Anyone who has been in a car accident knows just how frightening the experience can be. When the peaceful thrum of the road is suddenly replaced by a violent jolt, squealing tires, and twisted metal, anyone who walks away unscathed is apt to feel relieved—and rightly so. Many collisions in Florida result in serious injuries that force the victim into immediate and long-term medical care, often at very high cost. Once the smoke has cleared, therefore, one of the first decisions to make is which doctor to trust for your necessary treatment.
Confidence in your medical providers is always important, but in the aftermath of a jarring wreck, feeling comfortable and safe with your doctor is a prerequisite for proper recovery. Since most general medical providers don’t treat crash victims, it’s important that you understand the capabilities of your primary care physician and their policy regarding accident-related injuries. To receive optimal and timely care, you may have to seek out practitioners who specialize in treating your specific array of symptoms. If this is the case, due diligence is key: Verified online reviews, primary care referrals, and recommendations from friends and experts can augment your research into which practices are best suited for your needs.
Keep in mind that you should get treatment for your injuries even if they feel insignificant at the time of the crash. The body’s shock response to trauma can leave you numb to acute pain at the scene, and many symptoms from common accident injuries—particularly those involving soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments—can take days to fully manifest. This means you may “feel fine” right after a collision and opt against seeking the medical attention you actually require.
Don’t wait until the pain becomes too much to bear. Most insurance policies stipulate that medical treatment must be sought within a certain period after an accident. In Florida, pursuing care right away can bolster your case and keep you within the state’s 14-day window for initiating treatment. More importantly, prompt medical care will increase your chances of a fast recovery and help you avoid exacerbating your injuries. When the responding officer at the scene asks if you are injured or in need of medical attention, tell the truth. If you have any doubt about your condition, go to the hospital for an immediate assessment. As you make your way through the phases of your required medical care, be sure to document everything and take detailed notes for your records. If there are any recommended treatments or charges you don’t understand, ask for clarity right away. A sense of transparency and trust in your provider will allow you to focus on healing and avoid additional stress.
While we normally say that the at-fault driver in an auto collision is the “responsible party,” don’t be misled: Accident victims in Southwest Florida have their own set of responsibilities following a crash, primarily to ensure that their health and wellness are properly protected. Recuperating from an accident can be a long and painful process, but exercising due care in seeking qualified medical attention will give you the best chance of a lasting recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.