If you have recently been in a car accident, we understand you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain, particularly about your health. You may wonder how to identify if you have any injuries and how to cover any medical bills. Below, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys explain what tests are done after a car accident to identify injuries and potential options for paying your bills.

If you have suffered injuries in a serious California car accident, contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Steers & Associates. We help car accident victims pursue compensation for their injuries. Our team can help you explore and understand your legal options during a free consultation. Call us at (800) 824-5416 or contact us online.

Why You Should Get Medical Tests After a Car Accident

Getting a comprehensive medical examination after a car accident is vital, even if you feel fine or believe you sustained minor injuries. A medical evaluation is a critical step to take after an accident for a couple of reasons, including:Firefighters working together to remove a victim from a car that toppled down after an accident

  • Your health: Some injuries, like internal injuries, are not immediately visible or symptomatic after an accident, especially because you will likely experience adrenaline and shock. Your injuries may not show symptoms for hours, days, or weeks. You want to ensure that any hidden injuries are detected and treated promptly. Leaving injuries unchecked could cause them to worsen or cause health complications like chronic pain.
  • Your car accident claim: The other reason to get a medical evaluation right after a car accident is for documentation. If you need to file an insurance claim to recover damages, your medical records can show that the accident caused your injuries. If you wait too long to seek medical treatment, proving the link between the accident and your injuries can be more challenging. The insurance company may try to ask too many questions to undervalue your injuries by claiming they were not extensive enough to go to the doctor. It may also claim that another event caused your injuries after the accident.
What Tests Are Done After a Car Accident?

Three Common Tests Done After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you might sustain injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, you may experience pain and swelling. On the other hand, shock and adrenaline from the accident may mask symptoms of a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury. However, you do not know the type or extent of your injuries without an evaluation and testing.

There are three common types of medical tests that healthcare providers may conduct after an auto accident: X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Each test is a medical imaging technique to identify potential car accident injuries. Understanding what they are and what they do can give you peace of mind in a stressful situation.

When you get evaluated, you should tell the healthcare provider that you have been in an auto accident. Be thorough about your symptoms and how you feel. Keep in mind that whether you undergo one or more of these tests will depend on the evaluation and recommendations of your doctor.

X-Rays

X-rays are typically the first diagnostic tests performed following a car accident. They use electromagnetic beams to create images of the internal structures of the body, particularly the bones.X-ray scan of a human brain

X-Rays are effective in detecting the following types of injuries:

  • Broken bones: X-rays are most often used to help doctors diagnose bone fractures. This imaging can identify the location and type of the fracture.
  • Dislocation injuries: X-rays can identify dislocation injuries in your body or when the ends of your bones are forced from their regular positions at a joint.
  • Foreign objects: In severe car accidents, you may suffer penetrating injuries or impalement from a foreign object. X-rays can locate foreign objects that have entered the body, such as glass or metal.

Your medical provider may order more advanced imaging tests to check for other injuries or learn more about injuries identified in an X-ray. For example, they may recommend a CT scan or MRI.

CT Scans

A CT scan, or computed tomography scan, uses X-Ray technology and computer processing to take multiple images of the body from different angles. A CT scan offers a detailed, full-body view of the bones, soft tissues, and internal organs, which traditional X-Rays cannot provide.

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After a car accident, a CT scan can help doctors detect any internal injuries or bleeding. For example, it can identify:

  • Broken bones
  • Skull fractures
  • Puncture wounds
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage

Because some of these injuries may not show symptoms immediately but can be life-threatening if left untreated, a CT scan can be a lifesaver after an auto accident.

MRI Scans

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is another tool doctors may use to diagnose an injury after a car accident. This medical imaging technique uses a magnet and radio waves to generate highly detailed images of the body’s internal structures.

After a car accident, MRI scans can help doctors identify injuries that would not show up on X-rays or provide more detail than CT scans, such as:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Muscle damage
  • Tendon injuries

Doctor sitting down with her patient while explaining her test resultsWhat Are Common Injuries After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor bruising and cuts to severe, life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries that result from car accidents include, but are not limited to:

It is important to remember that the severity and extent of your injuries can vary, and symptoms may not present immediately after the accident. Therefore, getting immediate medical attention is critical to ensuring a smooth recovery.

How to Cover the Costs of Your Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

Medical treatment following a car accident can be costly, especially if you sustain a serious car accident injury. Common medical expenses may include costs for:

  • Emergency care
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy

You may be able to recover financial compensation for your damages through a car accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, a claim takes time to resolve. In the meantime, you are responsible for your medical bills.

You have the option of having your medical providers bill your health insurance to cover the costs of your treatment. While you will likely have to pay copays and your deductible, your health insurance should help you keep your out-of-pocket costs at a minimum.

However, your health insurance may have limitations or exclusions on certain types of treatment. If you have medical payments coverage, or med pay, through your auto insurance, you may also use that to fill in gaps and cover your medical bills.

Med pay is optional add-on insurance coverage, so you should check your auto insurance policy to see if you have it. If you do, you can use med pay no matter who is liable for the accident. Generally, med pay coverage is up to a low fixed limit. However, it does not require copays or meeting a deductible to use.

Contact Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys understand that the period after a car accident can be incredibly stressful. In addition to your injuries, you may also be trying to deal with insurance companies to cover your expenses.

At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we help car accident victims pursue financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. We handle the legal process while our clients focus on recovery.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious car accident injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover your damages through a personal injury claim. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your legal options. Contact us today at (800) 824-5416 or online to get started.