Emergency Room (ER) visits can be unfamiliar and confusing at the best of times. If you end up there as a result of an accident it’s even more stressful. Before you have an opportunity to speak with your family doctor, who is familiar with your medical history or consulting with a lawyer, it’s a good idea to know what questions you should be asking.
Many clients have indicated that they wished they or their family members would have known to ask the following questions when first attending the ER. Given these comments and common concerns, we have come up with a shortlist of questions that you might find helpful:
- What are my injuries and what can I expect? It is always important to ask your doctor to explain what your diagnosis is in everyday terms. If you do not understand something, make sure the doctor or nurse is aware of this. It is also important to ask for an opinion as to the cause of the injury and what the injuries may mean for your everyday life. You should also ask how the accident could affect any pre-existing conditions you may have. This will give you clarity when seeking treatment and assist in preventing any insurer from questioning the causation of any accident-related injuries. Also, remember to ask each doctor and nurse that attends to you if they have personally reviewed your medical history and are aware of any medications you are currently taking.
- Should I be off work while I recover? Many workplaces require a doctor’s note to take time off work due to an injury. Although hospital doctors will often refer you to your family doctor to discuss this question, if you do not have one, it will be important to discuss the ramifications that your injuries may have on your ability to work.
- What medication should I be taking? If you are experiencing extreme pain and suffering, your doctor may give you a prescription for pain medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also commonly used for car accident injuries. If you suffered a laceration or burn, antibiotics may also be appropriate. Ask your doctor what prescription medications are right for your injury.
- What treatment recommendations are recommended? Make sure to have the doctor or nurse provide their treatment and future care recommendations in writing, and make sure they explain them to you. Being in any accident is a traumatic experience and having a plan from a physician for how to move forward is essential. It is also important to follow through with all recommendations.
Finally, it is important that you follow up with your family doctor as soon as possible after leaving the hospital emergency room as they will be more familiar with your pre-accident health and can make further recommendations. Knowing what questions to ask is important to your long term health. We are here to help. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, please contact our experienced team at Reybroek Law for a free consultation.