Types of Medical Specialists to See after Auto Accidents


Types of Medical Specialists to See after Auto Accidents


Following a motor vehicle accident, the most important thing to do is to take care of your health. No matter the extent of your injuries, it's essential to have a professional assess an accident's impact on your physical and mental well-being. Depending on those injuries, many kinds of medical treatments may be appropriate, including care performed by doctors who specialize in a particular medical field. Remembering which doctor treats which injury can certainly be difficult during such stressful times. 

Medical specialists you may see include:

  • Emergency Room Physicians. You should go to the ER immediately if you feel or are told your harm is severe! There is always a possibility of long-term injuries, including severe burns, spinal injuries, traumatic head injuries, and broken bones. Many of these potentially serious injuries are not always apparent immediately following a crash for a number of reasons, including the fact that adrenaline or other areas of injury may mask them.  Your ER doctor may request you obtain an X-ray, a CAT scan, or another specialist's advice to move forward with a treatment plan. 
  • Urgent Care. Urgent care is helpful for more minor injuries like cuts or minor fractures. Here, you are likely to get a referral to a specialist or undergo medical imaging, depending on your symptoms and potential diagnosis. However, urgent care should not be a solution for injuries that need immediate, serious care. 
  • Burn Specialists. If you have been burned, even if it is only minor, you should see a burn specialist. If you leave burns untreated, your skin can thicken, stiffen, or become infected. This is avoidable; again, we want you to prevent long-term impact!
  • Surgeons. Surgery may be necessary to heal properly. Many kinds of surgeons attend to this: orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, etc. What type of treatment you require will depend on your diagnosis.  And a quality surgeon may offer other forms of treatment to help avoid the need of surgery altogether.
  • Neurologists. Neurologists are essential for examining brain and nerve injury. Even if you feel fine at first, you could have sustained a brain injury, spinal injuries, neuromas, or other types of nerve injuries from the accident. Your best course of action is to ensure that you are not suffering from these conditions, as if left untreated, they may become worse or even permanent.
  • Physical Therapy. Following orthopedic, neurologic, or soft-tissue injuries, a physical therapist will guide the use of your healing body. Physical therapists implement exercise therapy and daily routines to support you in getting back and better than ever. Be diligent about following these routines to heal properly - especially any instructions for home care or exercise regimens!
  • Psychotherapists and Counselors.  These folks help you deal with the psychological aspect of your injuries, including acute anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder, just to name a few.  While it may feel awkward or embarrassing to see such a therapist, they are instrumental in helping your brain deal with your newfound injuries and symptoms.  Suppose you are diligent in seeking out such a specialist right away, attending the scheduled visits, and making an effort to work with them. In that case, your psychological stress should be greatly alleviated, and the need for treatment shortened as compared to the situation if you do not do those things.

It can be daunting to see so many medical professionals all at once, but seeking out and receiving treatment from such specialists right away will help to ensure that you heal quickly. 

If you decide to leave injuries untreated, you may not be able to recover for that damage, as insurance adjusters, the judge and the jury all prefer to see proof of your injuries from experts in the field, rather than to just take your word for it.  Indeed, the documents you obtain from these examinations will be essential in determining the full extent of the injuries you suffered in the accident. This way, our personal injury lawyers may best evaluate the nature and extent of your injures to ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve, whether through settlement, mediation, arbitration or even trial.

Other important documentation.

Following a car crash, you should first ensure that every party is alright. Once affirmed everyone is safe, you should exchange information with those around you. For example, the other party's name, phone number, insurance information, and witnesses' contact information and statements at the scene. However, do not discuss your personal injury case with the other party's insurance adjusters!  Their goal is to trick you into saying or doing things that will only hurt your case, and are not governed by the same ethical rules that lawyers are.

Oregon drivers must file an Accident and Insurance Report with the DMV within 72 hours following the accident if there is any injury, death, property damage over $1,500 or if any vehicle is towed from the scene. Any report of the accident scene will also be helpful to your personal injury claim, as it can help you remember the specifics later in time. 

