There are more than 273 million cars registered in the United States alone. While COVID-19 is keeping us home more than ever, we still get behind the wheel for work, errands, and scenic—socially distanced—drives around the block to combat boredom.
Unfortunately, the National Safety Council reports that “About 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in crashes last year.” There are many types of injuries sustained in car accidents, ranging from minor to severe. For most, chiropractic care is a great way to regain mobility, heal properly, and get back on your feet again soon.
The severity of auto accident injuries depends on things like seatbelts, airbags, and angle of impact. But the majority, say attorneys at NOLO, are soft tissue injuries. “A soft tissue injury is damage to the body’s connective tissue, which means muscles, ligaments and tendons.”
“A ‘whiplash’ type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury,” they explain. “In that type of injury, the muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden movements imposed on the head and neck in the collision. These same mechanisms and forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other areas of the body such as the back. Car accidents often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains, and sometimes cause more serious back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.”
There are three main types of car accidents, all with their own unique soft tissue injury and chiropractic implications.
In a side-impact crash, whiplash and concussions are the most common. Neck injuries are frequent in T-bone crashes as well as broken bones throughout the body. T-bones can also flip or roll the car. In a rear-end accident, spinal injuries to the back and neck can occur from the force of impact.
Dr. Chani Henderson is experienced in treating all manner of auto accident-related injuries, soft tissue and back injuries, and the resulting stiff muscles. Her work is drug-free and helps address sprains and strains, bruising, and misalignment.
But more than that, the Family & Sports Chiropractic office in Vancouver WA can help with vital insurance-lingo specifics like personal injury protection (PIP). Whatever the accident, there are often forms, guidelines, rules, and red tape along the road to recovery. Your insurance company, the other driver’s company, local police, and doctors may all be players in this complicated process.
“Our chiropractic office in Vancouver WA has been successfully and efficiently helping car accident victims for over 23 years,” says Dr. Henderson. A “qualified expert witness with special expertise in soft tissue and auto injuries, at Family & Sports Chiropractic, our goal is to get you back to an optimum level of health as well as help you understand your rights with regards to using your PIP.”
Some auto insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection which is meant to help you and your passengers following an accident. She advises those who’ve been in a car accident to “Open up your PIP claim immediately! If you wait, you may find yourself paying for expensive medical bills out of your pocket until your claim is settled. PIP covers medical bills, a portion of your weekly lost wages, and household care and cleaning. There is typically no deductible.”
In the chaos after a car accident, you may not realize you’ve been injured.
Between police and accident reports, insurance documentation, and deciding whether to repair or replace your vehicle, there’s a lot to decide. But don’t forget to take care of yourself too; schedule a visit with Dr. Henderson right away. She can help spot—and treat—aches and pains which might be signs of underlying issues.
NOLO attorneys agree. “Keep in mind that some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident. Depending on the nature of the injury, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you are in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury.”
If you’ve been in an accident, call your insurance company right away. They’ll walk you through the steps required by your individual plan. Then it’s smart to schedule a visit with your primary care doctor and a chiropractor like Dr. Henderson. As with anything relating to insurance, the process can be slow so don’t delay.
Americans love cars. We name them and they’re like family. But accidents do happen. Take care of your body like you take care of your wheels so both are ready for the next adventure…whenever that may come.