Broken HandAfter a car accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately for your own well-being and your injury case.

Go to the Emergency Room

If the ambulance doesn't take you, have someone drive you. You may be hurt worse than you know. But you won't know if you don't go.

In the emergency room, tell the doctor about the accident and where you hurt. This is not the time to suffer in silence or try to "cowboy up" as they say. Describe your pain so that it later appears in the emergency room medical record.

If you wait for a month after the accident, before ever seeing a doctor, the insurance company may well argue that your injuries happened later and did not result from this accident.

Listen to the ER Doctor

Follow the emergency room physician's advice regarding pain medication and therapy. One of your most precious assets is at stake—your health. Truth be known, no injury award is large enough to replace your good health. What you do in the first few days, and weeks, following your wreck can impact you for the rest of your life. Be smart about this and follow the doctor's advice.

Consult Your Family Doctor

After you've been to the ER, make an appointment to see your own family doctor about your injuries. The emergency room physician may not suggest this, but you need to do it. Your family doctor knows you best and can refer you on to any specialist you may need.

Be sure to tell your doctor about the accident, where you hurt, and your pain level. Follow your family doctor's recommendations as if recovering from this accident is your new job. (It is, really!) You want to recover as much as possible from your injuries. Proper medical treatment early on is the key.

Continue treating regularly with your family doctor until he releases you or refers you to a specialist. By regularly, you may want to visit him/her at least once a week for a while, until your doctor determines exactly what is wrong.

Remember, that some accident victims initially hurt all over, and then have very specific pain in certain areas later. Every time you see your doctor, refer to the auto accident, and honestly describe where you hurt and your pain level.

Don't Stop Treating Your Injuries

If you stop treating medically, the insurance company will presume, and later argue, you are no longer hurting. So, as long as you are hurt, seek medical treatment.

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