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Initial Emergency Room Visit Following a Tampa Auto Accident

After drivers and passengers have been in car accidents, emergency rooms throughout the Tampa area play a critical roll in rendering immediate medical assessment, care, and treatment to victims. Even if you believe that you haven’t been injured, it’s still recommended that you be seen by emergency room personnel for an examination. That’s because the signs of any injuries that you suffered might not be readily apparent to you. Also, if you wait to treat an injury, it can be looked at negatively when trying to file a personal injury claim.

A highly trained and experienced emergency room professional can examine and evaluate your overall condition. Knowing what you should expect to encounter during an emergency room visit will help you be prepared. Here are a few things that you should know about that visit.

Upon Your Arrival

As opposed to your doctor’s office, you don’t need an appointment to be examined and evaluated in an emergency room. You can just go there, and after you’ve checked in, you’ll be asked questions about your condition from a person known as a triage nurse. Your vital signs will then be taken and recorded. If in the opinion of the triage nurse, your injuries are serious, an emergency room physician will be called in right away. Patients with more urgent issues like heart attacks or strokes will be treated ahead of you.

Choose Your Words Carefully

An accident victim’s emergency room records are extremely important in any personal injury claim or lawsuit. Choose your words carefully. If somebody asks you what time it is, don’t tell him or her how a clock is built. Answer only the questions that are asked of you. Your answers should be short and concise. Emergency room personnel will all be taking notes about their questions and your answers. You don’t want any entries on your medical records that might be used against you by the opposition. The best way to protect against that is to keep your answers to any question short and to the point. Emergency room personnel are trained in making accurate and complete medical records. If your case goes to trial and a remark that you made to emergency room personnel is entered in your records comes to issue, a jury is more likely to believe the person who made that record rather than you.

Describe Your Symptoms from Head to Toe

Whether you’re speaking with the triage nurse or an emergency room physician, describe all of your symptoms from head to toe. Auto accident victims naturally tend to focus on major symptoms and pain, but they often overlook the minor symptoms. Minor pain behind an eye or tingling in your fingers or toes shouldn’t be disregarded. Those are symptoms, and they can be signs of something that can worsen over a relatively short period of time. If there’s no record of those symptoms, it’s easy for the opposing insurance company or its attorneys to attribute them to something unrelated to your accident. Remember that when emergency room personnel ask you about how you feel, start from your head, go all the way down to your toes, and provide specific details.

Upon Your Discharge

Notify your car and health insurance companies that you’ve been injured in an accident, whether that accident is your fault or not. You’re likely to be sent home after your emergency room visit. Save every piece of paper that’s given to you, including copies of any prescription receipts. Save all bills that come in the mail too. Follow all discharge instructions.

Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Today:

Don’t create a treatment gap between the time of your accident and the time that you go to an emergency room. A gap in treatment can significantly devalue a perfectly valid personal injury claim. The opposing insurance company and its attorneys will use any gaps in treatment that might be in your medical records to argue that you were not hurt to the extent that you claim. For your own best interests, whether you feel that you’re injured or not, don’t delay in getting to an emergency room to be checked out immediately after an accident. After that, contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case review.

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