Best Options for Injury Treatment: ER or Urgent Care

Most families have had a middle-of-the-night medical issue at one time or another. There is always a question as to the best place to go for treatment, an emergency room, or an urgent care center. Both are relatively plentiful, but there are huge differences in the care you will receive, the price you will pay, and the satisfaction you may have with the experience.

Emergency Rooms

ERs are equipped to address all levels of medical need, from earaches to broken bones and even gunshot wounds and internal injuries. The average cost in 2017 for an ER visit was about $1,400. That is before x-rays, lab work, and other medical interventions. 

Urgent Care Centers

A bridge linking primary care and emergency care, urgent care centers are designed to address medical issues that arise on weekends and after hours. They generally have x-ray equipment and can perform lab work, making them ideal places to go for a twisted ankle or midnight strep test. They differ from primary care doctors in that they do not maintain extensive medical histories, so you will want to make sure your records are transferred. These care centers do not compare to ERs in terms of the sophistication of equipment and staff expertise that hospitals provide, and urgent care centers are certainly less equipped to address conditions that are life-threatening.

Factors to Weigh in Choosing Care

Clearly, the severity of the medical condition is a major factor to consider when deciding where to go for care. Another issue that should be front of mind is cost. The least important factor, but the one that is frequently central to the choice, is convenience. That is perhaps why some estimates have it that up to half of all visits to the ER are for non-urgent care. Instead, the ER should be reserved for life-threatening symptoms or injuries. When you are not sure, opt for the ER. Some symptoms that warrant the ER without question include:

Who Pays?

Whether experiencing a traumatic injury from a car accident, where there is no question as to the need for a trip to the ER, or a broken bone that needs to be reset in an urgent care center, medical treatment can be costly and long-term. But who pays? If your injuries are the result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to collect damages to address medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with your injuries. To discuss the possibilities, schedule a confidential consultation with the adept and caring Temecula personal injury attorneys at Gibbs & Fuerst LLP today.