The Longo Firm P.A.

12555 Orange Drive
Suite 233
Davie, FL 33330

Call Now For A Personalized Consultation

(954) 546-7608

The Longo Firm P.A.

Urgent Care or ER After Car Accident in Florida?

  • By: Micah Longo, Esq.
  • Published: April 15, 2024
Urgent Care or ER After Car Accident in Florida?

Should you go to urgent care after a car accident or go to the hospital emergency room for auto accident treatment? Both have their pros and cons. The most important thing is that you should always seek immediate medical treatment. This is for your overall health and the benefit of documenting your injuries after a car accident. Whether you choose to go to an urgent care or emergency room depends on the severity of your injuries and your personal preference. Both can generally handle your auto accident treatment.

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

Many people who are seriously injured are transported to the hospital emergency room for car accident injuries. The hospital emergency rooms typically treat more significant injuries, whereas urgent care facilities treat less severe ones. This is because hospital emergency rooms are set up to treat more trauma-type injuries. You’ll have access to more advanced diagnostic testing, and trauma surgeons will generally be on staff. However, more access comes with a higher price.

Emergency Room Injuries

  • Severe pain;
  • Whiplash;
  • Spinal Cord Injuries;
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI);
  • Broken Bones;
  • Deep Lacerations;
  • Internal Bleeding;
  • Severe Burns.

Urgent Care Injuries

  • Sprain/Strains;
  • Muscle Soreness ;
  • Stiffness;
  • Minor Bumps, Bruises, and Cuts;


If you’re short on time, going to an urgent care or walk-in clinic may be your best choice. Often, clients who go to the ER sit in the waiting room all day. This is especially true if they drive to the ER rather than be transported by ambulance. Being transported by ambulance generally puts you to the front of the line, which you may take into consideration if you’re on the fence about being transported.

Now, I wouldn’t go to urgent care if I had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or thought I had a broken bone, spinal injury, or internal bleeding, as these injuries should be treated at the hospital emergency room regardless of how quickly you want to get in and out after a car accident. Every case and every injury is different, but if you have minor injuries and don’t want to spend all day at the hospital, getting treated at the urgent care is perfectly fine, and always go to the hospital for more severe injuries.


If you go to the emergency room, you can expect to receive a higher bill in the mail for services. Generally, this is because, at the hospital emergency room, you’ll receive expensive diagnostic testing like MRIs and CT scans, whereas, at urgent care, they’re likely limited to X-rays. Again, this is why you should go to the hospital emergency room for a significant injury and urgent care if you have a minor, soft tissue type injury like a sprain/strain, regardless of the cost.

Urgent care facilities may be more likely to negotiate the final balance of their bill than a hospital emergency room. This can be important at the end of your case because every dollar your attorney can save you for medical bills is more in your pocket at the end of your car accident case.

You may also be wondering who pays your medical bills after a car accident. Suppose you go to an urgent care or hospital emergency room. In that case, Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits will pay your medical bills in Florida. Every driver in the state of Florida is required to maintain PIP coverage, which pays 80% of the medical bills up to $10,000.00.

To be entitled to the total amount of PIP benefits in Florida, you MUST get medical treatment within 14 days of the car crash. If you do not, you’ll be limited to $2,500 in PIP benefits rather than the full $10,000. Because of this, it’s crucial to immediately get medical treatment after a car crash in Florida at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room.

No matter where you go, you should not be worried about an emergency room turning you away because you do not have insurance or cannot pay for services. It is against Florida law for hospital emergency rooms to refuse patient care regardless of whether you have insurance.

Urgent care and ERs may also accept health insurance and Medicare as secondary or collateral payment sources.

Level of Care

Generally, you’ll have access to a higher level of care at the hospital emergency room, but it will cost you more. Hospital emergency rooms typically have trauma surgeons on standby for life-threatening injuries. For non-life-threatening injuries, you’ll still receive a high level of care at an urgent care facility.

Where To Go After Florida Car Accident

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but I recommend if you have severe or life-threatening injuries, first call 911 and get transported to the hospital emergency room after a crash.

If you have minor injuries that are nagging and not going away, you can go to an urgent care or walk-in clinic in Florida. Here, you’ll save time and money while still adequately documenting your injuries and getting the care you need after an auto accident.

Micah Longo, Esq.

Attorney Micah Longo is the founding member
and managing attorney of The Longo Firm. A
Pennsylvania native, Micah Longo...Read More