Have You Been Hurt In An Auto Accident? Here’s What To Do Next…

rear end auto accidentYou’ve just been rear-ended.

  • Your heart is pounding

  • your hands are shaking

  • you’re not sure what just happened.

What do you do next?

  • Should you call the police?

  • Get your insurance company on the phone?

  • Call the hotline that you’ve seen advertised on billboards and television?

According to a Florida law which took effect January 1, 2013, you must received initial treatment within 14 days after an accident to receive Personal Injury Protection medical benefits.

auto accident - front end to side collisionYour first call should be to the police to report the accident. An officer will arrive at the scene to take statements, assess the damage, and determine who was at fault and write any necessary citations. If you are having difficulty breathing, experiencing blurred vision, double vision, nausea, difficulty moving your arms and legs or suspect you may have any broken bones, request to be taken the the emergency room. Otherwise, your first call needs to be to a qualified chiropractic physician.

Why should you trust a chiropractor to diagnose and treat injuries from an auto accident? Most chiropractors focus on musculoskeletal injuries like neck pain, back pain, headaches, sciatica, disc herniations, and whiplash. As a result they are extensively trained in determining what diagnostic testing is necessary, and if your pain requires a consultation from a specialist such as an orthopedist or neurologist. A chiropractor determine the type and severity of your injuries, and how they can be best treated.

It is common for chiropractors to use a combination of therapies to help heal the injuries from your car accident. In addition to gentle chiropractic adjustments, therapies such as acupuncture, massage, electric muscle stimulation, rehab exercises, and spinal decompression are also very common modalities used.

You will also want to make sure that your chiropractor is comfortable working with personal injury attorneys. Not every auto accident case requires the guidance of an attorney, but if yours does it is critical that your doctors and lawyer are on the same page. Ask your chiropractor if they have experience working with attorneys, writing narrative reports, or performing impairment ratings. This is where your doctor can make or break your personal injury case. For this reason, many family doctors won’t even see patients who have been in a car accident- they don’t want the hassle of dealing with auto insurance companies and personal injury attorneys.

So if you’ve recently been in an auto accident and are experiencing common symptoms such as neck pain, whiplash, numbness in the arms or legs, back pain, headaches, or difficulty concentrating, immediately consult with a qualified chiropractor who can help your recovery. Contact Dr. Hunziker at American Chiropractic.

Here is a related article on this website that may also be helpful:
Chiropractic Treatment of Whiplash from a Car Accident.

Updated January 2013.  Originally posted on December 23, 2009 by Dr. Jonathan Walker of Ocala Chiropractic