Should I take an ambulance after a car accident?
How to decide if you are okay to drive yourself/be picked up or if you need immediate medical attention
If a car accident doesn’t immediately appear to be destructive and devastating, it’s often seen as annoyingly inconvenient by the parties involved (particularly if you were the driver who was hit). Riding in an ambulance is often seen as another major inconvenience – you may be in a rush to get wherever you were going before you were interrupted. However, taking an ambulance to the hospital immediately after an accident can potentially save your life, and your personal injury case.
In the event of an accident, your body may be producing a lot of adrenaline that is preventing you from feeling the true extent of your injuries, and some injuries do not present themselves right away; some may appear minor, but can worsen over time or rapidly. When you take an ambulance, medical personnel are able to monitor you and administer care until you can be medically evaluated by a doctor. If you try to drive yourself to the hospital, or drive yourself somewhere else, your symptoms could get worse quickly. You may become a danger to others on the road, and your health may be in serious danger as well. Traffic can delay your arrival at the hospital or to your destination. If your condition does start to worsen, being in an ambulance is the best way to get care quickly.
EMTs also know all of the hospitals in the area and know which ones specialize in what kind of care. If you hit your head and are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a brain injury, for example, they know which hospitals are known for that and are better equipped to treat you. You may not know all of your options or realize which ones can give you a higher standard of case based on your specific injuries; ambulance personnel will be able to take you where you need to go.
When you refuse an ambulance, even if your injuries later reveal themselves to be chronic, that can be something your insurance company uses against you. They will claim that the fact that you refused to take an ambulance reveals that your injuries must not be as bad as you are claiming them to be. The longer you go without proper medical treatment, the more likely it is that your personal injury claim will be weakened, because the insurance company will assert that something else that occurred in the interim could have caused your injury. If you are taken in an ambulance and evaluated right away, all of your injuries go immediately on record.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are experiencing ANY symptoms – neck pain, back pain, bleeding, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or a lightheadedness, or if your head came in contact with the window or airbag, it’s a good idea to take the ambulance. If it was a minor fender bender and you are absolutely certain you were not injured at all, then you can decide to drive yourself and not be medically evaluated (but keep in mind that some injuries, particularly whiplash, may not present themselves until days later).
If you are injured in a car accident, contact The Florida Law Group. Our expert personal injury attorneys know how to advocate for your best interests against intimidating insurance companies and win maximum compensation for your case.