I’ve been in a Car Accident, what should I do?
Navigating the world of car accident injuries is not simple but it is certainly easier if you rely on the expertise of professionals such as ourselves. A simple checklist is all you need to get started. If you have been in an accident:
- Notify the police.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
- Seek treatment. We’ll help you with the rest!
While you’re waiting for the police to show up, if an ambulance arrives and you feel pain or are having difficulty focusing, take a ride in the ambulance to the hospital and get checked there. Because of the adrenaline coursing through your system after a car accident, many times people walk away not even realizing they have been injured, and inevitably whatever pain they do feel worsens greatly overnight. In fact, many people feel worse the day after the accident than they do on the same day of the accident. Because of this, you should seek Chiropractic care asap after an accident.
How do I pay for Chiropractic care after an automobile accident?
A lot of people are scared to seek medical help from a Chiropractor after a car accident because they’re wary of the financial implications it may bring. “What if it raises my insurance?” and “How can I afford it?” are frequently asked questions by people who’ve been injured in an automobile accident. The great news is, here in the state of Utah, we have mandatory Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, which “pay”-ves the road to your recovery!
What is PIP?
In the state of Utah, a minimum of $3000 worth of medical expenses is required for every auto insurance policy. Personal Injury Protection or PIP will cover 100% of the treatment, even if you are at fault! Personal Injury Protection or PIP is medical insurance provided through your auto insurance. In Utah, it is mandatory that vehicle insurance policies include this type of insurance coverage.
Part of the reason for this is your ability to seek treatment. When you have been involved in an automobile accident the legal rules (Utah Insurance Commission) indicate that any injury caused therein is the responsibility of the automobile insurance(s) involved in the crash. It is NOT the responsibility of your personal healthcare insurance to pay for these types of injuries. That is, at least not until the automobile insurance is exhausted.
How does it affect my Insurance Costs?
As I mentioned earlier, some people are wary of going through Insurance because it may raise their premiums, the good news is, Your insurance company gets reimbursed from the negligent party’s insurance, meaning your premiums will not be raised if you open a PIP claim. Also, if you caused an accident where there is vehicle damage and a claim is opened, also opening a PIP claim will have no additional effect on your policy premium.
Insurance rates are raised based on the reason a person was at fault in the first place. In other words, if someone is at fault in an accident, and the reason for that fault was “failure to yield,” the police officer who attended the scene of the accident would give them a “failure to yield” ticket. Upon immediate notification to the insurance company that their client was at fault and received a “failure to yield” ticket, they would raise the insurance premium on their client to the same extent whether it was a $50 claim or a $500,000 claim.
Should I find an attorney to help with my Insurance Claim?
When you have been injured in an accident, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney. We work with the best attorneys in our area who specialize in auto injury cases. We can recommend an attorney who will represent you and protect your interests. Remember that it is in the insurance company’s best interest to pay as little as possible. You will want an attorney who is experienced in representing auto accident victims and making sure that you receive reimbursement for the medical care you deserve as well as compensation for injuries.
Part of the reason for ensuring that you help from an experienced attorney is to have one who understands the nature of the injuries that you have been diagnosed with. Some attorneys don’t understand the medical diagnosis and just like any professional you go to, everyone has their specialty. You would not want to use a corporate attorney for an injury case the same way you would not want to use an injury attorney for a corporate lawsuit. We work with attorneys who specialize in personal injury and car accidents thus ensuring that you have the best advocate on your side when settling your personal injury case.
It may seem odd that I am so focused on the legal matters that are involved in a car accident injury case, but I assure you it is with good reason. After many years in practice, I have seen great diversity in how well cases settle. Sometimes there is very little injury but the insurance company pays a large settlement, whereas, sometimes people have very serious injuries but the insurance company will dig in their heels and pay a very meager settlement or refuse to pay any settlement altogether. The settlement process ensues after a person has completed treatment and may hinge on many things. It is important to understand why this process is necessary. When you have been involved in a car accident, not only are you dealing with the injury and time that it takes to heal but the loss of ability to earn and work, the ability to care for others if you are a parent or any other loss that may manifest such as canceling a trip that was planned, a family vacation, the ability to go to your child’s recital or sporting event, the ability to take the chair of an infant or toddler, and the list goes on and on to the interruptions that an injury may bring. Therefore the process of “settlement” is to have some compensation for lost wages, property, or quality of life whether temporary or permanent because the injury may never heal. Therefore, I am a big fan of the settlement process primarily because after an accident injury I meet many people who are left suffering from headaches, neck pain, or some other ailment, for the rest of their life!
