Ringing headaches, burning back pain, pulsing muscles. Sound familiar? If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it might. Car accidents may leave you in a painful and stressful state. Where do you go? What do you do? Well, if you’re concerned about your claim for car insurance benefits, specifically your personal injury protection benefits, which is required in the State of Florida as outlined in Fla. Statute § 627.736, you should document your state of health well.
Do you need to go to the emergency room? Maybe. You are the one who understands your injury the most. ER treatment might be necessary, of course, if you’re in a lot of serious pain after the accident. The hospital may give you the immediate attention you need, and it would also give you documentation, showing that you took the initiative to go to the hospital right away. This is very helpful, for example, in case an insurance adjuster is evaluating your benefits. The documentation and proof that you went to the hospital immediately after the car accident could potentially prove that you really are in pain and need treatment. “Your word” that you are in pain may not necessarily be enough to an insurance adjuster.
Making an appointment at an urgent care center may be another good option. Your personal injury may not merit an immediate need to visit the emergency room, but urgent care centers are also designed to deal with injuries and illnesses that require immediate attention. The centers may often be able to take walk-ins or, in some cases, allow online scheduling from the comfort of your home. This may be a good way to go if you lack proper health care and your PIP benefits are your only option. Urgent care centers may cost less than emergency room visits.
In any case, you’ll most likely be advised to see a doctor or specialist at some point if the pain insists. Going to a general physician or family doctor may also be a good idea in the beginning. Your family doctor may help give you the general overview of your symptoms, indicating the big picture of what you need to do. Sticking with your family doctor for a prolonged period of time, though, probably won’t help. In the long run, the general practitioner will really only give you medication for relieving symptoms rather than fixing the problem for long-term health.
What about chiropractors, orthopedic doctors, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, and neurologists? There are so many different types of specialists, so who do you go with? After getting a recommendation from a general doctor or someone at your hospital, you may have a better understanding of the cause of your symptoms. It might give you a little more insight into whether or not you need to be treated for your neck, your shoulder, your back, your upper back, your lower back, etc.
Chiropractors deal with injuries based on spinal adjustment. Orthopedic doctors give more specialized diagnoses and treatments of the back, neck and ligaments and connective tissues in general. Neurologists work closely with the nervous system and may be able to treat you if you’re suffering from chronic headaches or neck pains. Neurosurgeons also deal with the nervous system, and they have the capability of performing surgery if your medical issue is serious enough. There are lots of specialists to choose from, and the important part is understanding your circumstances completely, so that you get the right treatment and don’t waste your benefits.
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