If you weren’t taken to an Emergency Room from the scene of a motor vehicle accident, but are in pain, you should seek immediate medical attention. If the pain is severe and it is either after-hours or you cannot get in to see your primary care physician right away, take yourself (or have someone take you) to the hospital. Depending on your complaints, the ER will likely take x-rays, prescribe medication and recommend that you follow up with a doctor if you aren’t feeling better in a few days.
So, with whom should you follow up? The answer depends on whether or not you have selected PIP (Personal Injury Protection) as primary on your automobile insurance, or whether your health insurance is primary.
If PIP is primary coverage on your policy, call your family doctor and find out if he/she will see you for automobile accident-related injuries. Many primary care doctors do not accept PIP as the insurance and will advise you to go elsewhere. The good news, however, is that if PIP is primary, you do not need a referral from your primary to go see another family doctor or any sort of specialist. You can choose who you’d like to go see, and so long as that medical provider accepts PIP, you can schedule an appointment. And, your first visit for any specialty does not need to be pre-certified by your automobile insurance carrier.
If you elected to have your health insurance as primary on your insurance policy, try to get into your family doctor’s office as soon as possible. If you are experiencing neck and/or back pain and do not have a family doctor, you should contact a chiropractor or an orthopaedist.
The important thing is to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible, if you are in pain after an accident, or are still in pain after a trip to the ER. Navigating the waters of the automobile insurance industry can be tricky business, so do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation if you have any questions.