How to Get Proper Medical Care After Car Accidents: Everything You Need to Know
Getting medical care after car accidents can be something of a complicated issue. You might be wondering about how you’ll pay, what will and won’t be covered, and even just what sort of treatment you’ll be needing.
While our focus will be on Connecticut procedure, most of what we discuss here today should also be broadly useful. So if you’ve been injured and wondering what your next steps should be, keep reading on.
After an accident, call medical services immediately. This is even more important if someone has been seriously hurt.
Call 911 and, in a clear and concise manner, tell the operator the nature of the crash, its location, and any immediate injuries of anyone involved. Especially important to quickly getting medical help is correctly conveying the location of the crash; ask anyone nearby for help if you are unsure where exactly the crash has occurred.
No matter who is at fault, Connecticut law requires you to render basic assistance to injured parties and that you be rendered assistance in the same manner. It is criminally negligent to ignore people in need when you could reasonably help.
This does not mean you play guessing games and act in the role of a doctor. It means those involved in the accident can’t act negligently and must do their best to help those who have been seriously hurt. Be careful moving anyone unless it is essential as some injuries can be made much worse if you move the injured party.
More Severe Injuries
If you are severely injured, little will be expected of you at this stage. Turn your car off and be careful about moving unless it is essential you do so (such as to escape a vehicle that is burning or at risk of explosion).
While conscious, try to alert someone nearby of any special medical needs you have and any allergies. You would also benefit from telling them about any injuries you think you have, especially if they don’t seem obvious.
If you have been impaled, do not remove the object (and don’t allow anyone else besides genuine medical professionals to do so either). While it may be the source of serious injury, it is also now applying pressure to the wound, slowing bleeding. Wait for medical professionals to arrive so they can approach the situation safely.
Car crashes are also common causes of spinal injuries. If you suspect someone of having an injured spine, do not move them (or allow yourself to be moved if your spine might be injured). Serious complications can result from moving someone with a damaged spine.
Medical treatment after car accidents rarely ends once the injured party leaves the scene. Follow-up care is often necessary and you will at least want to have a checkup.
Report your accident to your insurance company as soon as possible (whether you’re injured or not). Connecticut law dictates the accident must be reported within 5 days if any party involved is injured, dies, and/or the total cost of damages exceeds $1000.
During this process, you will likely want to get the accident report from the local police, which should have most of the information you need regarding the accident. This report may cost you a small fee if you want a physical copy.
If you experience any aches, pain, or other signs of injury over the coming days, you will want to talk with a doctor. Sometimes even serious injuries may not be apparent right away but, for insurance purposes, you want to make sure you are reporting potential injuries as close to the day of the accident as possible.
This is doubly true if someone else is at-fault for the accident. If you aren’t the cause of the accident, you definitely do not want to end up having to cover your medical treatment.
Recovery from car accident injuries greatly depends on the nature of the accident and your injuries. Sometimes recovery takes only a few days (such as with cuts and scrapes), other times it may take months or years (as concussions and broken bones).
Don’t Let Insurance Companies Cheat You
At least in the United States, insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying out to their customers. Make sure you are thorough with your paperwork and get everything you owed.
If this process is overwhelming, you will want to contact a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents. Car accidents can be expensive and a lawyer can make sure your insurance pays out.
You or another injured party seeking medical treatment after a car accident should not drive you into debt. Get the insurance money you’re owed.
Remember that the more expensive not getting paid by your insurance company will be, the more the much smaller cost of hiring a lawyer becomes worth it. (This is also true in reverse; you shouldn’t have to pay any more for the injuries of others than you are legally required.)
Regardless of whether you hire a lawyer or not, familiarize yourself with the relevant insurance policy and how much of your medical costs it covers. Don’t be afraid to call the insurance company for more information.
You’ll also want to talk to a doctor about your injuries and mention you will need help establishing their connection to the accident. This is again why getting treatment early is important. The farther away the accident is, the harder it will be for a doctor to say for sure what might be the cause of your aches, pains, and any more severe injuries.
Medical Care After Car Accidents Is Important
Telling people to get medical care after car accidents is easy advice to give…less easy is making sure their insurance covers it. If you’ve been having trouble with coverage, contact us at Polito & Harrington.
We’ve dealt with plenty of accident injury cases and we can deal with yours too. We’ll make sure you only have to pay what you actually need to pay! Our legal experts also cover other injury niches too; if you’ve been hurt, we can do something to help.