What You Should Know If You Have Been Involved In An Auto Accident
Were you aware that some auto accident injuries are hidden and are seldom detected for months or even years? As a result, injuries are not taken care of properly. Typically the accident victims settle their case with the insurance companies before getting evaluated from a doctor trained in soft tissue injuries.
It is not the responsibility of the at fault insurance company to pay for anything more than to get you back to pre-accident status. They are not responsible for pre-existing injuries; only the injuries sustained from the accident. Even if you are just sore, you should get checked out immediately because you may experience pain, numbness, headaches, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and other problems including arthritis many months/years down the road. Remember, nothing is more important than your health, especially when you start to lose it.
Do I have Whiplash?
The answer is likely Yes. If your doctor has not used the term whiplash when talking to you, it does not mean you do not have it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, states that whiplash occurs in 60% of all motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash is a relatively common injury that is often ignored or mistreated due to lack of understanding of the condition. Whiplash is the sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction, resulting in the head and neck rebounding in the opposite direction. This rebound is actually a whipping motion of your head and neck, and the supporting tissues can't help but become injured.
Whiplash neck injury symptoms to look out for:
- Headaches: which start in the morning and last for hours/days.
- Stiff Neck: a difficulty in moving your neck, which could be the result of tissue, ligament or muscle damage.
- Back Pain: Following an accident back pain can begin or intensify due to the collision,
- Tenderness: increases in the neck and/or back.
- Numbness/tingling sensation: This can occur as result of nerve compression in the spinal column.
Not only are auto accidents an inconvenience and a hassle, a common redundant complaint of auto accident victims is that they don't feel like their normal selves. You may also be experiencing obvious pains and symptoms like muscle stiffness or spasm, neck pain, headaches, numbness and tingling, back pain, difficulty sleeping, irritability, memory loss, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and many other difficulties. Or worse than that, you may be injured and feel nothing at all.
Either way, did you know that auto accidents can cause post-traumatic arthritis? Osteoarthritis can ruin your posture (giving you a slumped or hump back appearance). Osteoarthritis can cause the discs in your spine to degenerate and create scar tissue formation leading to chronic stiffness and the inability to move properly. The good news is this can be prevented by insuring normal joint movement is restored.
Q: What If My Car Sustained Only Minor Damage?
A: Documented studies done by Charles Carroll, M.D., Paul McAtee, M.D. and Lee Riley, M.D. revealed that: "The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants."
In other words, the damage to the passengers is not necessarily directly related to the damage to the vehicle.
Q: If I Need Treatment For This Injury, Do I Have To Pay For It Myself?
A: No, only in very rare circumstances does the patient pay for his care as he goes. Our office provides care "on credit" when patients are represented by an attorney. Some car insurance policies have what is called "Med Pay." This means that medical bills will be paid at 100% up to a certain limit. My office can assist you in obtaining this information. Using your medical coverage should not raise your premiums
Q: The Insurance Company Has Been Calling Me And Wants To Settle, What Should I Do?
A: Do not sign or settle until you have had someone evaluate your injury for you. If you settle before your injury is fully resolved, you will be completely on your own and will have to pay out of pocket for your care