After a Car Accident Guidelines
Step 1: If you are injured at all, you should be evaluated. Many times, you may not feel very hurt initially, but then later, you do. Getting treatment as soon as possible, even the day it happens, can speed your recovery time.
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If you wait too long, and you are genuinely hurt, you may be giving up some of your ability to obtain treatment. One may argue that if you are really hurt, you would get treatment, because you NEED it, and wouldn't waste any time. Cost and other considerations are explained below, but we would be happy to answer any questions in person. The longer you wait, the longer one could argue that your injury could be from some other cause, which is why any injuries must be documented as soon as possible.
Step 2: Do you need a Chiropractor? If you don't know already, we are specifically trained in treating injuries, and we have a great success rate for recovery. Not all chiropractors are the same, and our office has handled many car accident injuries. If you need a referral to an MD, an MRI, x-rays, or specialists, I can facilitate that process, don't hesitate to call us first. You don't always need a referral from your doctor for treatment.
Chiropractic care facilitates the healing process by maximizing range of motion, improving symptoms, and restoring function as quickly as possible. For questions about chiropractic, see our FAQ's.
How do injuries happen? Even though my accident wasn't that bad, I feel like I am injured. Click here.
This is not to be substituted for legal advice, but these are guidelines that I have come to use after being the supervising doctor in many cases with many different attorneys. Please consult with an attorney if you have legal questions.
These guidelines are typical for patients who have been in car accidents and are hurt or injured (even a little) with or without an attorney. In most cases, you should have your injuries evaluated, and I offer a Free Consultation, so there is minimal risk (other than your time).
Insurance companies are thinking about your case as a business decision. Many insurance companies use a strategy called the "3D's"
Deny (liability and payment)
Defend (go to court)
For more information, here is the California Bar Association link and what they say about car accidents.
Here are some good ideas to follow:
1. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR'S ADVICE. You should at least have an evaluation for documentation purposes if you have any injuries. Some may seem insignificant, at first, but then, may worsen. Only by following your doctor's advice can you hope to hasten your recovery from your injuries. All your complaints following your accident should be reported to your doctor for his evaluation. KEEP ALL DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS ON A REGULAR BASIS. If for any reason you cannot keep your doctor appointments regularly. If you notice any new symptoms that you feel may be related to the accident, notify your doctor immediately, even if you are not sure if they are related. If you have a gap in care, please fill out our form documenting why you have a gap in care. All gaps should be explained.
2. KEEP ALL OF YOUR DOCUMENTS: If you are not sure if we need it, ask us. All of your bills related to the case should be kept in this folder. We're here to help.
3. IF YOU HAVE ONE, KEEP YOUR ATTORNEY UP TO DATE. Inform them of any changes of your information.
4. BILLS: Keep a record of all expenses connected with your case. Save bills and receipts for doctors, prescriptions, ambulances, hospitals, appliances, repair estimates and any other bills connected with your injuries.
5. HEALTH INSURANCE. If you have health insurance of any kind, be sure to consult with our office so they can assist you in submitting all medical bills to your health insurance company for payment, if necessary. We will verify it for you, and we know what to ask for. We are on a lot of insurance plans (about 800+).
6. NOTIFY YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY IF YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN ANOTHER ACCIDENT.
Your doctor is here to facilitate your recovery, guidance of your care and give you health information. Our objectives are to serve you properly and to obtain the best possible results for you. We will work with you (and your attorney) to do everything in our power to handle your recovery in a manner that will justify the confidence that you have placed in our office.
How do you know if you need an attorney? Ask one.
In most cases, I recommend that you should at least consult with an attorney. Most that I know will consult with you for free. There a few possible way attorneys can get paid, even though most attorneys take car accident cases on contingency, there may be instances where they may charge a retainer, etc. I can refer you to several attorneys if you need counsel.
Disclaimer: If you have any questions, please call. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ll answer your questions as best as I can. This is not to be construed as legal advice, as most of what I have written is based on experience. We have over the years met a variety of attorneys that we have had good experiences with. We don't recommend just pulling someone out of the phone book, just like with most things, use someone you trust, or someone that you trust knows, and has used before and would recommend.
We're here to help (562) 943-4132.