Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident?
When you’re in any kind of accident, particularly an automobile accident, your body tries to protect you from trauma and pain caused by the accident by releasing a surge of adrenaline. This adrenaline can mask injuries for a time. That is why it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible if you might be hurt. The best advice we can offer is to listen to your body. Sometimes, a trip to the emergency room is necessary. If you’re in pain after an accident, it’s best to get looked at as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have medical insurance, you can’t be turned away from an emergency room if you are injured. Other options include seeing your primary care physician or visiting an urgent care clinic.
Medical Care After An Accident
You might be asking yourself, ‘how do I pay for my medical treatment after an accident?’ If you are covered under a private individual or group health insurance plan (through you, your spouse’s, or your parent’s work), or government forms of health insurance such as Medicare, Tricare, or Medicaid, these health plans will pay for the treatment you’re receiving. After the case settles, it’s possible that some of these insurers have a right to reimbursement of some of your medical expenses. However, there are benefits to using your health insurance coverage to pay your medical expenses before your case settles or goes to verdict. First, you don’t have to come out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. Second, at the end of the case, an experienced attorney can negotiate down medical expenses—leaving you with a larger portion of your settlement. Finally, Georgia does not allow a jury to hear that your medical treatment has already been paid for—so there is no concern that using your health insurance will affect your case negatively. Georgia courts refer to that rule as the “collateral source rule.”
But, ‘what if I don’t have health insurance?’ If you need emergency treatment after an accident, but you do not have health insurance, you cannot be turned away at an emergency room. Additionally, if you require additional treatment after you visit the ER, there are some doctors that will allow patients to defer payment until their case settles. Again, the best advice we can offer is to listen to your body. If you’re in pain after an accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.