Injured in an Auto Accident?
Car collisions in Federal Way can be one of the most frightening and confusing experiences that a person is forced to go through. Often the first thing that a person is concerned about following an automobile accident is the damage to their vehicle or their insurance coverage. This often results in people neglecting the most important part, their individual health. Just as is the case with many injuries, seeking proper care within a timely fashion is often the most vital aspect in determining the overall outcome of their care and condition. To assist you with making the right decision, your doctor at Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre has put together this article to provide with some information about injuries involved with car accidents and the most suitable treatment options available.
What are the most common injuries after care accidents?
Unfortunately, many people believe that the most serious injuries sustained following car accidents are immediately noticeable. There is also a misconception that only high speed or hard impact collisions can cause serious damage to person’s body. It has been found that these two beliefs are largely responsible for the vast number of injuries that fail to receive treatment following automobile collisions. Therefore, the first thing to remember when making the decision to seek appropriate care is to understand that a large number of injuries can occur following many different types of collisions.
Following a car accident, a person must keep in mind that many factors such as the placement of a cars headrest, size of both automobiles involved in the collision, and the speed that they were traveling prior to impact all play an important role in determining the injuries sustained. To help understand this concept, it has been shown through research that a car traveling only 5 mph at the time of impact is capable of producing the forces necessary to cause whiplash injuries. While injuries such as fractures, cuts, concussions, and dislocations are immediately noticeable, other forms of damage to musculature, blood vessels, and nerves may not become evident for months or even years. Unfortunately, when these injuries become evident months and years down the road, insurance companies are often not held liable for reimbursement no matter the severity of pain and disability. Therefore it is important that you undergo a complete evaluation immediately following your accident by a health care professional familiar with these injuries. Your doctor at Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre is one of the few health care providers who specializes in diagnosing and treating injuries associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system.
How can my chiropractor help?
As mentioned previously, chiropractors are one of the few primary health care providers who specialize in treating the musculoskeletal system. Just as a person consults with a cardiologist for concerns about their heart, many people seek care and advice from chiropractors regarding musculoskeletal injuries. While whiplash injuries are not always immediately evident, they are actually considered one of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents. The strain that the forces causing whiplash injuries place on the spine are capable of causing damage to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves responsible for supporting your head and neck. If these seemingly minor injuries are not corrected for, they often produce a waterfall affect leading to multiple neurological and musculoskeletal symptoms and complications many years following the accident. In fact, it has been found that whiplash injuries are often responsible for early degeneration of the vertebrae throughout your spine and a multitude of symptoms such as pain and headaches. Since automobile injuries can involve many systems throughout the body, finding a doctor who is able to address each area is important. Our doctors at Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre in Federal Way will create an individualized treatment plan that encompass chiropractic adjustments, active and passive physical therapy, exercise programs, and nutritional modifications to help speed up the recovery process. The success that this type of approach has been proven to have is unmatched.
As you can see, seeking care immediately after an automobile accident can mean the difference between recovery and a life time of pain. If you have been in a car accident or know someone who has, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.
Auto Injury Facts
FACT #1: 1 in every 100 (1%) people on our planet suffer from chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury. (Pain, 1994)
- Consideration: Over six billion people on our planet ... and relatively few actually have access to a car. So that's actually a very high number.
FACT #2: 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)
- Consideration: Three out of four people with back injury concerns still see only a medical doctor for care. Would that percentage be lower if those 3 people also received chiropractic care? Yes. Studies confirm this regarding condition resolution, pain reduction, patient satisfaction and reduced cost of care.
FACT #3: 2009 study found that patients with whiplash-associated disorders can continue to experience symptoms for as long as 10 years after the original injury. All the participants of this study had undergone neurological exams by spinal surgeons and MRIs after the initial injury producing event. (Journal of Orthopedic Science, 2009)
- Consideration: See consideration from Fact #2. You can choose differently, and better for yourself.
Are you suffering from an automobile injury? It is important to know how to get better as quickly as possible: we understand your injury and your pain, and will help you in your recovery.
- Even a small car accident, with damage of $1000 or less, can cause injury for two primary reasons: 1) because the accident occurs in a fraction of a second, tremendous force travels through your body; and 2) the weight of your head whips your neck, thus the term whiplash.
- Even minor symptoms that can be ignored or controlled with medication can actually be from significant injury. Often people suffering pain visit their medical doctor, or may even go to the emergency room to be checked. They are given medication and told to seek further medical care only if the pain persists after a couple of weeks. This may be why so many suffer ongoing chronic pain, because they never actually effectively treated the damage caused during the accident.
Does your insurance company have to pay your medical bills?
Yes. If you have "personal injury protection" coverage as a part of your auto insurance policy, your carrier is required to pay the medical bills that are related to your accident and deemed "reasonable and necessary" for the treatment of your injuries.
It is important to find a provider that understands the meaning of "reasonable and necessary," so that your bills are paid by your insurance carrier. Providing care that is beyond reasonable and necessary could leave you, the patient, paying the bill.
Do you need a lawyer?
You may or may not need a lawyer. Insurance companies, whether your own or that of the driver involved, have armies of lawyers and claim representatives whose sole purpose is to save the company money. You pay for your coverage, you should be able to rely on that coverage when you need it. You are entitled to be compensated, not only for your medical bills, but also for the pain and suffering you are enduring.
If you have questions about whether or not you need a lawyer, talk to Susan Moss, the clinic manager; she spent twenty years in the legal arena before joining the clinic.
9:00am - 6:00pm
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Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre
720 South 348th Street #A-1B
Federal Way, WA 98003