Emergency Room Examinations After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Motor vehicle accidents frequently elicit the necessity for an emergency room visit. Emergency rooms (ER) provide immediate and initial care for injuries and trauma. ER personnel are firstly concerned with diagnosing life-threatening injuries. Thereafter, emergency room personnel are intent in diagnosing injuries that require urgent surgery or immediate care. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, emergency room examinations are seldom as comprehensive and thorough as examination by a specialist. Even when injuries are obvious and serious, frequently, the ER’s roll is to stabilize the affected areas to prevent further harm until the patient can be treated by a specialist. Often, the ER will diagnose a client with a serious injury requiring immediate care, such as a broken bone, and then a follow-up examination with a specialist will reveal additional serious injuries.  Since the purpose of the ER visit is to receive urgent, critical treatment follow-up treatment is almost always required, regardless of the outcome at the hospital.    

Life-Threatening Injuries from an Auto Accident:

Whether you or a loved one experiences life threatening injuries, the ER is designed to quickly and efficiently identify injuries and the appropriate treatment.  The victim will be admitted to the hospital to undergo the treatment or surgical procedure and recovery. The length of the stay will depend on the type of injuries and surgical intervention. However, the hospital will treat the victim until the injuries are no longer life-threatening, and his/her release will not be detrimental to his/her health.

It is important to provide the ER with or ambulance driver with information regarding allergies and medical history. In the event the victim is unconscious or in excruciating pain, a friend or family member can provide this information to the best of their ability.  The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jennifer G. Tocci, P.C., will not allow inaccurate patient history provided by a non-patient to be admitted to the jury.

Surgery After an Auto Accident:

Although most injuries that require surgery can wait, at times, you may require immediate surgery.  It is generally worth exploring less invasive options for injuries that have a chance of resolving with non-surgical treatment.  However, serious injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident may require you to undergo immediate surgery.  If the medical personnel determine you are in need of immediate surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital from the ER.  The appropriately trained physician will perform the surgery.  In the case of non-life-threatening injuries, there may be a waiting period associated with your stay.

One Day ER Visits:

Every person experiencing physical pain or discomfort after being involved in a motor vehicle accident should go to the ER.  Hospitals usually offer better care than walk-in clinics. 

Certain injuries, such non-displaced broken bones, are urgent until they are stabilized. Once these injuries are placed in a splint or cast, they should be fine until they are treated a few days later by a specialist.  Other injuries, such as concussions, bulging discs, torn ligaments, minor burns, etc., can be treated by a specialist a few days later once the ER physicians discharge you.  If you need stitches, the ER physician may place them. If you require facial stitches, a plastic surgeon or appropriate specialist may be called in.  However, once they’re placed and the ER personnel determines it is safe for you to be discharged, although treatment is not complete, it is no longer necessary to stay at the hospital. 

After your ER examination, it is imperative that you follow the recommended discharge instructions.  Regardless of the diagnosis resulting from your emergency room visit, if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort after being discharged, you should follow-up with your primary physician, who can refer you to a specialist.

The emergency room visit is important, despite the examination being incomplete. Insurance companies place lower value on cases that do not include ambulatory and hospital care. Visiting the ER immediately following the accident indicates that you were concerned about receiving medical attention, rather than posturing a case for litigation. Insurance companies do not want to lose money, and therefore defense counsel will use any angle available to argue your injuries are not severe. This is especially true where the injuries sustained are so grave that the insurance companies are facing paying out. Defense counsel argues time and time again that the injured party did not receive emergency treatment, and therefore are not seriously injured.  While there are strategies to refute their contentions, an ER visit can reduce the ways the defense can wrongfully paint your case. Ambulance transportation directly from the scene of the accident to the hospital provides you with the strongest, most complete medical documentation supporting a compensation claim.

If you were treated at the emergency room after an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Jennifer G. Tocci, P.C., (631) 353-7676 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. 

353 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 200, Commack, New York 11725