FAQ & Myths

Frequently Asked Questions & Myths

Common Issues & Questions

If you are seeking chiropractic treatment following an accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Our team can provide answers and assist you with getting the care you need.

If you still have questions, call (408) 676-4777 or reach out to our team online for answers.

  • Q:What is Medical Payment Insurance?

    A:Medical Payment coverage or “Med Pay” is insurance that pays all reasonable and necessary expenses for healthcare expenses resulting from an automobile accident. The coverage is not fault based and is limited to a contracted amount, usually between $5,000 and $10,000.

  • Q:When Should I get Med Pay?

    A:Right NOW! Med Pay is only useful to you if you have the coverage before you get into the accident. We encourage all of our patients to add this coverage to your policy immediately. If you have already been in the accident, ask your insurance adjuster if you have coverage or we can check for you.

  • Q:Who is covered?

    A:Those covered include (1) the person driving and (2) any passengers in the insured vehicle. These people are covered regardless of who is considered at fault.

  • Q:How do I get MedPay?

    A:MedPay is an available option on nearly all automobile insurance policies. It is fairly inexpensive, usually costing $30-50 for the entire year.

  • Q:What are the Med Pay Advantages?

    A:1. No Hassles - You do not have to worry about fighting an insurance company or suing another driver. Your own insurance company pays your bills, and seeks reimbursement from the other insurance company.
    2. Get the Care you Need, Right away - There is no delay between your accident and receiving the chiropractic care you may need. Patients are often seen the very same day as the accident.
    3. Everyone gets taken care of - Every passenger in the car is covered individually. If your MedPay amount is $5000, every passenger injured can receive up to that amount of care ($5000 each person).
    4. Your Rates Cannot Go Up - Your own insurance premium rates cannot increase as the result of you using MedPay to cover treatment.
    5. No Surprise Bills - Often a case is settled and the patient thinks medical bills have been paid; in many cases they have not. A patient with MedPay never has to worry about receiving a bill two months after the case is over. 

  • Q:Why Chiropractors for Auto Accidents?

    A: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? T

    he 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.

  • Q:How much car damage is there to the vehicle?

    A: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. T

    he 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.

  • Q:Do not allow your attorney to collect MedPay

    A: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. I

    f 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.

  • Q:Be consistent in attending your treatment!

    A: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.

  • Q:Seek care within the first 30 days following an accident.

    A: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.

  • Q:Do NOT hide facts & Do NOT lie.

    A: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.

  • Q:Do NOT exaggerate your symptoms.

    A: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.

  • Q:Myth #1 – Fakers, Frauds, and Phonies

    A:People who claim they are injured from a car accident are con artists, looking to make a quick buck.
    The vast majority of people who claim they have been injured in an auto accident HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN INJURED!! Insurance companies have made extensive efforts to suggest, imply, and sometimes actually state that most people who claim an auto accident injury is a fraud. Hollywood hasn’t helped either, as we’ve all seen movies in which someone is wearing a neck brace and faking an injury. And let’s face it, there actually have been people who abuse the system and are trying make a quick buck.

    But let’s be clear one more time – the vast majority of people who claim they have been injured in an auto accident HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN INJURED!!! The fact that you have injuries and feel pain is not abnormal and is not suspicious. When two vehicles collide, it involves thousands of pounds of steel colliding together at high speeds and you are caught in the middle. It isn’t any wonder that you have been injured as a result.

    And for those people out there who are faking injuries and trying to pull a fast one, it takes about 30 seconds during an examination to tell a real injury from a fake injury. Though these are few and far between, our clinic has actually turned away potential patients when this is the case.

  • Q:Myth #2 – Attorneys = Ambulance Chasers

    A:Attorneys who deal with car and auto accidents are ambulance chaser, who work with fraudulent clients to abuse the system.
    There are unscrupulous people in every profession, and it would be naive to pretend that there aren’t attorneys who are dirty. And make no mistake, attorneys make money off auto accidenst, and the higher the settlement the more they make. But in this too, the majority of attorneys care about their clients and act in their best interest. The best of all worlds is an attorney who will only accept truly injured patients and will work hard to negotiate a settlement that covers all your expenses, including medical, direct, and indirect costs. If you are feeling uncertain or uneasy about your current attorney, never hesitate to look for another or ask us for a referral.

  • Q:Myth #3 – Go to the Chiropractor to make a quick buck

    A:If you have been in an accident, go to the chiropractor because he/she can make you money off your insurance claim.
    Imagine you were involved in a car accident where your head hit the steering wheel and three of your teeth were broken. A Dentist would be the “go-to” doctor in this scenario. After seeing your Dentist and having your teeth fixed, it would be common for the insurance company to offer a settlement to you as a means to reimbursing your dental expenses. This is no different than seeing a chiropractor for you neck pain.

