If you have been injured in a car accident, or any other type of accident that requires that you be transported to the emergency room (ER), we want to give you these tips on the information that you, or your family members, should ask about during your visit there.  These are the top 5 questions that you should have answers to before you are released.  If possible, have a family member or trusted friend to be with you for the answers.  

While it may be a good idea to ask these same questions of all of your doctors, here are the ones that must be asked in the ER:


  1. What are your injuries and what do they mean? Ask the doctor and nurses to speak in layman's terms. The more you understand your injury, the more likely you are to focus on your recovery and avoid things that can make it more difficult. Find out what additional care you will need and how long you can expect to be dealing with pain. 
  2. Get the physicians opinion on how your injury was caused? You obviously know that you are in the emergency room because of a car accident, but find out the doctor's opinion on why it happened. Is it because you most likely hit your head on the steering wheel? Is your back injury due to the way that the other car hit you? Getting a doctor's opinion - especially in writing - can prevent the insurance company from blaming your injury on something unrelated to the crash. 
  3. Put your future care in writing, along with someone to explain it to you. Not all emergency room staff members will provide you with written instructions on what to do after you are discharged, and it can be hard to remember exactly what needs to be done when you are facing the trauma of a car accident. 
  4. When should you see your family care physician and will the ER doctor be speaking with them? Letting your primary care physician know about your accident injury as soon as possible could help you schedule a follow-up visit with him or her faster. Find out if the hospital will be relaying any information to your primary care physician, including the prescribed treatment or medications. 
  5. Ask each doctor and nurse that attends to you if they personally reviewed your medical history and the medications you currently are taking.  This may seem obvious, but busy doctors and nurses in a crammed ER could easily overlook it and not consider this information. Providing a list of current ailments, injuries and medication will ensure that you do not have a cross-reaction to any treatment or medications that they prescribe. 

Find out more information that every car accident victim should know by ordering your free copy of Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, written by the Southern California car accident injury lawyers of Steinberg. Call 1-800-989-6385, or fill out our online form to request your free case evaluation.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982