Auto Accident FAQ's
COMMON ISSUES & QUESTIONS
This list represents a small collection of many questions and issues that come up during
- Why are Chiropractors so common to Auto Accidents?
- How much car damage is there to the vehicle?
- Do NOT allow your attorney to collect MedPay
- Be consistent in attending your treatment.
- Seek care within the first 30 days following an accident.
- Do not hide facts & Do not lie.
- Do not exaggerate your symptoms.
Why Chiropractors for Auto Accidents?
Why are Doctors of Chiropractic the “go-to” healthcare professionals when it comes to car accidents?
If you have never been in a car accident, you at least know someone who has. If that person was injured, there is a good chance he/she went to a chiropractor. Why a chiropractor?
The answer is simple. The types of injuries most commonly seen in auto accidents are precisely the types of injuries chiropractors are trained to treat, specifically injuries to joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerves.
How much car damage is there to the vehicle?
This is a very real and valid question to ask, because it will determine a) the stance of the opposing insurance company and b) the likelihood that an attorney will be willing to represent you.
When you go to get an estimate, it is recommended you obtain damage estimates from at least 3 auto repair shops. It is a good idea that at least one of those estimates be obtained through a dealer of the same make of your car (eg, you go to a Honda dealer for an estimate on your Civic). You DO NOT have to go to a repair shop suggested by the insurance company as these shops often provide very low estimates based on contracted rates with the insurance company.
The typical figure that is use within the legal profession is $1500. If the damage to your car is below this amount, insurance companies will categorize your injury as a M.I.S.T. injury (minor impact, soft tissue) and they will be extremely aggressive in dealing with you. As a result, most attorneys are unwilling to take you on as a client because they know that little case money will be forthcoming.
Do not allow your attorney to collect MedPay
Some unscrupulous attorneys will decide to collect MedPay (link) payments rather then allowing them to come to our office. This is never a good situation as it virtually guarantees that you will be left with unpaid medical bills that we will then have to collect from you.
As attorneys work on a percentage of the collected settlement, they sometimes will send a letter to your insurance company instructing them to send payments to the attorney. By doing this, they are increasing the total “pot” of the settlement, from which they will take their 30-40% cut. Unfortunately, when they do this, they are actually taking money directly out of our compensation. This forces us to bill you directly for the remaining balance, which neither of us want.
If your attorney decides to do this, we require that you immediately obtain new legal representation to an attorney who will turn over all MedPay payments immediately. If you decide to remain with the same attorney, we require immediate payment for the full balance of your account as well as cash payments for any and all future treatments.
Be consistent in attending your treatment!
Patients often start feeling better with the first 4-6 treatments and start missing their appointments. Two to three months later, they show up again looking for treatment and we have to tell them their case is no longer open.
When the doctor provides a treatment regimen, he or she is often taking into consideration the natural progression of injuries. Many injuries start feeling better within the confines of your treatment here, while you are still taking it easy and following the doctor’s instructions. If you fall out of treatment, you no longer receive the benefits of treatment and often stop performing the home treatment remedies, such as icing, stretching, and exercises that you’ve been taught.
Seek care within the first 30 days following an accident.
This just makes sense. If you are injured, consult a physician such as a chiropractor or medical doctor within the first 30 days of your injury. Many patients will rest, apply ice, and take over-the-counter medications in the hopes that their injuries will heal. This is not unreasonable, as this is the advice most medical doctors provide and they usually schedule little if any follow-up care. This is unfortunate, as most medical doctors subscribe to the myth[link to Myth#4] that these injuries will go away within the first month.
When you delay receiving treatment, you are indirectly saying that you are not injured. This is how the insurance company will interpret your actions, as well as nearly all attorneys, judges, and jurors. It is human nature to say, “If you were hurt, why didn’t you immediately seek treatment?” The fact is that many personal injury cases are sabotaged by this issue. Don’t let your case fall into the “Delayed Treatment” category.
Do NOT hide facts & Do NOT lie.
Many people have previous injuries or pre-existing conditions, such as a history of low back pain or a previous industrial (work) injury. When getting into a car accident, these people sometimes fear that disclosing this information will jeopardize their ability to receive treatment and be taken seriously when claiming they have an injury. They fear that their new injury will be considered a part of their previous injury. Amazingly enough they lie or conceal facts for fear of being called a liar!!!
By failing to disclose such information, you are not helping anything and are in fact providing opposing insurance companies and their attornies with ammunition to be used in court. Your very credibility is called into question and will often have negative results
Do NOT exaggerate your symptoms.
This too results in destroying your credibility. If you come to the office claiming that you cannot move your neck, yet you are out playing tennis a day later for 3 hours, your complaints and injuries come into question. Worse yet, opposing insurance companies have been known to hire private investigators to look into your actions to see whether or not you are behaving like an injured patient.
If we ever feel that you are exaggerating or faking your injuries, we will not hesitate to cease all treatment with you and require the immediate settling of your account balance.