What To Do When You Are Involved In an Auto Accident
Ms. Jin, a 40-year-old hair stylist, was experiencing moderate to severe symptoms that had been gradually getting worse since she had an auto accident. She was under chiropractic and acupuncture care for three months. Since the accident was the other driver’s fault she received some compensation from the other side, which covered the cost of her care.
Mr. Smith, a 25-year-old UBER driver, visited a chiropractor/acupuncturist after an auto accident, which was also the other driver’s fault. He wanted to receive treatment right away, but did not want to pay for his medical care until he received a monetary settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After an initial examination the office had to refuse his care for several reasons:
- Mr. Smith’s accident happened three months ago.
- Mr. Smith was experiencing only mild muscular soreness and stiffness, and his symptoms may or may not have been related to the accident.
- Mr. Smith did not see any doctor since his accident, until now.
The first thing you need to do after being involved in any accident is to visit the ER, your primary care provider, or any doctor as soon as possible. This is important to establish an official medical record that you were involved in an auto accident, whether you are injured or not, and painful or not. If there is no medical record related to the accident more than six weeks from the accident date, most insurance companies will deny the case. Past that point there are many ways they can attack you, because there are many possibilities that you did not get injured by the accident.
It is highly possible that you may become painful a few weeks later from the accident; however, you or your doctor cannot easily prove that your symptoms are related to this accident if it has been more than six weeks without any medical record.
There are many cases where patients visit their doctor right after an accident even though they were experiencing only mild symptoms, only to have their symptoms get terribly aggravated a few weeks later while they were performing their daily activities. Since they had continuous treatment and established a medical record that supported their accident injuries, they had no problems receiving settlement from the other side’s insurance.
We know everybody from your friends to your co-workers have an opinion when it comes to something like this, such as waiting to get confirmation from the other insurance company before getting treatment; however, it is best that you act immediately when you are involved in an auto accident to protect yourself.
Here are some suggestions:
- Visit the ER after the accident, or see any doctor as soon as possible.
- Remember that you are the one who can choose your doctor or clinic, not your insurance or attorney who may send all their clients to the same doctor for their own convenience.
- Remember that you are the one who chooses where you can fix your car after you get an estimate from the insurance company.
- Remember it is possible that your symptoms will get worse later on. Do not hesitate to get a consultation with your doctor.
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