The state of Oregon requires that auto drivers carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage. Informing your PIP insurance or primary health insurer of the accident will likely be your next step.  One or both may require that you fill out a form that summarizes the accident and your injuries.  Like the Accident and Insurance Report, this may help you remember the fine details down the line.

Why are these documents important?

Compensation for your pain and suffering is possible based on who was at fault in the accident. Some of the information in these documents may help with proving that the other driver was negligent, and you were not.  As you recuperate, our car accident attorneys will assemble evidence that proves your lack of fault.  However, oftentimes, these documents are filled out before we are involved, so it is important to be as precise and accurate as you possibly can when doing so!  

Also, a court will award the amount of compensation deserved after looking at the facts and opinions presented in the related documents and medical records. It goes without saying that if you enter into a settlement agreement with an insurance company early on and do not build a case, you lose out on this opportunity to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries!

In determining fair compensation, a court will consider how negligent both parties were in causing the accident. Sometimes, there are no witnesses other than you and that other driver. In that situation, photos and testimony from professionals who understand accidents and the injuries they cause are particularly important in building the strongest case.

Other than my medical files, what do I save?

In short, you should save as much information as possible from the scene of the accident, if you can do so safely! This includes photographs, notes of witnesses, statements made by the other driver, and so on.  Additionally, save any other information regarding your injuries or damages.  Some examples of good things to save and mention to your doctors and legal representatives are:

  • Proof of property damage, as the point of impact can tell a story of liability.
  • Proof of lost wages from not being able to work after the accident.
  • Concerns over your psychological/mental health, such as feeling anxious or depressed.
  • Cost of medication or mental health treatment.
  • A list of friends and family who helped you with your injuries, or observed you suffering.

Evidence of these types of non-physical injuries goes a long way towards your financial recovery. For example, the other party's insurance company rarely takes these genuine and significant costs into account without proof that you suffered them. We understand how frightening these costs can be, especially when they stack up simultaneously, and will do what we can to help you keep a persuasive record of them once we are involved in your case.

This will help create a case that inspires the court to make the other party pay for the full extent of damages they caused. Whether the court is addressing pain and suffering or physical damages, maximum documentation will equal maximum compensation. Also, the state of Oregon, at times, implements "punitive" damages, which can punish those that create grossly reckless accidents, such as drunk driving.

Why a lawyer?

Your best bet to recover the greatest amount of compensation possible is to obtain a local lawyer - one who is familiar with Oregon law, procedure and values.

Signing a settlement with the other party's insurance company to conclude the stress is reasonably tempting. Still, DON'T DO IT! Hiring a personal injury attorney can be much more beneficial, and our experienced auto accident lawyers will assist you with care. We know that you deserve to recover fully - not just physically, but financially, too.

When looking for an accident lawyer, ensure that they have a good reputation and relatable experience. After all, you don't want a lawyer who only handles breaking and entering cases to take on your car accident case! 

Whether in Bend, Portland, Eugene, Grant's Pass, Roseburg, or Medford, Dwyer Williams Cherkoss has experienced personal injury attorneys. Our lawyers are happy to compile your records into a winning case while you focus on healing!  And as our firm's recent wins show, we are no stranger to success.

How will my auto accident attorney bill me?

Some may shy away from hiring a lawyer over fear of legal fees and costs. However, we work on a contingency-fee basis because we understand these anxieties. At Dwyer Williams Cherkoss, our statewide lawyers do everything in our power to get you more money than you would have on your own!

With that goal in mind, we work on a percentage agreement rather than hourly or monthly billing.  This means that our legal fee is only a portion of the monetary award you receive from the court or by way of settlement. On the off-hand the case is lost; you will not owe any attorney fees whatsoever. With this type of attorney fee agreement, our interests are aligned: we want to focus on maximizing your financial recovery in the most efficient way possible.

Whether you are in a truck accident, motorcycle accident, or car accident, DWC's auto lawyers are experienced and get the job done. We offer free consultations, so no matter what course of action you choose to take, we are here to guide you. We are happy to discuss your case over the phone at (541) 617-0555 or you can contact us online now!


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