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Where Should You Go After A Car Accident?

Dec 12, 2016

what to do if you get in a car accident

Car accidents are scary things to live through. If you’ve been in a moderate or serious accident, you should seek medical evaluation as soon as possible — preferably that same day. Here’s what you need to know.

What Should You Do After A Car Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re probably reeling and in a little bit (or a lot) of shock. That’s okay and quite natural, but it’s important that you follow some simple steps to make sure that you don’t make things any worse for yourself than they already are.

Immediately after an accident, you should:


  • Do your best not to become overwhelmed or wracked with anxiety. Something bad has happened that is now out of your control: your job now is to stay as calm as you possibly can and focus on what you can control, specifically the next few things that you do in the aftermath.
  • Self-assess to the best of your ability. Are you hurt? Are you in any obvious pain? After a car accident, minor to moderate injuries and some injuries that take time to become obvious will be masked by the adrenaline coursing through your system. Take a moment and try to figure out if you’re hurt, and where. We’ll touch on medical care more in a moment, but this is an important step that can streamline your care a bit later.
  • If the accident is on the minor side, and you feel you have the ability to safely do so, move your car out of the way of traffic and get to a safe spot on the side of the road. This will reduce confusion and danger as you remain at the scene. However, do not attempt to move your car if the accident was moderate or serious.
  • Make some phone calls: call the police if they have not already arrived, call your insurance company, and call a friend or family member to let them know what’s going on.
  • Remember to breathe and stay as calm as you possibly can. Material objects can be replaced, and if you are alive and breathing, that’s all that matters. You will figure out the rest eventually.


Should I See A Doctor After A Car Accident Even If I’m Not In Pain?

A lot of times, if someone isn’t visibly injured after a car accident, they will opt to skip going to the doctor afterwards. This is a huge mistake, and something you should never, ever do. There are several reasons for this.


First, you may be in such shock, or consumed by so much adrenaline, that you have missed an injury that you’ve had. This is quite common, as people do not realize the extent to which your body can mask pain while you are in the midst of an emergency or trauma. This is a survival reflex by your body to allow you to get out of a dangerous situation even after you have sustained some pretty bad injuries. Don’t discount the extent of this phenomenon.


Additionally, the fact is that many injuries that we see in the aftermath of a car accident are not immediately noticeable. Internal trauma, bruising, and muscle or joint injuries often take a while to show symptoms. This is why you always see the classic trope of someone waking up the next day after a car accident, unable to get out of bed despite walking home on their own power the previous day.


For insurance purposes, it’s critical that any injuries you’ve sustained are traceable to the accident itself. If you wait too long after an accident to seek medical treatment, doubt can begin to creep into the process (from the insurance company’s point of view) as to whether your affliction was a direct result of the accident. To avoid this and all the other items mentioned above, it’s very important that you have the discipline to be seen by a doctor after any car accident — preferably, that same day.


After A Car Accident, Should I Go To The Emergency Room or An Urgent Care Center?

The number one reason why people do not seek medical evaluation after a car accident is fear of the cost associated with the evaluation and treatment. Yet, this is never an acceptable reason not to be seen by a qualified doctor when your body has just been through something as traumatic and potentially life-altering as a car accident.


Thankfully, the rise of urgent care centers such as Urgent 9 have begun to solve this problem altogether. When an ambulance takes you to an emergency room, you may wake up the next morning with massive bills depending on what happened. When you go to Urgent 9, you receive the exact same care as an emergency room — except without the wait, and without the exorbitant cost.


Urgent care centers are the absolute best way to manage your health following a car accident. They allow you to be seen quickly, have access to the same level of facilities (at least in the case of Urgent 9), and be treated effectively without the burden of cost. Even if you have a comprehensive insurance plan, you’ll probably end up coming out of pocket a significant amount after going to a traditional ER. At Urgent 9, however, we offer flexible payment options to all patients, including patients who have zero health insurance to speak of at all.


Don’t play games with your health and your well-being after a stressful and traumatic experience like a car accident. Come to Urgent 9 and take care of yourself the right way — quickly, and at a price anyone can afford.