Do I Go to The Emergency Room or Urgent Care After an Accident in Florida?

nurse walking with an injured patient in a hospital

When you have suffered injuries in an accident, like a slip and fall or auto accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention right away. Ignoring even seemingly minor symptoms can result in complications several days, weeks, or even months later. It can also negatively impact your ability to bring a personal injury claim against the party that injured you. But should you go to an urgent care center or emergency room after the accident?

How Serious is Your Injury?

If you’re not sure if you are hurt, or if you only have some minor cuts, bruises, pain, or sprains, going to the urgent care center is a great option in terms of cost and time. On the other hand, if you hit your head, can’t walk, feel nauseous or dizzy, have immense pain, feel numb, have severe cuts and bruises, or have broken bones, heading to the emergency room is the best option. Put simply, if your injury can potentially endanger your life or lead to permanent impairment or disability, it’s an emergency.

Urgent care centers also lack specialists and sophisticated equipment found in emergency rooms, which are needed for handling life-threatening injuries. Likewise, a huge problem is that some symptoms are vague and require the expertise of experienced medical professionals. In such cases, common sense dictates heading to the ER.

There’s also the issue of time to consider. Keep in mind that patients are treated in emergency rooms according to the severity of their injury or condition, while patients in urgent care centers are treated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do You Have Insurance?

Some injured accident victims head to the emergency room for non-emergency injuries because federal law requires most hospital ERs to treat patients, regardless of whether or not they can pay for treatment. This means that they must accept patients regardless of their insurance status. This law does not apply to urgent care centers.

If you’re relying on your own insurance provider or the at-fault party’s insurer to cover your medical expenses, you must also know about the prudent layperson standard (PLS). Insurance providers utilize this standard as a barometer for determining whether the emergency care they received was necessary for their injury and how much, if applicable, of the medical bill they should pay. Under this standard, insurance providers are also prohibited from using an injured patient’s final diagnosis as a reason to deny coverage.

Reach Out to an Experienced Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Now

Have you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an accident? Whether you got hurt in a car crash, pedestrian accident, truck collision, slip and fall incident, or other kinds of accidents, you can count on the Tampa personal injury attorneys of Matthews Injury Law for sound legal guidance.

Learn more about your case and how you can get compensated fairly for your losses by scheduling a free consultation with our Tampa personal injury attorney. Call 813-530-1000 or send us an online message for more information.