How Do I See a Doctor After a Pedestrian Accident If I Don’t Have Health Insurance?
Pedestrians are no match for cars. Even a low-speed collision with a pedestrian can lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, joint damage, torn muscles, and other painful health conditions.
Every pedestrian who is injured by a collision with a car, truck, scooter, or other vehicle should seek medical attention. Prompt treatment is important for three reasons.
First, conditions that are untreated take longer to heal. Conditions that could improve with treatment might become permanent impairments if left untreated.
Second, some undiagnosed conditions can be fatal if they are ignored. When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian’s head, or when a head strikes the pavement, a concussion should not be dismissed with the brave statement “I just got my bell rung.”
Bleeding or swelling in the brain can cause a quick death, but serious symptoms might not manifest until it is too late to remedy the problem. Internal bleeding and organ damage can also be fatal, even if symptoms are not immediately apparent.
Third, insurance companies assume that medical conditions are unrelated to the accident if the victim does not mention the symptoms to a doctor soon after the accident occurred. A pedestrian who decides to live with nagging pain for a month or two after an accident before seeing a doctor might struggle to convince an insurance company — or a jury — that the pain was caused by the accident rather than a subsequent event.
Seeing a doctor right away promotes a full recovery and improves an accident victim’s opportunity to receive full compensation for accident injuries. Pedestrian accident lawyers, like a car accident lawyer, urge injury victims to seek immediate medical attention, even if they have no health insurance.
Emergency Medical Attention for Uninsured Pedestrian Accident Victims
If an ambulance arrives at the accident scene and paramedics recommend an evaluation in an emergency room, an injured pedestrian should always heed that advice. Emergency room physicians are required to evaluate every injury to determine whether it is serious or life-threatening, even if the victim is uninsured.
Hospitals must stabilize serious or life-threatening conditions, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. If a doctor determines that the injury is not serious or life-threatening, the injured pedestrian will gain peace of mind from that diagnosis.
While hospitals can bill patients for emergency care, it is better to incur a bill than to ignore an injury. A Georgia pedestrian injury lawyer can help the pedestrian recover compensation — including money to pay medical bills — if the injury was caused by a careless driver or scooter operator.
Continuing Medical Care for Uninsured Pedestrian Accident Victims
Pedestrians who have reached the age of 65 can obtain healthcare from a doctor who accepts Medicare. The Social Security Administration can help senior citizens enroll in the Medicare program. A list of Georgia doctors who accept Medicare patients is available on the Medicare website.
Individuals who cannot afford health insurance might qualify for Medicaid, a program that provides healthcare to low-income individuals. Minors, the parents of minor children, and disabled accident victims are among those who might qualify for Georgia Medicaid.
Veterans might also qualify for healthcare from the Veterans’ Administration. Veterans are particularly likely to qualify if a pedestrian accident aggravates a service-related injury.
Uninsured patients might also be able to obtain care from a physician who has treated them in the past. Some physicians are willing to accept installment payments or to defer payment until an injury claim is settled.
Experienced pedestrian accident attorneys may be able to recommend Georgia doctors who have agreed in the past to treat patients in exchange for a lien on settlement proceeds. The accident victim’s lawyer can explain the advantages and disadvantages of giving a lien to a doctor. Regardless of how it is obtained, however, continuing healthcare treatment is vital to obtaining full compensation for accident injuries.