Urgent care centers have been popping up all over the country and for good reason. It’s easy to make an appointment or walk in, the wait times are significantly less than an emergency room visit, and they provide access to healthcare when your primary care physician is unavailable.
But if you’ve been injured in a car accident, urgent care may not be your best choice. Can you go to urgent care for car accident injuries? Yes, but the care you receive will not be enough to put you on the road to a full recovery.
In this blog post, we cover the differences between urgent care vs emergency room care after an auto accident and what type of doctor you should see following a car accident.
SHOULD YOU GO TO URGENT CARE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
Urgent care for car accidents may seem like the obvious choice with low wait times and convenient locations, but you’re unlikely to receive more than a cursory evaluation. Rarely does urgent care refer for therapy services or provide more comprehensive diagnostics, x-rays, etc. Treatment for car accident related conditions like whiplash often includes a superficial evaluation, immobilization collar, and medication for short term relief.
Emergency room care differ significantly from urgent care. In the emergency room, doctors will address the most devastating traumatic component of the injury you have. If you are taken by ambulance, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a serious injury such as a spinal cord injury, concussion, whiplash, heady injury or fracture.
WHAT ABOUT EMERGENCY ROOM CAR FOLLOWING AN AUTO ACCIDENT?
While the emergency room will deal more in depth with that traumatic injury that requires immediate care, your treatment won’t provide a lot of direction and guidance for next steps. And if you don’t have a primary care physician, you are often left wondering what your next course of action should be to deal with lingering aches, pains, and loss of function.
WHAT KIND OF DOCTOR SHOULD I SEE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
We always recommend patients seek treatment as soon as possible. Often, symptoms occur immediately and worsen over the course of a week, but there are times where symptoms don’t appear for a few days following an auto injury. Early intervention can lessen the impact of the severity of symptoms.
Injuries sustained in a vehicle accident require an integrated comprehensive treatment approach to address the acute injuries that occur from a traumatic injury.
At Team Rehab, we are the only truly integrated rehabilitative center in Portland to offer access to chiropractic care, physical therapy, therapeutic massage and acupuncture in the same visit. We also have a medical doctor on staff that helps manage medications when necessary. We specialize in auto related injuries so this really is our area of expertise.
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DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT
It’s important to document that you’ve been injured. All of your documentation will support a medical legal case if that applies to your specific situation. Documenting injury and the need for treatment is actually quite a specialty and most doctors will not be savvy in how to supportively document this on behalf of the patient.
Financially, we’ve seen many cases where urgent care for car accidents has billed the health insurance, instead of accessing the PIP benefit through auto insurance. Urgent care will not help establish a claim with your auto insurance.
Need legal help? We recommend contacting Oliveros Law Group. The attorneys at Oliveros Law group understand that you are dealing with more than just medical bills and car repair. Their team helps clients ensure medial bills are covered and minimize the headaches of dealing with insurance companies.
ARE YOU IN THE PORTLAND, OREGON AREA? TEAM REHAB OFFERS:
- Same Day Appointments
- Integrated Care
- Advanced Evaluation with Chiropractor and Physical Therapist Consulting Together
- Medical Doctor Onsite For Consultations and Medication Management
- Flexible Scheduling Options
- 3 Convenient Locations serving Portland, Clackamas, and Tualatin
- Help with Insurance (we accept most insurance)