What Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident?

Car accidents, regardless of their severity, can cause a variety of mental, emotional, and physical injuries, some of which may be long term or even life threatening. In the aftermath of a car accident, victims are often dealing with complex issues such as the loss of their transportation, arranging time off work, negotiating with insurance companies, and countless additional hardships. But no matter how complicated life post-accident gets, it’s paramount that victims seek medical treatment immediately after the crash. 

It is crucial to get the proper diagnosis and treatment of any accident-related injury right away. In addition to obvious initial injuries, some serious injuries such as whiplash may not exhibit symptoms until days or weeks after the accident. But waiting to see a medical professional can negatively impact your health and potentially undermine your case for personal injury compensation. 

One reason some victims might postpone visiting a doctor is that they’re unaware of which doctor or specialist they should see. It can be hard to determine a course of action when you’re not sure what your injuries are or how severe they may be. Below are some of the doctors you might consider consulting with after a car accident. 

Emergency Room

In the event of an accident resulting in serious injuries, you will likely be rushed to an emergency room. The hospital staff can then take stock of your condition and provide emergency medical care. Hospital records will then show the state of your injuries as a result of the crash. 

Primary Care Physician 

If the accident was not severe, you should see a primary care physician as soon as possible after the accident. Be sure to tell the doctor the details of the crash so they can provide a thorough examination for injuries that may not exhibit initial symptoms. Describe any and all discomfort or pain to your doctor so they can document the details. 

By visiting your primary care doctor, you’re prioritizing your health and providing evidence that you were injured in the crash. In addition, primary care physicians can offer pain management advice, referrals to specialists if needed, and follow-up care guidelines. 

Orthopedists

Due to the nature of vehicle accidents, orthopedists are often offered as referrals following a car accident. Orthopedists work with the musculoskeletal system and treat injuries such as fractures, torn ligaments, herniated disks, and chronic conditions such as tendonitis using a variety of surgical and nonsurgical techniques. 

Neurologists

Brain and spinal injuries are very common during car accidents; however, injuries such as concussions, nerve damage, or other brain trauma may not exhibit symptoms immediately. Even if symptoms appear quickly after an accident, they are often dismissed by victims as short-term effects, when in reality they could be very dangerous. 

If deemed necessary, your primary care physician may refer you to a neurologist who can help diagnose and treat brain, spinal, and nerve-related injuries. Symptoms of injuries that may require the care of a neurologist include, but are not limited to: 

  • Headaches
  • Tingling
  • Nerve pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of feeling or strength in the extremities

Physical Therapist

After visiting your primary care physician and other specialists, you may be referred to a physical therapist for long-term treatment. Physical therapists help patients recover from injuries by treating pain and inflammation as well as addressing issues with range of motion or lack of strength. Often, physical therapy can be key in regaining mobility following a traumatic car accident injury.

Psychiatrist or Mental Health Professional

The mental and emotional toll that car accidents take on victims can be extreme. Often overlooked in lieu of physical health following a car crash, mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and more can all result from auto accidents. 

When discussing your condition with any medical professional, be honest about the state of your mental and emotional well-being so you can be referred to the proper mental health professional if needed. In the event that you decide to file suit for pain and suffering damages, having a record of your effort to treat your mental health can help in proving your case. 

Partner with Experienced Texas Auto Accident Lawyers

The Lopez Law Group understands the importance of seeing a doctor as quickly as possible following an automobile crash. We know that insurance companies will use a delayed doctor visit as a reason to undermine your injuries and therefore the compensation they offer you, and we can help.

Our Texas auto accident lawyers have decades of combined experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We proudly serve Houston, Weslaco, Tyler, Spring, Mission, McAllen, Laredo, Edinburg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, and other locations throughout the state.

If you were injured in a car accident and need a lawyer, The Lopez Law Group can help. Contact us online today or call (956) 968-7800 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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