    The only reason this myth exists is because of the types of injuries Doctors of Chiropractic treat. DCs specialize in treating injuries to joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerves (called musculoskeletal & neurological injuries). These are the tissues most frequently injured in car accidents. Whenever a victim of a car accident claims, they suffer musculoskeletal and neurological injuries. It is uncommon for a patient to break their teeth during a car accident. But it is very commonfor patients to have neck, shoulder, and back pain.

    Chiropractors are the health care provider best suited to handle your injury as these are the types of injuries we are trained to treat. Many Doctors of Chiropractic have additional training and education in dealing with patients involved in motor vehicle accidents.

    If at the end of your case, the insurance company reimburses you for medical expenses and provides additional settlement for you pain and suffering, the chiropractor had very little to do with this process. He/She has done their job when they have treated your injuries and helped heal you back to your maximum level of improvement.

  • Q:Myth #4 – Injuries should heal within 6 to 12 weeks

    A:Car accident injuries only involve sprain/strain type injuries and should resolve within 6-12 weeks on there own.
    This is one of those statements that insurance adjusters love to make, despite the fact that they have absolutely no training or expertise on medical matters. And the public not only believes this, they often tell friends, family members, and coworkers, which perpetuates the myth.

    There are very clear facts that point to the exact opposite, that injuries of this nature commonly linger for some time and often never fully subside. According to Watkinson and Gargan (1), after an average period of 10.8 years, 86% of patient’s who had suffered a motor vehicle related injury experienced ongoing, related residual pain on a long-term basis with 68% eventually displaying degenerative changes on x-ray imaging. This finding is further supported by Hildingsson and Toolanen (2), who found that 43% of patients experiencing a neck injury related to a motor vehicle accident had discomfort sufficient to interfere with their capacity for work at 2 years follow-up.

    Watkinson A,Gargan MF,Bannister GC. Prognostic factors in soft tissue injuries of the cervical spine. Injury. 1991 Jul;22(4):307-9. Hildingsson C,Toolanen G. Outcome after soft-tissue injury of the cervical spine. A prospective study of 93 car-accident victims. Acta Orthop Scand. 1990 Aug;61(4):357-9.

  • Q:Myth #5 – If there isn’t significant damage to the vehicle, then you can’t be seriously injured.

    A:Car accident injuries work in proportion to the amount of damage to a car, meaning that if only minor damage was done, you cannot be seriously injured (…and are therefore faking your injuries to make money…)
    This is simply not true. In fact, studies were performed nearly 40 years ago proving quite the opposite. According to Martinez (1), an eight mile per hour rear end collision produces twice the normal force of gravity (2g) in acceleration of the vehicle. The occupants head will actually experience 5g of acceleration. AT 8 MILES AN HOUR! MnNab (2) further showed that a 15 mph collision will accelerate the vehicle to 10g and the occupants head (an neck) to 20-25g. Additional research has been performed since this time and still no direct correlation as ever been found linking degree of car damage to severity of injury (3).

    This is NOT to contradict other information on our website in reference to gaining legal representation (link to segment). That information discusses the “real-world” fact that attorneys will often hesitate to take on a case when damage estimates are below $1500. This is because the attorney knows that very little money will be forthcoming and therefore it is often not worth his/her time to make the effort.

    (1) Martinez, J.; Garcia, D. “A Model for Whiplash.” J. Biomech. 1968; 1:23.

    (2) McNab, I. “Acceleration Extension Injuries of the Cervical Spine.” The Spine, vol. II. Rothman, Richard, and Simeone 1975.

    (3) Freeman MD, Croft AC, Rossignol AM, Weaver DS, Reiser M. A review and methodologic critique of the literature refuting whiplash syndrome. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1999 Jan 1;24(1):86-96

  • Q:Myth #6 If you don’t feel pain right away, you haven’t been injured that badly.

    A:If you don’t feel pain within first 72 hours after accident, you aren’t really injured.
    Most people do feel pain from a car accident within the first 72 hours, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it will take 1-2 weeks before you start feeling all of your symptoms.

    Why is this? First of all, inflammation has a tendency to build up over time and this process can be flow and gradual at times. In addition, many people “take it easy” for the first week after an accident. If their neck hurts when they turn to the left, the simply stop turning to the left. Then a week or two later, when they decide to return to their normal life, they suddenly realize that they have a great deal of pain with relatively normal activities. The injury was there all along…you just didn’t know it.

    Another factor is the “pain gating” principle. Simply stated, this means that your body mainly detects or feels the most painful injury, which will act to mask or cover up other injuries.Once the most severe of your injuries and pain have calmed down, you may start to notice additional areas of injury. These injuries have been there all along, you just didn’t notice them because your pain in one area (such as your neck) was so severe.

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