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Should you go to an emergency room or urgent care after a car accident?

Emergency Room Or Urgent Care Image

It depends on the extent of your injuries

A car accident scene is usually chaotic.  Add personal injury and the scene can become overwhelming.  You may be deciding whether you should go to an emergency room or urgent care or simply go home.  You need to carefully make this decision.  Even minor fender benders can cause serious and lingering injuries that can cost you significantly to get treated.  The Molina Law Firm recommends that no matter what, you seek medical attention after any car accident.

Emergency Rooms provide definitive care

Whether or not you should go to the emergency room after a car accident depends on the severity of your injuries. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bleeding that cannot be controlled
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Severe pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Inability to move a limb

If you do not have any of these symptoms, but you are still feeling pain or discomfort, you may want to see a doctor or go to an urgent care clinic. It is important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you do not think you are injured. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.

An emergency room is best suited to treat serious injuries involving your head, neck and internal injuries and bleeding.  An urgent care has limited equipment for these procedures.

Urgent care is for minor injuries or basic first aid

If you are confident that you have very minor injuries, then you can opt to go to an urgent care facility or see your doctor.  After a car accident, it is highly advised to be assessed by a doctor.  They will document your complaints and injuries.  A personal injury attorney will rely on this report to help your recover damages and costs for your accident.

Even if you feel you are okay, at least get evaluated.  Once you settle down, aches and pains can manifest.  You may have internal injuries that do not present right away.  The best course of action is to have a medical professional check you out and make sure everything is okay.

Differences between emergency rooms and urgent care centers

Emergency rooms in Houston are rated by trauma level from 1 to 4.  A level one trauma center can handle severe injuries especially to the head, neck and spine.  They have specialized equipment and doctors on hand to help you.  Levels 2-4 slowly degrades the specialties available. 

Urgent care facilities can handle many types of injuries from broken bones to sicknesses.  They are not equipped to handle severe trauma or any type of trauma involving the head, neck or spine.  They also may not be able to handle internal bleeding where surgery is required.  When in doubt, err on the side of caution and go to an emergency room.  If the Houston Fire Department responded to your accident, they will be able to help you determine what level of care is appropriate for you.

Seeking advice from a personal injury lawyer

Personal injury lawyers, like Attorney Rick Molina, work on a contingency basis.  They offer free legal help and only get paid a percentage of the compensation they earn from you.  If you have been injured in a car accident, see medical attention.  Then go see Rick Molina to get free advice on how to proceed.  Insurance companies work hard to minimize the money they pay out on car accidents.  A personal injury lawyer will ensure that you get maximum compensation.  Studies have shown that people represented by an attorney receive up to 40% more in compensation than those that go at it alone.


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