After an injury, you’ll likely think about going directly to the emergency room. The ER is meant for emergencies, and not all injuries are an emergency. Yes, if it’s life-threatening, go to the ER and get the necessary treatment.

However, if you sprained your ankle or the injury isn’t life-threatening, the ER might not be the place for you. In some cases, going to the right doctor will make a difference, especially if you were injured in an auto accident.

Going to the ER is one of the most expensive routes to take. When the bill finally shows up, it will be huge in comparison to other options. It might cause financial issues as the charges will likely be very high.

Before you just go to the ER, consider all of your options. There are times for the emergency room and times when an urgent care center or another medical facility fits better. Let’s look at a few different circumstances and where you should go.

Critical Illness/Serious Medical Injury

If you know your illness or injury is serious, the ER might be the right choice. For example, if you cannot get yourself to another option, you’re unconscious, or you’ve suffered a stroke or heart attack, it’s time to go to the emergency room. After all, the ER is the “EMERGENCY” room, and critical illnesses or serious injuries are emergencies.

Sports Injuries

While some sports injuries may be severe and require the ER, most do not. Most of the time, you can ice the injury and even finish watching your team play before heading to a medical facility. In this scenario, if you can get into a facility like the Spinal Injury Center, it’s a better option. If not, head to an Urgent Care Center. This will likely result in a much smaller bill.

Chronic Pain/Injury

If you’re dealing with a chronic injury or pain, you don’t need the ER. Instead, you need an appointment with the right doctor to help diagnose your injury. Most ERs are not set up to provide this type of diagnosis and will end up sending you to a specialist, anyway. Why waste your money going to the ER in this scenario?


With chronic illnesses, it can be tricky. However, if the fever is low, the symptoms are somewhat normal, and the person needing help isn’t entirely out of it, you can likely make a regular doctor appointment. There are some times when going to the ER is necessary. If a fever spikes to a dangerous place or the illness become very serious, yes, go to the ER. However, if it’s just flu-like symptoms or common cold symptoms, a doctor’s appointment or Urgent Care Center is likely a more financially wise option.

The Emergency Rooms are there for a reason, but not for all health issues. When it’s a life-threatening injury or illness, yes, go to the ER. When it’s not life-threatening, you’ll likely be doing yourself a huge favor (especially financially) by avoiding the ER and making an appointment with the right doctor. After an auto accident, if you have a non-serious injury, see the Spinal Injury Center Auto Accident Doctor in Jacksonville.