The coronavirus outbreak has made people feel unsafe to go to hospitals and other medical facilities after suffering an injury. However, even during the COVID-19 crisis, whether your accident happened while sheltering-in-place or it was due to another’s negligence, it is important to protect your health.
Below, the attorneys at Greg Coleman Law take time to address some of the concerns you may have, why you should still seek medical assistance for an injury, and the different options for treatment that may be available.
Why You Should Not Neglect Getting Medical Care
If you sustain an injury during the pandemic, you may believe that it is safer for your health to manage your injuries as best you can at home. For minor bumps and scrapes, this is likely true, but if you are in a more significant accident, such as a car crash, it is difficult to know the full extent of your injuries until you have been examined by a doctor.
After an accident, seeking medical care can:
- Help to ensure you do not have injuries that are serious or life-threatening, such as internal bleeding or internal damage to organs, a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and more.
- Getting treatment sooner than later may be the difference between making a full recovery or suffering permanent damage.
- If your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligent behavior, having an official medical record can help you to recover compensation for your damages by connecting your injuries to the accident. Your medical records can be used to provide credible evidence of the extent of your injuries, how you sustained them, and other details about the care you will need to recover.
How to Seek Medical Care During the Pandemic
There are many options for seeking medical care during the pandemic, but the protocol for being seen may be modified to protect your health, as well as the health of other patients and those involved in your care. Hospitals and other medical facilities have implemented additional guidelines to further reduce the spread of this infectious disease, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Seeking Emergency Care
In any urgent medical situation, such as a car accident, going to the emergency room or an urgent care center, even if you must be transported by ambulance, is a necessity. Medical staff at these facilities are trained to take precautions against spreading the virus by following a number of mandatory protocols, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and isolating potentially infected patients from others. Wearing your own PPE and maintaining social distancing if you have to be in the waiting area is also recommended.
You initial examination following an accident is the most critical, so while you should not exaggerate, you should be completely honest and transparent about any unusual symptoms you are having, such as dizziness, feeling nauseous or light-headed, cramping or sudden changes to your vision. This information may seem unimportant to you, but it may provide additional insight to the doctor examining you.
Continued Medical Care
Once you have been initially examined, received a full diagnosis of your injuries and a documented care plan, it is important to follow the treatment as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss appointments and ignore the steps your doctor recommended to recover from your injuries, you may prolong the healing process. Additionally, if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for the injuries you suffered, it gives the insurance company leverage to reduce any potential settlement.
When going to your appointments, you may be required to follow additional protocols at your doctor’s office to further prevent the spread of the virus, such as:
- Having you wait outside in your car for a doctor’s appointment
- Requiring you to wear PPE you bring with you, such as a face mask and gloves
- Taking your temperature before allowing you in the office
- Mandating that you maintain social distancing if you do have to remain in the waiting area before being examined
Virtual Care for Physical Therapy, Follow-up Care and Minor Services
There are certain appointments, such as physical therapy that you may be able to do without going in person, such as video teleconferencing. Contact your healthcare insurer, physician or physical therapist to find out what options may be available to you and whether there is any cost for this service.
While not an option for urgent medical care after a car crash, slip and fall, or other serious accident, virtual healthcare can also assist you with other healthcare services that may include:
- Minor injuries
- Seasonal allergies
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
- Sprain and strain injuries
- Sport injuries
- Arthritis pain management
- General infections
- Skin rashes
- Respiratory infections
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Contact a Qualified Lawyer for Legal Help With Your Claim
If you sustained an injury in an accident that was caused by someone’s negligent behavior, then we recommend that you seek legal counsel from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Greg Coleman Law are prepared to discuss your accident and the unique circumstances that led to your injuries in a zero-cost legal consultation. If we find that you may have grounds for a lawsuit, we are available to fully manage every aspect of your case, without the need for an in-person meeting, and there is nothing for you to pay unless we first recover compensation for you.
Call our firm today. No face-to-face meeting required: (865) 247-0080