Should You Go to the ER or Urgent Care After a Car Accident?

Anytime you are involved in a significant car accident, or even just a minor fender bender, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort right away, you might be in major pain an hour later. In this post, we will examine the question of whether accident victims should go to the hospital emergency room …. Or a local urgent care facility for treatment after a car accident.

The ER is Better for More Serious Injuries

If you suffer serious or life-threatening injuries in the car accident, you should always go to the emergency room rather than an urgent care center. Emergency rooms are specifically equipped to handle critical situations such as severe burns, major fractures, traumatic injuries, uncontrolled bleeding, and respiratory distress. For less severe injuries or symptoms resulting from a car accident, urgent care is a viable choice. Even if you do not feel an urgent need for medical attention due to the rush of adrenaline post-accident, it is advisable to visit urgent care to ensure any hidden injuries are addressed. Obtaining medical documentation promptly is essential for insurance purposes and potential personal injury claims if injuries have been sustained.

Urgent is Usually Faster Than the ER

One big advantage that urgent care centers usually have over a hospital emergency room is that urgent care centers are typically must faster and have less wait time, at least for walk in patients. If you get brought in by an ambulance, you often get immediate care at an ER.

Anyone who has been to the emergency room for walk in care is probably very familiar with the excessively long wait times you can usually expect. If you walk into a busy ER in Baltimore and you don’t have a serious medical emergency, you can expect to wait several hours before you get called back. Urgent care facilities are typically going to be much faster, but many urgent care centers also make patients wait a very long time.

Urgent Care is Usually Cheaper

One big reason why car accidents victims often avoid seeking medical attention after an accident is because they don’t want to get hit with a big medical bill. From the car accident lawsuit perspective, however, seeking care at an urgent care or emergency room immediately after an accident could actually been cost beneficial in the long run.

If you successfully pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver, you may be reimbursed for medical expenses provided you can provide evidence of injuries and documentation of bills. Generally, visiting urgent care tends to be more cost-effective than going to the emergency room. If immediate medical expenses are a concern and your injuries are not life-threatening, opting for urgent care could help minimize costs. Ultimately, the decision between visiting an emergency room or urgent care following a car accident rests with you. Both options can offer evidence of injuries potentially needed for legal action and provide necessary medical attention. Regardless of your choice, prioritize seeking care where you feel most comfortable soon after the accident.


Perception is Important in Car Accident Lawsuits

One of the big challenges plaintiffs often face in car accident lawsuits is convincing insurance companies and juries that they were actually seriously injured in the accident. There is a tendency on the part of many people to simply assume that plaintiffs in car accident lawsuits are just faking or exaggerating their injuries in order to get more money.  This is especially true for soft tissue injuries like whiplash.

Even though you may get the same type and level of treatment, going to a hospital emergency room will make you injuries seem a lot more serious compared to going to an urgent care facility. For that reason alone, it might be worth the added time and expense of going to the ER. Juries and insurance adjusters are always going to be skeptical if you are claiming major injuries after only going to urgent care.

Do What’s Best for Your Health, Not Your Lawsuit

We are personal injury lawyers, so obviously we are writing this post from the perspective of what is best for a lawsuit. Your first priority, however, should always be to make decisions like ER vs. urgent care based on what’s best for your health.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s crucial to seek medical treatment immediately, even if you don’t think it’s an emergency. This action could potentially save your life by addressing issues like internal bleeding, nerve damage, or fractured vertebrae, and also improve your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.

Remember, if your two-ton vehicle was damaged, it’s likely your body sustained some form of injury too. While car accidents are disruptive, navigating the legal process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re wondering when to reach out to a car accident attorney, you’re not alone—many injury victims have the same question post-accident. The best time to consult a lawyer is as soon as possible after the accident.

Call us at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.