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What Type of Doctor Should I Go To After a Car Accident?

Right up there with hurricanes and tropical storms, floods, wildfires, and other “Acts of God,” car accidents are among the most unprecedented events we can experience in our lives.

It can go something like this: You’re en route to court for jury duty, and then bang! A random motorist rams his car into yours from behind due to a mechanical failure (heads or tails, it’s a case of faulty brakes). Whether you get off lightly or you are left with physical injuries, such as broken bones or neck injuries, car accidents can be highly traumatic.

A serious car accident can result in a devastating shock to your consciousness. When you finally come to and become aware of your surroundings, you’re likely to find yourself in the emergency ward.

If — luckily — you didn’t suffer any grievous bodily damage, the nearest hospital should be your next stop whether your injuries are visible or not.

The reason is simple: Seeking professional medical help before your injuries worsen is the best way to get your clean bill of health and bounce back from a car accident. Even if you have not sustained any obvious injuries, physical therapy will be required to help you get back on track.

Making sure you consult a doctor after car accident helps you to address any signs or symptoms of medical issues immediately after the car accident. The injuries may even be as seemingly benign as slight skin discoloration or a dull ache in your knees, but they may indicate an injury that requires a doctor’s diagnosis. It is important to see a doctor immediately to get a thorough examination.

Not only should you seek urgent medical care, but if another person’s negligence caused the car accident, you should contact your lawyer without delay to seek a legal remedy.

If you do not have a lawyer, or have none, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for reliable, trustworthy advice on your best course of action.

Do you need legal assistance?Find the right lawyer in your area.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, ensure you seek medical attention from an auto accident doctor if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:

— Dizziness;

— Shortness of breath;

— Deep lacerations;

— Severe pain;

— Head or neck injury such as concussion, brain blood clots, or whiplash;

— Weakness;

— Loss of consciousness;

— Broken bones;

— Confusion;

— Back injury;

— Profuse bleeding; or

— Any other alarming symptoms or abnormalities.

What Kind of Doctor Should I See After a Car Accident?

A common question after experiencing a car accident is which type of doctor you should see. You could choose to see your primary care physician or an emergency room doctor. Whichever decision you make, you should be sure that they are an experienced auto accident doctor.

Also read:How to Dispute Fault in a Car Accident: Simple Steps

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There are different kinds of auto accident doctors who specialize in different injuries. The right doctor for you depends on the type of injuries sustained and the body parts that are affected. These doctors include:

Orthopedic doctors

Orthopedic doctors are auto accident doctors that specialize in orthopedic medicine. They are skilled in treating injuries that concern the muscles, joints, spine, and soft tissue. This particular specialty is what makes them suitable medical doctors to see if you have sustained car accident injuries.

The most common auto accident injuries typically affect the injured person’s spine or neck, as well as the muscles and tissues due to the crash impact. Orthopedic doctors will approach the treatment of a car accident injury more comprehensively as their area of expertise spans the entire human body.

These doctors often use advanced equipment for diagnosis and can even identify injuries that may not be immediately noticeable after the accident occurred. An orthopedic doctor will come up with the most suitable course of treatment for your injuries and give you sufficient medical attention throughout your healing journey.

Emergency room doctors

Sometimes, a car accident injury might require emergency medicine because of its severity. In such cases, once the injured person arrives at the hospital, they are taken into the emergency room (ER), where an ER doctor stabilizes their condition.

An emergency room doctor is skilled in providing emergency medicine to patients with acute or life-threatening wounds. They specialize in stabilizing the patients and providing differential diagnoses so that other specialists like surgeons, cardiologists, and neurologists can attend to the next. 

Trauma surgeons

Trauma surgeons carry out emergency surgeries. They are trained to diagnose and repair trauma caused by injuries and illnesses through surgical procedures. When a car accident survivor sustains critical injuries, a trauma surgeon is qualified to perform a surgical operation on such a person.

Injuries from an auto accident may come in the form of severe burns, such as thermal burns or chemical burns, or from blunt and penetrating trauma caused by a forceful impact. Trauma surgeons commonly treat these kinds of injuries.

After ensuring your emergency condition is treated immediately, it’s not unusual for a trauma surgeon either to continue to tend to you on your road to recovery or transfers you into the care of another doctor/surgeon.

Primary care doctors

A primary care doctor or physician specializes in treating a wide range of illnesses and injuries. They are qualified medical doctors trained to diagnose, prevent and treat different illnesses and injuries, including car accident injuries.

Post-diagnosis, primary care doctors often refer patients to the right specialists and follow up on the entire treatment process.

When deciding which doctor to see to treat your car accident injuries, remember that the choice is not always solely up to you. A medical doctor is always the best person to point you in the right direction. So, to save time and resources, you should first see a primary care doctor for examination and evaluation.

What Happens If My Doctor Sends Me to A Specialist?

Your primary care physician plays a vital role in your treatment journey and should be your first stop after an auto accident. Generally, your physician will refer you to a specialist auto accident doctor for closer examination.

For some people, the mere mention of a “specialist” makes them anxious because they are worried that their injuries could be more severe than what a regular medical doctor is trained to handle. But that’s rarely the case.

Don’t panic. Having to see a specialist simply means that you are about to receive the medical treatment you need to get well again. Your auto doctor will be trained to treat the exact kind of injury you have.

For instance, your primary care doctor will likely begin by contacting your insurance company and requesting a nod of approval to commence treatment for your injuries. Then, you may be referred to a musculoskeletal injury spine specialist or pain doctor to see if you are experiencing any underlying injuries or health concerns that your primary care physician cannot easily detect.

After the specialist makes their findings and recommendations, they will send a report back to your physician, who uses this piece of information to decide on the next course of action.

This advised course of action is tailored to your care needs to provide you with the medical attention you require after surviving a car crash. As an example, if your specialist auto accident doctor discovers that you have elbow trauma and need surgery, they will get the necessary authorization from your insurance company for the surgical procedure.

After the surgery, you will proceed to post-surgical rehabilitation and physical therapy. Once this process is completed and you have fully recovered, you will be referred back to your primary doctor, who will continue to keep tabs on your recovery process.


A car accident injury can be adequately managed and treated once the appropriate steps are taken. Here at Lawrina, we are readily available to offer professional insight that will point you in the right direction when it comes to achieving a smooth and affordable recovery.

Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated, reliable legal professionals with extensive experience in car accident cases to address any complications you might be facing.

If you and your car are insured, your insurance company will take care of your medical bills and car repairs so that you can fully focus on recovery.

Additionally, if another party was responsible for your car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from their insurance company. In such a case, how do you know when you’re entitled to compensation? Seeking professional legal help helps you avoid the dilemma of suffering car accident injuries and yet waiving your compensation.

Although a car accident may have happened out of the blue, the pathway to proper recovery always requires care and precision. Need helpful insight on what doctors to see? Not sure how to sort out your medical bills using your insurance cover? We have a car accident lawyer waiting to help you with a free case evaluation session and consult what doctor to see after a car accident.

Article by Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

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