Research shows that even low impact accidents at speeds as low as 15 mph can cause bodily injury. If left untreated, these injuries could lead to future problems like headaches, tingling and numbness, muscle weakness, and even disc problems.
Most auto injuries result in soft tissue damage. Often, these injuries don’t show up for days or even weeks after the accident. This is because your body releases chemicals called endorphins and enkephalons at the time of injury. These chemicals are the body’s “natural” pain killers that are very similar to, and even stronger than, morphine. The release of these natural pain killers will mask the symptoms of pain until they are flushed from the body. Once they leave the body, you will begin to feel the pain.
Don’t be fooled into thinking, “I went to the emergency room and they said I was okay. They even took x-rays and said I would be fine.” We often hear this from our patients and then a couple of weeks post-accident they show up in the office because of pain. The problem lies in the way emergency room doctors are trained. They are trained to focus on emergency, life-threatening conditions. Most Md’s are not trained to deal with this type of musculoskeletal problem nor is the hospital emergency room equipped for this type of treatment. That is why a visit to the chiropractor is essential following an auto accident.
The vast majority of auto accident cases are handled in our office on assignment basis. That means that in most cases you will pay nothing out of your pocket for our services. We wait to collect our fees directly from the insurance company once you are completely healed and released from care. Our staff will be more than happy to explain in detail what you should expect to pay, if anything, right up front before any care is rendered. All you need to do is bring in your insurance information and we’ll take care of the rest.
Auto accident injuries are treated after a complete and thorough exam (usually including x-rays) is performed. This allows us to identify the exact extent of your injuries and design a treatment plan that is unique to your condition. This is usually followed by a series of gentle spinal adjustments, physical therapy and exercises. Treatment times vary greatly and are adjusted according to your individual progress.
It is estimated that 15-40% of those who are injured in a motor vehicle collision will suffer from ongoing chronic pain.(Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007) Whiplash injuries not only increase the incidence of chronic neck and shoulder pain, it also significantly increases the incidence of other systemic ill health effects. In other words, whiplash injuries cause more than neck pain and headache, it hurts the health of the entire body.(Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2001) That essentially 100% of those who are suffering from chronic pain caused by a whiplash injury will have an abnormal psychological profile with standard assessments, and the only way to resolve the abnormal psychological profile was to successfully treat the chronic spinal pain. Psychotherapy was not able to improve the abnormal psychological profile, nor was it able to improve the patient’s chronic pain complaint.(Pain, 1997)
In the longest study ever performed on whiplash-injured patients (a study looking at the health status 17 years after injury), 55% of the patients still suffered from pain caused by the original trauma.(Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2002) 90% of those who are initially given a cervical collar for their whiplash injuries will be suffering from chronic neck pain 6 months later.(Spine, 2000) 2% of whiplash-injured patients will have severe pain and problems that require ongoing medical investigations and drugs 7.5 years after being injured.(Injury, 2005) 1 in every 100 (1%) people on our planet suffer from chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury.(Pain, 1994)
The Motor Vehicle Collision Injury Problem
Statistically, every American can expect to be in a motor vehicle collision once every ten years. Motor vehicle collisions have been the number one cause of death of our children for decades. Since 911 (September 11, 2001), about 3,000 Americans have died as a consequence of terrorism; about 360,000 Americans have died in motor vehicle crashes.
Since the start of the American Revolution in 1775, about a million Americans have died in our wars. Since Henry Ford introduced the mass-produced motorcar in 1913, more than 2.5 million Americans have met their deaths on the road. And millions of Americans who did not die from motor vehicle collisions were injured.
Utah is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurance policy will pay for your medical treatment for injuries caused by an automobile accident regardless of who is at fault. If the other driver was at fault and you have suffered injuries, you also may be entitled to compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, consider discussing your accident with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will help you deal with the insurance companies to make certain that you are treated fairly and are compensated adequately for your injuries. We work with most attorneys and in many cases will wait to be paid until your case settles. A personal injury attorney will not charge you for a consultation and will handle your claim on a contingency fee basis.
If you need help finding an attorney, just ask us.