. Our fees will only be applicable once you receive a settlement in your case. Even in the unlikely scenario that you do not succeed in your case and do not receive any compensation, you will still not be obligated to pay us anything. This payment structure is designed to provide you with legal assistance without financial stress, as our fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case.
If You Need Help Handling Your Car Accident Claim, Contact Sneed & Mitchell
Sneed & Mitchell LLP is here to assist you with any questions following a motor vehicle accident, including guidance on selecting the appropriate medical professional. We handle each case on a No-Win, No Fee bases, so you pay no upfront costs for services and owe us nothing if the case in unsuccessful. Our team of personal injury lawyers, with over two decades of experience, has a successful track record of aiding car accident survivors in obtaining the necessary compensation. We're prepared to extend the same support to you. Begin with a no-cost consultation by dialing 866-434-0014 today.