Much of life has ground to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, so long as people are driving to their essential jobs, grocery shopping or, in recent weeks, going out to some of Georgia’s opened businesses, car accidents will still happen.
Unfortunately, now is a challenging time to face any health issue—let alone a serious injury. Seeking treatment may seem like too big of a risk. Visiting the emergency room may seem unthinkable.
But it’s a mistake to postpone or avoid critical care. Car accident injuries can’t wait, and, in fact, they often only become more severe as time passes. So, if you’re faced with an injury during a pandemic, what should you do?
How to identify an emergency
While some hospitals across the country are experiencing surges of patients—volumes that are nearly impossible for staff to keep up with—others are seeing admissions drop. That’s partly due to postponed elective procedures meant to limit exposure and conserve PPE. But it’s also likely due to people avoiding care when they need it. This is a mistake.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and don’t believe it’s severe, start by calling your primary care physician. Your doctor may be able to set up a telehealth appointment and advise you on what you should do next.
If your injury is serious, however, you should go to the emergency room for treatment. Serious injuries include:
- Concussion or suspected concussion
- Broken bones or dislocated joints
- Severe cuts
- Head or eye injuries
- Serious burns
- Fainting or slurred speech
- Facial lacerations
- Vaginal bleeding if pregnant
Urgent care centers may be the right choice for the evaluation and treatment of sprains or small cuts.
Either way, wear your cloth face mask. The CDC recommends cloth masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
After your injury is stabilized, your providers may be able to move your follow-up appointments to telehealth.
What to expect
Hospitals understand the public’s concern about contracting COVID-19 in their facilities. To protect patient and staff safety, hospitals are making rapid changes to their policies, including screening emergency room patients for coronavirus symptoms upon arrival and diverting patients to separate areas. They’re also likely distancing patients and providers as much as possible and increasing cleaning.
If you’re injured but also have COVID-19 symptoms, follow the CDC’s guidelines. If you call 911 for help, alert the operator of your symptoms.
The bottom line? If you’re hurt, you need help. You can’t wait out a global emergency. Make sure you get the treatment you need. Not only is it critical for your health and your long-term healing, but, should your injuries worsen, you won’t have a personal injury case without medical documentation. If you’re unable to receive treatment due to COVID-19-related surges, keep a record of your attempts.
Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been injured, don’t wait to get medical treatment or pursue a personal injury case. Make sure you receive the treatment you need now, and then call an Atlanta car accident attorney. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian for a free consultation.