Post Car Accident Tips from a Chiropractor
As we prepare for the next round of winter storms, here is a quick to-do list in the case of an accident….
This winter has proved hazardous for Oregon roads. According to an article by Fox 12 Oregon, Oregon State Police troopers responded to more than 750 traffic incidents in a 36-hour span statewide, mostly due to the weather. The incidents included 91 road hazards, 266 disabled vehicles and 394 crashes.
There are so many things to take care of following an accident it can sometimes be very overwhelming. As if getting in the accident wasn’t enough! We hope to shed a little insight on who to contact, who pays for it, when to seek medical treatment and so on.
First things first, make sure you and any passengers of either party are not in need of any emergency medical or police services.
Exchange insurance information if there is another involved party. If police did arrive make sure to get the name of the officer and the case number.
Get photos of the scene, your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident, as these may come in useful in the future.
Contact your insurance and notify them that you were in an accident. They will be able to direct you to the appropriate next steps.
What is PIP? PIP is an acronym for personal injury protection. This is the coverage in your car insurance policy that covers your medical expenses for injuries sustained in an accident regardless of fault. In Oregon, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $15,000.00 of personal injury protection or PIP. Oregon is considered a no fault state, which means that your insurance company is required to cover any medical expenses that you acquire as the result of the car accident regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Legally you have up to a year to seek treatment for any injuries sustained in an accident, but the longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it is to correlate any symptoms with the accident. It is important to get evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible to ensure full access to you PIP benefits. The advantage of being a no fault state is that you will only have to deal with your insurance company, not the other parties involved.
Determine if you need treatment:
Do I need treatment? Often, the adrenaline of an accident will mask any immediate pain or discomfort. Generally, as the adrenalin wares off and the inflammatory process ramps up, symptoms will become more prevalent, sometimes up to 5 days after the accident. These symptoms can include; headaches, neck pain and/or stiffness, low back pain and/or stiffness, jaw pain and/or stiffness, etc. There are numerous studies that indicate neck trauma even with speeds as low as 5 mph.
Why chiropractic? Chiropractors get extensive training in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. The injuries most likely to be sustained in motor vehicle accidents involve not only the joints of the spine but also the soft tissue that surround the spine (muscles, ligaments and fascia.) These types of injuries typically respond well to the active care model of chiropractic treatment. Our goal is to restore proper function of the joints and surrounding soft tissue to decrease pain as well as increase long term function. A typical treatment at The Ridge Chiropractic involves a 30 minute therapeutic massage followed by chiropractic adjustments to involved areas.
It is easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities after an accident and forget to take care of yourself and your health. Seeking treatment soon after an accident is recommended for preventing long term dysfunction and injury. Amidst the chaos and ever mounting responsibilities that come with car accidents, take a deep breath and let chiropractic put you or your loved ones on the road to recovery.
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