Getting medical care after an accidental injury is important because it creates a record of your injuries, it shows your injuries are indeed severe enough to require treatment, and it helps you get better faster. If you have a doctor you trust, you might want them to take charge of your care, but that sometimes might not be an option – or at least not immediately.
After an accident, you might be best off going to the ER at a nearby hospital rather than trying to see your own primary care provider. Especially if you have traumatic injuries that need immediate treatment, your family doctor may not be equipped to help. If your injuries involve car insurance billing or Workers’ Compensation coverage, you might also be limited in which doctor you can see.
For help with an injury case in Georgia, call Howe Law’s Georgia personal injury attorneys today at (844) 876-4357.
Can You Go to Your Primary Doctor After an Accident in Georgia?
When you’re injured in an accident, your first priority should be getting medical care for your injuries. If your injuries go untreated, they can get worse. Additionally, if you don’t get your injuries treated, there will be no medical records to support any later claims for compensation. The best way to get injuries treated after an accident is to go to the hospital rather than your normal primary care provider.
Many patients trust their personal doctors over other healthcare providers, but after an injury, seeing your doctor might be out of the question. If you have a medical emergency, you should always go to the hospital, not to an urgent care clinic or your family doctor. When you have serious injuries, you need to go to the place that has the best ability to treat those injuries, and that is more likely than not going to be the hospital.
In many cases, your primary care provider will actually turn you away if you have serious injuries. Staff at doctors’ offices are trained to tell patients to go to the ER if they need immediate help, so you might not even be able to get an appointment if your injuries are too severe.
Many primary care providers also do not treat emergency injuries. Their area of practice is typically family medicine or general practice rather than the kind of medicine that trauma doctors and emergency room physicians handle at hospitals. Additionally, many doctors have personal or professional policies against getting involved in accident cases where they might have to go to court and testify simply because that interrupts their work. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can help you determine whether your doctor will see you after an accident and whether there might be other doctors you should see instead for billing and insurance reasons.
What Doctor Can You Go to For a Car Accident in Georgia?
After a car accident, you might not be able to see doctors outside of a hospital because of billing issues. When doctors’ offices hear that you were involved in a car accident, they will often refuse to treat you because of how car accident cases are billed. If they will ultimately be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance, the office might not want to wait that whole time to get payment for their services, and many doctor’s offices are not even set up to bill insurance this way. This might be true even if you are paying with your own health insurance on the day of treatment or paying out of pocket, though this billing excuse might not make sense if you are paying in a normal way.
Nonetheless, many doctors just do not want to be involved in claims dealing with injuries or liability, and they may have the right to refuse treatment because of that. On the other hand, hospitals cannot turn away injured patients, and they should be set up for third-party billing through auto insurance.
Can You See Your Own Doctor After a Work Injury in Georgia?
Your initial treatment after a workplace injury should, again, be at the hospital. If you have any sort of serious injuries that need immediate treatment, it is often best to go to a hospital than any other urgent care center, clinic, or doctor’s office. In most cases, Workers’ Compensation should cover your initial emergency treatment for injuries at work, and hospitals can work out this billing against your employer.
If you are planning on seeking Workers’ Compensation coverage, then you might have to use a doctor approved by your employer and their insurance company. If, however, you are not covered by insurance because you are an independent contractor or another type of qualifying worker, then you will not have this coverage available, and you will end up seeking damages through a lawsuit to pay for your medical bills. If you are covered by Workers’ Compensation, you should speak with your Macon personal injury attorney about whether you can see your own doctor and claim damages against a third party or whether it is best to follow the rules the insurance company laid out and seek medical care through an approved provider.
Should You Follow Up with Your Regular Doctor After an Injury in Georgia?
In the days or weeks after your initial emergency treatment, you might have a follow-up care plan in place. Generally, the care provider who treated you will tell you what doctors to follow up with, and you should ask them if seeing your normal doctor is appropriate. In many cases involving mild injuries, EMTs will release you from the accident scene and specifically tell you to follow up with your regular doctor in the days after the injury. Your primary care provider will also typically be brought in on your care plan after you are released from the hospital.
However, you might have other follow-up appointments to keep with specialists like orthopedists, neurologists, and even physical therapists. You should keep these appointments, too; do not assume that your primary care doctor has the knowledge or expertise to treat issues that were referred to a specialist.
Call Our Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Today
After an accident, reach out to the Columbus personal injury lawyers at Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357.