For a claims adjuster trying to decide on an appropriate financial amount to pay the claimant, many variables are taken into consideration. First of all, the claims adjuster is trying to determine whether or not you are actually injured in a car accident. If injured, to what extent? Typically, the greater the injury the greater the medical expense. However, this is not always the case. You can’t just look at medical expenses in order to determine how badly someone is injured. For instance, when someone breaks a bone, which typically is perceived by most people as a serious injury, a simple cast on the arm may be all the treatment they need. However, someone with a whiplash injury (which some do consider serious) may take months and months of care and thousands of dollars to fully heal. It is frustrating because many claims adjusters will say things such as, “It’s only a soft tissue injury.” This is very frustrating because the ‘soft tissues’ in the body, i.e. ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, are typically the hardest to heal and are left with the worst ongoing problems such as chronic myofascial pain, scar tissue lesions, or in overstretching called laxity which can be a long-term pain pattern even after things have fully healed.
How soon should I go see a Chiropractor after my Car Accident?
If you have been involved in a car accident and are experiencing pain, it’s important to get examined as soon as possible. The sooner you are seen by a chiropractor post-accident, the better. It is recommended to get an exam within 72 hours to assess injuries and customize a treatment plan. Seeking care from a chiropractor after an auto accident can provide many benefits such as: reducing inflammation and scar tissue, restoring range of motion, and decreasing pain. Furthermore, it’s important to record injuries and submit documentation to the insurance. This is especially important if the personal injury was caused by the negligence of another person.
What if I feel fine after my accident?
It is still entirely possible that you have been injured. As stated earlier, many car accident victims, especially those who have been rear-ended, suffer from whiplash. Whiplash is a result of your neck bending forcibly forward and then backward or backward and then forward. Oftentimes the pain doesn’t settle in until a day or two after. Whiplash affects the tendons, muscles, discs, and nerves in the neck and can cause neck pain and stiffness, shoulder pain, dizziness, low back pain, numbness, blurred vision, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and other problems.
After you have been in a car crash, it can take many hours for symptoms of whiplash, such as a headache, nausea, soreness, dizziness, or pain in the neck and upper back to show. When it comes to whiplash, it is important to get treatment as early as possible and not wait an extended amount of time to see a doctor. Woodward et al, state, “A retrospective study was undertaken to determine the effects of chiropractic in a group of 28 patients who had been referred with chronic ‘whiplash’ syndrome. The severity of the patient’s symptoms was assessed before and after treatment using the Gargan and Bannister (1990) classification. 93% (twenty-six) of patients improved following chiropractic treatment (U = 34, P < 0.001).” These seemingly minor injuries such as whiplash, if left untreated, can evolve into a condition requiring surgery. In fact, many injuries that affect the head, neck, or spinal cord present a threat to brain health. As such, consulting a chiropractor after an accident may prove to be beneficial in the long term. It’s also important to continue with treatments under the care of a qualified professional to ensure that 100% healing occurs.
In later phases of healing, your body will tend to lay down fibrotic adhesions and micro-scar tissue within areas where the original injuries occur. These adhesions can end up restricting the motion of joints and body parts, prolong pain during movement, and lead to early-onset of arthritis as improper movements of joints persist over time. Part of the treatments to reduce scar tissue build-up are things such as chiropractic manipulation, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and stretching and exercise. Just to name a few. For this reason, the advice to ‘go home and rest’, or ‘stay in bed’, are very poor for good clinical outcomes, especially when coupled with no therapeutic intervention. There’s a fine line between doing too little and too much when trying to heal from an auto accident injury. Following a car accident, some people try to go back to the gym immediately following an accident thinking that if they just “strengthen” the injured areas that they will do better. Usually, this ends up resulting in further damage to the injured site, longer healing time, and prevention of full recovery.
I thought Chiropractors only treated bone pain. Why should I see one after a Car Accident?
Chiropractors are trained to recognize injuries that may go undiagnosed. They have received orthopedic and neurologic training in how the spine, neck, and connective tissue and muscles all work together. Therefore, is it important to seek out experts that can help you understand the full extent of your personal injuries.
