I was in an auto accident recently and I am having pain. What should I do?
In the United States each year there are over 6 million car accidents resulting in 3 million injured people. Whiplash and back pain are tops on the list for suffering.
The first thing is if the accident just happened and you are having immense pain, the emergency room is where you should be. They can rule out fractures and immediate serious concerns that need attention. Any significant pain should be checked out, especially when considering that as soon as the adrenaline wears off the pain will intensify.
If however it’s been a few days to a few weeks and you have lingering pain, then it is a good idea to seek treatment from a medical provider such as a pain management physician, chiropractor, or potentially to start with, your primary care doctor.
Should I seek an attorney to help me after a car accident?
With regards to your own auto insurance company, you may have a great warm and fuzzy relationship. They may insure your auto, life, company, and you may know them personally. Get into an auto accident, however, and you probably will not enjoy the warm fuzzies with the insurance company of the person who hit you. You will be asking them for money, and their bottom line depends on keeping it. They may push you into trying to settle prematurely prior to completion of treatment. Don’t fall for this.
Seeking an attorney sooner rather than later ensures your best chance of being treated fairly. The Yellow Pages isn’t always the greatest way to find a Personal Injury attorney, and bigger law firms aren’t always better. The medical practice providing pain management treatment may be able to recommend a seasoned attorney. They probably have considerable experience knowing which attorneys are helpful, fair, and results oriented for their client, which is you!
Should I use my health insurance for treatment if I was a victim in a car accident?
Typically the answer is yes. Using your health insurance for medical treatment in a personal injury case can mean a larger settlement at the end of the case for you. If you have no medical insurance there are pain management centers that will treat you under a personal injury lien with no out of pocket expenses. It just means all of the medical treatments go under that lien and when settlement time comes less monies for you. If your health insurance has covered a significant portion of the treatment, there will end up being more money in your pocket.
What kind of medical treatments have been shown to help for neck and back pain after a car accident?
Considering that 10% of whiplash pain and low back pain become chronic and cause considerable disability, it is in one’s best interest to receive pain treatment as soon as possible. Quicker treatment may mean quicker recovery.
For acute neck and low back pain, chiropractic treatment has been shown in numerous studies to alleviate pain and improve patient function. Patients get back to work quicker, and may avoid the problem of chronic pain.
One of the main issues after a whiplash or low back injury is damage to the small joints of the spine called the facet joints. Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy may help diminish the pain, but facet related pain may persist. Pain doctors can perform facet injections into the painful joints, which may relieve pain for many months.
If necessary, the pain doctor may then perform a technologically advanced outpatient procedure called Radiofrequency Ablation, which heats up the painful joints and can relieve pain for one to two years.
There are very effective treatment options if you have been in a car accident. Seeking medical care sooner rather than later may end up preventing the onset of chronic pain, so don’t wait!