If there is one thing you should never delay after a car accident, it is to get medical treatment. But how do you find a doctor?
It is quite common to feel just fine immediately after an accident and then feel pain later. The reason for this is that the elevated levels of adrenaline pumping through your bloodstream mask the pain or injury. When the adrenaline subsides to normal levels, you may then start feeling pain from your injuries.
If you have pain, discomfort, soreness, or muscle tightness, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers
First, if you need emergency treatment, you may be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital or urgent care center. You may also be admitted to an extended hospital stay if your injuries are serious.
Emergency rooms are the best place for treating severe and life-threatening conditions. They’re open 24 hours, seven days a week and offer specialized care and diagnostic tests. In an ER, you can expect to receive immediate laboratory testing, advanced imaging, urgent surgery, or extended stays if your condition necessitates this. However, treatment at the ER can be quite expensive.
A less expensive but less comprehensive alternative is an urgent care center. These centers are clinics that don’t require appointments. They treat injuries serious enough to require immediate medical attention but not serious enough to require hospitalization. These are ideal if you are not able to see your primary care doctor. For example, if your accident happened in the evening after normal business hours, or on the weekend, you could go straight to an urgent care center.
Who to See First: Primary Care Physician vs Specialist
If you don’t need emergency medical treatment, you can skip the emergency room or urgent care clinics and see a regular doctor.
Should you see your family doctor or go straight to a specialist?
The answer is you should see your family doctor first and allow him to make a referral. Knowing your medical history more than any other doctor, your primary care physician is the best person to make an assessment and select the right specialist for you.
It also shows insurance companies that you went through the appropriate channels to find a specialist. Surprisingly, this does factor into how much they will reimburse you for your claim.
Once you get a referral to a specialist, you can continue seeing that specialist throughout your treatment plan.
Does the Doctor Accept Your Insurance?
Before going to a doctor, make sure his office accepts your health insurance plan. You can search online and visit your doctor’s website to see which insurance companies they work with. You may also give them a quick call and ask whether they accept your insurance.
It also wouldn’t hurt to confirm with your own health insurance company that they will indeed cover your doctor visit.
As far as seeing a specialist, once you get a referral from your family doctor, he may or may not necessarily be covered by your health insurance plan. Your doctor won’t know which specialists are in your health insurance network, so it is your responsibility to call and check with the specialist’s office ahead of time.
Many health insurance websites offer “find a doctor” services online, through which you can search for a specialist in your area that is within your network. Once you find one, you can ask your family doctor to “officially” refer you to that specialist.
Find a Doctor Near Your Home
You can find a local doctor close to your home to attend to your treatment and medical care. Click on the town nearest you and scroll down to the list of doctors in your neighborhood:
We also have access to world-class medical centers and state-of-the-art hospitals. Below is a list of top-rated hospitals in Phoenix:
5777 East Mayo Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85054-4502
1111 East McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006-2666
350 West Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013-4496
9201 West Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85037-3332