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858-486-1222

Anatomy of an Auto Accident

A short summary of information every person injured in an auto accident should read.

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There are a variety of factors involved in any car accident.  The scenario presented here covers most of the basics.  If your situation is similar (or not) doesn't matter as much as the essentials of the following:

You've been in an car accident and either you know you were hurt, or you believe that you weren't hurt (just 'jostled' around) and are not experiencing any immediate symptoms.


            Some facts:

(1)   You're generally mad that the accident took place.  Either you know you could have done something or the other party involved could have done something to avoid the collision.  At any level, you're upset the auto accident occurred. This is creating some stress.

(2)   You're vehicle (car, truck, bike, motorcycle, skateboard, boat, or whatever) got damaged - this damage may not amount to much or it may have 'totaled' the value of the vehicle (and this may be good or bad news to learn).  This also contributes to some growing amount of stress.

(3)   You deal with an Insurance Adjuster (either yours or the other party's insurance company).  The Adjuster tells you to rest assured that everything will be taken care of as soon as practical.  They tell you where to have your car taken for an estimate (or they tell you where to have it towed!).  Then you're told about your rental car options.  When you inquire regarding your health, the Adjuster is quick to tell you that you should seek any and all means to receive the 'necessary' care to evaluate and treat your accident related injuries.  Generally, you're being told and directed which typically compounds the growing levels of emotional/biochemical and physical/biomechanical stress since the accident occurred.

(4)   For some reason, we Americans are really frustrated when it comes to any damage to our vehicles.  At last, you get an estimate from the repair shop which totals some amount (you really don't pay too much attention since you generally believe the insurance will cover it), and you learn how many weeks you'll be without your 'vehicle'.  Just a little more stress comes rolling in.

(5)   Now you've either decided to seek some healthcare repair for some obvious symptoms from either the Emergency Room (ER), Urgent Care (UC), your Primary Medical Doctor (MD), or your Chiropractor (DC).  All are acceptable providers; however, each has their own level of expertise. (drugs will suppress your stress)

a.       The ER and UC Centers are crisis driven; dealing with life/death and serious injury.  If you are in this category, you're going to get some great and necessary service; if not in this category, you'll be given a brief exam and released.

b.      The Medical Doctor is driven by symptoms.  If you have symptoms, you will be provided with drugs to address these symptoms (unless a surgical consult is necessary).  This is about the limits available in the MD's office.  If you travel to an orthopedist's office, you may be given some temporary pain relief injections. You could also be referred to a subordinate Physical Therapist office to experience a handful of exercise sessions in an attempt to re-establish normal function to a muscle group or specific biomechanical joint.

c.       The Chiropractor (DC = Doctor of Chiropractic) has all of their training in determining the cause of your symptoms and is schooled in the arts to personally deliver care at the source of your symptoms.  This effort is not the same as either of the above ER/UC or MD office; the DC is a unique compliment to the healthcare community and becomes part of your healthcare team.  If you are not in a life or death situation; and you don't want to experience drugs or injections before evaluating all of the conservative options, you need to see a DC who is experienced in trauma cases.  In addition to evaluation, any treatment plan recommendations are completed at the DC's office and should include referral to a qualified and experienced MD in the event the DC can't complete all of your repair from the accident. (the DC can remove the stress!)

(6)   Now if you have decided that you really don't need any care, you may notice that as the next few days (or weeks) go on that you seem to have more of a stiff neck than you remember having in a long time.  Or, you begin to have mild headaches, or slight stiffness of your back, or your appetite has changed and you seem more irritable, or you can't seem to get a full night's sleep.  Or maybe you've noticed some energy and personality changes in your children who were also in the accident (but you never imagined they were hurt).  These are all as a result of a subluxation to your nervous system - which took place when you were 'jolted' around during the accident.  If this is the case, the only appropriate healthcare provider to see is a DC.  They are the only one's who know where to address treatment services to repair your nervous system (this is known as removing Subluxation to the nervous system).  They are also the only healthcare providers licensed by the State of California to detect and treat Subluxations in your body.

(7)   So it's been a handful of weeks and you've received care from your healthcare team (ER, UC, MD, and/or DC).  All of these providers send their treatment notes and bills (documents) to the Insurance Adjuster for review.  If you have an Attorney involved, the Attorney collects all of these documents and forwards them to the Insurance Adjuster.

Here's the hardest part of this entire story!

(8)   The documents (especially the doctor's notes) are evaluated for specific items of information.  The information is either there, or not there. 

You must never forget that the Insurance Adjuster works for an Insurance Company who wants to pay as little as possible to keep their company profitable.  So, if specific information is absent from the 'doctor's notes', then you are going to receive less payment toward your claim.

(9)   Next, you receive a call from the Insurance Adjuster who tells you they have reviewed all of the notes and bills.  They typically will down play your injury and say that you couldn't have been injured too badly because of low body damage to your car; or, the speed of impact; or, that you returned to work right away; or, you never really seemed in too much pain; or, that you waited too long after the accident to seek any type of care.  Typically, the Adjuster then will go on about how you received too much care for your injury and that the place, wherever you received your care, was way too expensive.  So, after review of the notes and making you feel like you got an improper amount of care, they present a settlement offer of some amount of money.  The amount is only as high as the effectiveness of the 'documentation'. 

The Adjusters are trained to read your response and pressure you into a quick settlement to save their company money.  So, at this point, you either accept their offer or beg for a couple more dollars and then accept their offer.  You get enough to settle your healthcare bills with little left over to represent your 'pain and suffering'.  And your case is closed.

(10)   You may have an Attorney represent your case, which may increase the final offer; however, you'll need to pay their fee as well.  Don't misread this paragraph.  We frequently refer patients to attorneys, especially when special circumstances are present; such as: children involved; disability and impairment ratings; significant loss of work and income; pregnancy; body damage to vehicle greater than $3000; and many other factors.  There are also many cases where the trauma is less significant, or the body damage is less significant, and it's unlikely an attorney will be to the advantage to the patient.  Each accident has many variables involved and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you've ever been in an accident before, this whole story should sound very familiar.
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What are the advantages of receiving your care at Community Chiropractic Center?

First and foremost, we are focused on your health and repairing from your trauma.  Our office specializes in trauma repair with doctors, therapists, and staff who concentrate on getting you healthy again.  Our techniques are complimented with decompression, spinal extension, soft tissue, and a variety of core techniques all focused to remove your pain and restore your health.

We offer Massage Therapy for your care in returning to full health.  Our therapists specialize in trauma repair to specifically target strained and sprained areas of your body.

Most significantly for your settlement offer; our office provides detailed and specific information which directly responds to the Insurance Adjuster's questions regarding your healthcare.  Our documentation sequence and materials will allow the Insurance Adjuster to best evaluate your pain and suffering and offer you the maximum possible for your final claim. This is not the case of trying to 'cheat' any insurance company, but rather, we provided answers and information to best allow the Insurance Adjuster to present to you a fair offer of settlement; a settlement which most closely reflects your level of pain and suffering.

Our patients enjoy the confidence in our skills and techniques to know that if we do not forecast complete recovery, we will quickly refer the patient to an appropriate healthcare specialist.  Our focus is on your health.

We have years of experience in treating patients and specialize in patients injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Should you have any further questions specifically regarding your accident and how we can assist you, please call us today (858-486-1222) or send an e-mail!

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