How Soon do You Have to Visit a Doctor after a Car Accident?


It’s crucial that you visit a doctor after being involved in a car accident, even if the collision was relatively minor and you don’t think you suffered any injuries. In general, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a doctor within three days of the accident.

While you may not think this precaution is important when there are no signs of an injury, you still need to get examined by a doctor. It’s common for symptoms of car accident injuries to take several days or weeks to develop. In some instances, such as when you sustain a brain injury, prompt treatment may mean the difference between making a full recovery and experiencing a lifetime of ongoing care.

There’s another important reason to visit a doctor immediately following your car accident. You need to document the fact that your injuries were caused by the collision. It’s common for the legal teams employed by insurance companies to claim that injuries which develop symptoms at a later date weren’t caused by the car accident. Seeing a doctor who can document the nature of your injuries right after the wreck can help prevent this type of argument from jeopardizing your ability to recover compensation.

What Kind of Doctor should I Visit after a Car Accident?

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If you were seriously injured in the crash, you should call 911 and request that an ambulance come to the scene of the accident and take you to a hospital. This will ensure you receive the prompt medical care you need after a major injury.

If the collision was relatively minor and you are able to leave the scene of the accident on your own, you should still visit one of the following medical providers within the next 72 hours:

  • Your primary care physician
  • Urgent care

You will be able to receive the thorough medical evaluation necessary from either of these options. You may want to contact your primary care doctor first since you are comfortable with this person and your doctor has more detailed knowledge of your medical history. However, primary care doctors are often booked out for quite a while. If you can’t get an appointment to see your primary care doctor within a few days, you should visit a local urgent care facility instead. You will be able to get the same evaluation and treatment from urgent care doctors, and the timeliness of your treatment is more important than the person who provides this care.

What if I don’t Have Health Insurance?

If you don’t have health insurance or if you have a high deductible policy, you may be hesitant to visit a doctor since even routine evaluations are costly. This reluctance is especially common if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms. That is certainly understandable. However, Florida’s auto insurance laws ensure that this will not be an issue.

Florida has enacted no-fault auto insurance laws. Under these laws, you are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, this PIP coverage will pay for the first $10,000 of medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Another option is to ask your doctor about setting up a payment plan or an arrangement that lets you pay for your evaluation and treatment out of the damages you recover from a future auto accident lawsuit. While not all doctors will make these arrangements, many are willing to work with accident victims in this manner in order to ensure that all necessary care is provided.

The attorneys at Syprett Meshad can also help you locate a doctor who will provide an injury evaluation after your auto accident. Our lawyers have handled many car accident cases, and we have relationships with several doctors in the Sarasota area.

Just remember, the longer you wait to seek medical attention and/or speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, the more challenging it will be to maximize the value of your compensation. In order to protect your rights and safeguard your car accident damage award, it’s crucial that you visit your doctor right away and speak with our lawyers shortly after the accident.

Contact our Sarasota Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, please contact Syprett Meshad using the form on this page or call 941-365-7171 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding areas of Florida.