Personal Injury Chiropractors: Top 10 Questions Answered
Many people decide to see their family physician or general practitioner after an auto accident or other personal injury. But much of the time, seeing a chiropractor is more beneficial for several reasons.
Chiropractors specialize in common issues resulting from personal injuries. But they don’t simply work to get you better. They also furnish records and reports detailing your injuries so chiropractic care can be covered by the at-fault party. Their expertise in the musculoskeletal system can help support a claim and help with a settlement.
1. What Are The Most Common Personal Injuries Chiropractors Treat?
It’s no surprise that car accidents are the most common personal injuries. Although the total number of auto injuries has decreased slightly in the last thirty years, there are still over 2 million traffic-related injuries every year in the US.
The next most common type of personal injury is slip and fall accidents. These kinds of accidents are a major cause of hip and head injuries. Between car accidents and slip and fall injuries, there are thousands of people out of work and in pain at any given time. And while chiropractors don’t treat every specific ailment that’s caused by these injuries, they do help with injuries to the following:
- Nervous System
In short, chiropractors are uniquely suited to help patients recover after an accident. They’re also helpful for insurance claims and paperwork proving you’ve suffered an injury as the result of an accident. For this reason, more and more people are turning to chiropractic care after an auto accident or a slip and fall accident
2. Who Pays For A Chiropractor After An Accident?
There are many different factors at play in determining who pays for a chiropractor after an accident. However, the at-fault party or their insurance company usually pays for chiropractic care. So if you were injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and you sought chiropractic care, it’s likely that the other party’s insurance company will pay for your chiropractic expenses.
But you must prove, with the help of your chiropractor, that you did in fact suffer an injury as a result of the accident in which you were involved. Pre-existing injuries typically won’t be covered.
Luckily, chiropractors are well-versed in the world of accident and injury claims. You simply must tell them from your first chiropractic visit that you plan on seeking a settlement for the treatment and other injury-related expenses.
3. Will Injury Claim Cover Chiropractic Care Expenses?
An injury claim will usually cover most or all chiropractic care expenses after an accident. Again, this is no guarantee. There are a lot of determining factors that play into the at-fault party paying for your chiropractic care. This often involves dealing with your insurance company and possibly a lawyer, depending on your circumstances and where the blame for the accident is assigned.
Having a chiropractor that keeps excellent records and provides you with the assistance you need is essential for a successful claim. A good chiropractor is also essential for treating your injuries and getting you pain-free.
4. How to Locate A Personal Injury Chiropractor Near You?
Locating a personal injury chiropractor is about the same as locating a regular chiropractor for other injuries or issues. While it’s true that some chiropractic offices “specialize” in personal injury treatment, you’ll generally receive the same treatment at any other “regular” chiropractic offices. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t look at online reviews or get recommendations from friends before visiting a chiropractor.
The most important thing is to seek chiropractic treatment as soon as possible after an accident. Many times people don’t feel the injury until days or weeks after the accident. Seeking chiropractic care within 24 hours can help you determine if you have suffered an injury and can allow you to engage in proactive care to protect your health.
5. Is It Normal For a Lawyer To Send You to a Chiropractor?
If you’re talking to a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim, he or she may recommend that you see a chiropractor. This is a pretty normal procedure for personal injury claims. Ultimately, if the lawyer thinks a chiropractor could help you heal from an injury, he or she may recommend that you go.
Personal injury cases are rarely closed before the claimant is fully healed from the injuries suffered during the accident. This is because, if you’re still being treated, the total cost of the medical expenses is as yet unknown. Only when you’re done with treatment can your lawyer present the total cost of the medical bills.
Chiropractors are also specialists that can diagnose and treat injuries that general physicians or other doctors can miss. Whiplash and back problems are two common injuries that occur as a result of car accidents, and which chiropractors are adept at treating.
While you don’t have to take your lawyer’s advice and see a chiropractor, it will likely help you heal sooner and get on with your life.
6. How Long Should I Go To a Chiropractor After an Accident?
How long you see a chiropractor after an accident is completely up to you and how you feel. Whiplash treatments, for example, can take anywhere from 2 to 20 sessions, depending on the severity of the injury to the muscles and ligaments of the neck. While you may want to hurry the treatment up if you’ve filed a personal injury claim, it’s never a good idea to stop treatment before your injury is fully healed. You could end up paying out of pocket for further medical expenses if you stop treatment too soon.
On the other hand, if you’ve been to a chiropractor for a month or more and haven’t experienced any relief or improvement of symptoms, you may want to seek alternative treatment from a different doctor or another chiropractor.
7. What Are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After an Accident?
Aside from the benefits discussed above of quicker healing and assistance with a personal injury settlement, the benefits of chiropractic care after an accident are numerous.
- Specialized Care
- Many personal injury claims have to do with injuries to the back, neck, muscles, and joints. Since chiropractors specialize in the musculoskeletal system, they are able to provide effective care immediately.
- Reduced Pain and Inflammation
- In order for a chiropractor to treat the root cause of the pain, he or she must first deal with pain and inflammation reduction. To do this, they use any number of natural options, including heat and ice, ultrasound, cold laser therapy, massage, and electrical therapy.
- Improved Mood and Motion
- One of the major benefits of seeing a chiropractor after an accident is an improved mood and range of motion. After even a single visit, stiff muscles and a dark mood can lift as chiropractic care can produce positive hormones as muscle tension is released.
- Non-Invasive and Drug-Free Treatment
- The last thing anyone wants is to leave their doctor’s office with more problems than when they arrived. This is one major benefit of chiropractic care. Chiropractors only use non-invasive and drug-free treatment methods. They won’t prescribe dangerous or addictive drugs. Nor will they perform risky surgical procedures that can further injure you.
8. Do Chiropractors Work With Other Doctors?
It’s a valid concern that a chiropractor may not be able to help every injury or aspect of your injury. But doctors of chiropractic are members of the medical community just like other specialists are. If they feel they can’t help you, they will send you to someone who can or they’ll work closely with your other doctors to ensure that your health and well-being come first.
This is often overlooked when people consider seeing a chiropractor for personal injury cases. Anything that a chiropractor can’t handle can be handled by another doctor to get you the best results possible.
9. Is Chiropractic Care Good For Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common and often debilitating injury suffered during a car accident. Luckily, seeing a chiropractor for whiplash is an excellent treatment option. In fact, one study showed that 93% of whiplash patients showed improvement after chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care for whiplash often speeds the healing process and involves pain relief, inflammation reduction, spinal manipulation, chiropractic massage, stretches, trigger point therapy, and guided exercises.
10. Can a Chiropractor Help With Stress After an Accident?
Perhaps one of the best reasons to set an appointment with a chiropractor is the stress relief you’re likely to experience. An accident or injury can stress anyone out, and stress can then make everything worse. This is one of the major benefits of chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to change the levels of beneficial chemicals in the body, which can reduce stress and increase well-being.
Injuries can also contribute to sleeplessness, which chiropractic treatments can help. One study suggests that a spinal misalignment due to an injury may affect sleep cycles and neurological disorders, and that chiropractic manipulation may help.
For all these reasons, and more, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a chiropractor after an accident or injury. Their diagnosis and treatment can drastically reduce the pain and healing time for your injuries, as well as help you build a case for a personal injury claim. Along with other specialists, chiropractors are well-versed in dealing with these types of claims and with insurance companies paying for treatment.
Visiting a chiropractor soon after an accident can be extremely beneficial both for your health and for a personal injury claim or insurance purposes.
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About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.
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