Getting Medical Care for Your Injuries
Premises liability injuries can happen at any time. You can be in the middle of an ordinary day and become the victim of a property owner’s negligence when you trip in a pothole at the supermarket parking lot, or fall down the stairs in a hotel when the railing you’re holding breaks.
The injuries you suffer in an accident on someone else’s property can be very serious. When you’re hurt, it’s important that you get the right medical care for your injuries. Some common types of injuries seen in premises liability cases include:
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Seek Medical Care Immediately
The first thing you should do when you’re injured in an accident on someone’s property is ask for medical care, if you’re able. If an ambulance is called, the first medical provider to see you probably will be a paramedic or EMT. The paramedic/EMT will work to stabilize you so that you can either go home if you’re able, or be transported to an emergency department if you need additional care. There are some things a paramedic/EMT can do on the spot, but if you have significant injuries you may need to go to the hospital.
In the emergency room, you may be seen by ER doctors and nurses, medical assistants, phlebotomists who draw blood samples for testing, and radiologic technicians who perform X-rays, CT scans or other tests to determine the extent of your injuries. You also may get a consultation with a specialist or surgeon, depending upon your injuries and your needs.
The ER doctors provide your most immediate treatment needs and evaluate whether you need to be admitted to the hospital. If you’re not admitted, the ER doctor will give you a set of discharge instructions that probably includes a directive to see your primary care physician or family doctor, or to see a specialist for treatment of specific injuries. If you’re admitted to the hospital, you’ll likely be under the care of a hospitalist — a doctor who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital — as well as nurses. You also may see specialists. For example, if you suffered a head injury, a neurologist may evaluate you for concussion or other traumatic brain injury.
Once you’re discharged from the hospital, you’ll have instructions for how to care for yourself at home, and for making follow-up visits with your primary care physician or specialists as needed.
Some types of medical providers you might see during your recovery include:
- Family doctor or nurse practitioner
- General Surgeon
- Orthopedist or Orthopedic Surgeon
- Brain Surgeon
- Spinal Surgeon
- Physical Therapist
- Psychiatrist or Psychologist
- Plastic Surgeon
- Pain Management Doctor
You may end up seeing a lot of doctors if you’re badly injured, and the different instructions and advice you receive may become overwhelming and confusing. As daunting as it all may seem, your recovery will go more smoothly if you make sure to follow the instructions given by your doctors. Instructions may include:
- Taking prescription drugs at the right time and in the right dose
- Making follow-up appointments with your doctor
- Making appointments with specialists
- Refraining from activities that could impede your recovery
- Taking time off from work
- Making alterations to your home to accommodate your recovery
If you don’t follow instructions, you could find that you don’t heal properly or that your injuries get worse. Failing to follow instructions also could affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries in a premises liability claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer can’t do the work of healing and recovery for you — that’s up to you. However, an experienced Chicago premises liability lawyer can help alleviate some of your stress by helping with the investigation into your accident, making a claim for compensation of your medical bills and other damages, negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement, or filing a lawsuit if no settlement can be reached.