Dr. Ward Wagner is credentialed as an Accident Reconstructionist and is qualified to treat your auto accident injuries. This accreditation adds a new dimension to the word “professionalism” of Traffic Accident Reconstruction. This additional training allows Dr. Ward Wagner to create a customized treatment plan to deal with personal injury and assist you in decreasing long-term pain and suffering.
What therapies are used at Dixie Chiropractic to treat auto accidents?
Here at Dixie Chiropractic, we have many different therapies for treating auto accident cases. The reason for so many different types of therapies is the different tissues and structures of the body that are injured in a car accident. The more serious or sinister types of injuries that we see are other structures that are often injured but go undetected because the examination process used did not enable the practitioner to discover some of these more hidden injuries. My orthopedic examination process is designed to screen for the worst injuries along with the more obvious ones. This is why my examination includes discovering intervertebral disc damage, joint capsule damage, bursitis or myofascial pain as well as the musculotendinous and ligament damages that typically occur.
Spinal Decompression: Here at Dixie Chiropractic, we specialize in using many different types of therapies to help eliminate many types of pains. One of these therapies is our Spinal Decompression Table. A padded table that’s built for comfort, this device uses a pulley system to carefully tug on the patient to allow their stressed and compressed spine to open up. Used to treat back and neck pain, spinal decompression is a type of motorized traction that gently stretches the spine – so gently that the patient often doesn’t feel a thing. In fact, most patients describe the procedure as relaxing. Decompression provides negative pressure on the disc allowing bulging or herniated disks to retract. This in turn takes the pressure off of the nerves in your spine and helps promote the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich fluids into the injured disks so they can heal. Non-surgical spinal decompression is just one of our amazing tools.
Laser Therapy: We have found that combining spinal decompression with our new Class IV lasers helps injuries heal even faster. These lasers do not just mask the pain. They use specific wavelengths of light that penetrate more deeply than other lasers – deeply enough to speed the healing of injuries like whiplash and herniated discs. The light passes through the skin and into injured areas, where it makes contact with the regenerating cells. That contact promotes extramitochondrial activity within the cell. This increases the cell’s metabolism and increases the regenerative process. They are even safe to apply over metal implants, broken skin, and acute injuries. These lasers have been FDA-approved since 2003. They are safe and effective, and each laser treatment takes only a few minutes. The use of laser therapy enables us to help discs heal twice as quickly as decompression alone by stimulating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production and enhancing cell membrane permeability.
Calmare: Famous for being completely painless with instant relief, Calmare therapy is used for treating many types of nerve pains and is one of our most popular therapies. An example of nerve pain that can be treated by Calmare therapy is neuropathy. Unfortunately, neuropathy is starting to become very common among Americans. Neuropathy can be caused by many different sources such as diabetes and physical traumas. These sources leave nerves damaged, injured, and malfunctioning! This results in pain and sometimes a numbness or tingling sensation around said nerves. Our Calmare therapy uses electrodes to send a signal from the damaged or malfunctioning nerves to the brain, which the brain reads as a message to stop sending pain to those nerves! The relief is instant, and through multiple uses, the control can be lifelong! There are many other uses for our Calmare therapy than just neuropathy- cancer pains and sciatic pain is just a couple of other examples.
There are many additional therapies that we perform at Dixie Chiropractic. Along with the few mentioned above, we have typical physical therapy modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, heat, massage therapy, trigger point injections, prolozone, and of course chiropractic manipulation. We pride ourselves on having as many therapies as any other clinic in the area, and then some! With these many varying therapies and the amazing experience of our staff, we have a multitude of ways to help heal to the greatest extent and most effectively.
Why should I go to Dixie Chiropractic?
At our office, we are committed to providing you with the highest level of care and support throughout your recovery from all your injuries. We understand that your health and well-being are of the utmost importance, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment and care.
In addition, we are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We believe that you should not have to bear the financial burden of your medical expenses and lost wages when you have been a victim in a car accident. That’s why we can connect you with a top-rated personal injury attorney who can fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
Our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through every step of the recovery and compensation process. From finding the right specialists to developing a personalized treatment plan to connecting you with an attorney who can represent your interests, we will be there for you every step of the way.
We understand that this can be a difficult and stressful time, and we are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need. By choosing our office, you can rest assured that you are in good hands and that we will do everything in our power to help you recover from your injuries and get the compensation you deserve.