Peter Catania | July 5, 2021 | Personal Injury
There are many reasons why people go to emergency rooms. One of the top reasons is accidental injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 130 million people visit an emergency department each year in the United States. Thirty-five millions of those visits are injury-related.
Incidents and accidents that might result in a trip to the emergency room include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents or other premises liability accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents, including crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists, trucks, cars, and motorcycles
- Injuries caused by defective products
- Animal attacks and dog bites
- Injuries caused by assaults or other violent acts
- Childhood injuries, including playground accidents, swimming pool accidents, and defective toys
- Boating accidents and injuries
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Construction accidents and workplace injuries
- Medical malpractice and medical errors
If you were injured, there are a few things you should know before you begin the process of filing a personal injury claim.
Five Things To Know About Emergency Room Care After an Accident
When you are treated in an emergency department after an accident, keep these five things in mind:
1. Tell the Staff Members You Were Injured in an Accident
To recover money for a personal injury claim, you must prove that another party caused your injuries. Your medical records are a vital piece of evidence used when proving negligence and fault. Therefore, you want to tell the emergency room nurse and doctor that your injuries are the result of an accident.
For example, if you are injured in a car crash, make sure to inform the ER staff that you are the victim of a car accident. If your injuries occurred because of a slip and fall at a restaurant, tell the staff member the name of the restaurant.
2. Be Careful What You Say
On the other hand, you do not want to say anything that could be used to allege contributory negligence. You could receive much less money for your injuries and damages if you were partially to blame for the cause of the accident.
For instance, if a jury found that you were 50 percent at fault for causing a car wreck, you would only receive one-half of the value of your damages.
It is best not to discuss the details of the accident. Instead, tell the doctor that the injuries were caused by an accident.
3. Report All Symptoms to the Doctor and Nurses
Regardless of how minor, report all symptoms to your doctors and nurses. Minor aches and pains may not feel serious, but those aches and pains could be signs of a serious condition.
In the days and weeks after the accident, you could develop more symptoms of a severe injury. The symptoms you reported experiencing at the emergency room could help prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
4. Be Prepared for the Cost of Emergency Room Services
Emergency room services can be costly. The doctors may order numerous tests to diagnose your injuries or conditions, including blood work and imaging tests (i.e., MRI, CT scan, x-ray, ultrasound, etc.). As a result, you may receive medical bills from numerous providers.
If your injuries were caused by an automobile accident, your PIP insurance might pay up to 80 percent of the medical expenses until you exhaust your coverage. Your health insurance may also pay some of the medical bills from a car accident.
Depending on the facts of your case, you might be entitled to compensation from the party who caused your injuries. If so, you could recover compensation for all your medical expenses and bills. First, however, you must prove the other party caused your injuries and have evidence proving the value of your medical expenses and other economic damages.
5. Follow Your Treatment Plan
Failing to follow up with your doctors and follow your treatment plan could hurt your chance of recovering maximum compensation for an accident claim. The other party may argue that you failed to mitigate your damages.
If you failed to seek medical treatment promptly and follow the treatment plan, a jury could find that you are to blame for the extent of your injuries, which could cause the jurors to award less for your claim.
Always Seek Medical Care After an Accident
It is always wise to see a doctor after an accident. A doctor may recognize signs of a serious injury, which could save your life or reduce the risk of developing a permanent impairment. However, until a doctor checks you, it is impossible to know if you sustained injuries in an accident.
Remember, medical care is in your best interest. It also improves your odds of receiving fair compensation for a personal injury claim.