6 mistakes to avoid after a car accident
After a car accident, adrenaline is pumping, maybe a little anger, and often a whole lot of confusion. How you handle your injuries and the site of the crash can make all the difference to your health and pocket book. Here are 5 mistakes you don't want to make after a car accident.
1. Not knowing about your MedPay benefits: In Colorado, MedPay can pick up all of your medical bills after an accident, no matter who is at-fault. MedPay is a rider on your insurance policy, and unless you have requested it removed, in writing, then you have it. Minimum coverage is $5,000 and it goes up to $50,000. This can pick up the tab for your chiropractic, medical, massage and physical therapy care after the accident, so you can recover and reduce the likelihood of lasting, or permanent, damage.
2. Only going to the Emergency Room or a medical doctor: Dr. Kallenbach made this mistake after her car accident. She went to the ER and they performed X-rays and gave her pain killers. They told her nothing was wrong. However, days later, raging headaches set in. Despite prescription drug pain killers, she was miserable for months before going to her first chiropractic doctor visit. That visit is why she is a chiropractic and auto accident doctor today. If you are dealing with physical problems, see a specialist - prescription pain medication and even surgery often addresses symptoms, not causes. While there is a time and place for prescription drugs and surgeries, there are many non-invasive treatments that actually get at the cause of your problem, rather than only addressing symptoms.
3. Not filing a police report: If you are in a car accident, call the police and file a report, no matter the circumstances and no matter how small you think the accident is, or how little pain you feel. Pain symptoms sometimes take days to set in and a police report can provide an objective explanation for what occurred. This can be useful if a lawsuit is later filed so it won't just be one driver's word against the others. Also, the absence of a police report can give the insurance companies reason for denial of claims, especially medical claims.
4. Not contacting an auto accident attorney, if injury occurred: Dr. Kallenbach is not a proponent of bogging the world down with lawsuits, but there are times when you have a right and a need to recover damages. Health care is not cheap, and in some instances car accidents change lives forever. A good Colorado Springs personal injury attorney can help you get the care you need. If you'd like a referral to a good personal injury attorney, come in for our free car accident consultation.
5. Signing off on an early settlement: Don't be quick to sign off on a settlement, because it often takes time know the true extent of your physical damage and the long-term impact of your impairment. Does the injury heal at all, completely, or 50-percent? Is there permanent nerve pain? Scarring? Quality rehabilitative care and time will tell.
6. Delaying getting an post-car accident exam: It is common for patients and victims of a car accident to not go see a car accident chiropractor for weeks after the accident, because, in their words, "It really wasn't that bad of an accident." However, studies show that even collision at less than 5 mph creates 7-10 G's on the body and typically show very little damage to the car. Minor accidents can and do have last impact on the body. Getting treatment sooner rather than later is essential. Not feeling pain, headaches, neck pain, back pain, etc. directly after an accident is normal. It is called delayed onset, but don't let this stop you from getting an exam to determine the extent of your damage.
"I became a doctor because of my car accident."
Years ago something happened to me that changed my life forever.
I am 19, living the dream as a lifeguard at a Southern California pool. While cruising around town in a sporty little car I get in a violent car accident.
My seatbelt malfunctions and I slam into the steering wheel of the car.
Once the cars come to rest, the adrenaline rush quickly fades and fear sets in. I go straight to the emergency room, sit in the waiting room for an hour and a half, and leave hours later with a bottle full of prescription pain killers. I’m offered no follow-up appointment or given any indication that anything is really wrong with me. According to the ER docs, my bones aren’t broken, so nothing is wrong.
I start getting raging headaches, tightness in my shoulders and excruciating neck pain. I find that the pain killers only take the edge off and leave me feeling like I am living in a bad dream.
My parents eventually take me to a great doctor in Redlands, CA. He takes some X-rays and makes some gentle adjustments to my back and neck.
The adjustment doesn’t hurt, it actually feels good, like my body releases. My headaches and neck pain go away. And on top of that, he encourages me to alter my diet, and with his direction, I lose 15 lbs. and I am ‘back on top!’ Oh, did I mention that this doctor is a chiropractor? It works so well for me, and I am so impressed with the other ‘miracles’ I see in his office, that I choose to go to chiropractic school myself.
It’s strange how life is, because now people come to see me with their back aches, migraines,carpel tunnel and neck pain.
I even have patients who come to me with their whiplash, car accident pain, shoulder pain, shooting pains from their low back to their heals (Sciatica), muscle spasms, chronic pain, numbness in limbs, athletic injuries, and more. Some even come to me to try to get off their addictive medications and be drug free.
Here’s what your neighbors had to say:
“I experienced changes right away and in the first couple of weeks, I was pain free!” - Sarah H.
“I was delighted to find someone who actually listened to my problem and immediately went to work to find relief for my pain.” – Sharon G.
“I run into friends and they comment, "Wow, you look so different, so well!“ – Carolyn C.
About the author: Dr. Molly Kallenbach, DC is a Colorado Springs chiropractor and car accident doctor. Simply submit the form above for a free consultation.
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The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.
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