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Should I go to the Emergency Room right after an Accident?

If you were injured in an accident, you should go directly from the scene to the emergency room, preferably by ambulance. Whether it was an auto accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, slip and fall, or any type of injury accident, you should go immediately from the scene to the ER.

WHY SHOULD YOU GO DIRECTLY TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM?

Speaking from the perspective of a personal injury attorney ,it is always a better case if the client goes directly from the accident scene to the emergency room, especially if they go by ambulance. In the eyes of the insurance company, seeking medical treatment immediately after an accident shows that you were legitimately injured. Emergency room treatment = real injury. If you delay in seeking treatment, it will be used against you by the insurance company. The insurance adjuster will take the position that since you didn't get immediate medical treatment, you weren't really hurt. The longer the gap between the accident and your first date of treatment, the tougher your personal injury claim will be.

An ambulance ride to the hospital also strengthens your personal injury claim. In the eyes of the insurance company, ambulance ride = serious injury = more money.

It is very common for an injury victim who is treated at the accident scene by paramedics to decline ambulance transport and to decline emergency room care because they are worried about incurring the expense. Do not give it a second thought. The at-fault party's insurance company will pay the bills. Ambulance and emergency room bills are very rarely questioned by insurance companies.

BE SURE TO TELL EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL THAT YOU WERE IN AN ACCIDENT

Make sure you tell the ER doctor that you were in an accident. Believe it or not, we've handled cases where our clients tell the emergency room physician that they are suffering neck or back pain, but they don't mention that they were just in a car accident, or that they just slipped at a market, or tripped on a sidewalk. If the insurance adjuster doesn't see the accident mentioned in the hospital records, the connection between the accident and the emergency room visit is immediately considered suspect.

TELL THE EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR EVERY SINGLE BODY PART THAT HURTS

It is critical that you tell the ER doctor about every single body part that hurts. And make sure you see the doctor write down every single physical complaint that you have. Why? Because the emergency room staff will focus on your most serious injury or complaint, and sometimes not even mention in the medical records your less serious complaints. For example, if you have a broken wrist and also mention that your neck is hurting, the hospital records could focus entirely on the broken wrist, with no notation that you ever mentioned neck pain. Chart notes from follow up visits to your doctor may also only focus on your wrist. A month later, when your wrist pain has subsided, you may realize at that point that your neck is really hurting. But if neck pain doesn't show up in your medical records until a month after the accident, you will have a difficult time convincing the insurance company that you injured your neck in the accident.

If you are injured in an accident, go by ambulance to the emergency room, and then call the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at McGee, Lerer and Associates for a free consultation: (800) 999-9948. We are available 24/7, including for weekend, evening and hospital visits.