With a 1 in 8 chance of being in a car accident this year, here are a few important things you need to know to avoid unnecessary pain, suffering and financial hardship for the rest of your life.
1) Get the right insurance coverage.
Med-pay is a little known option on your auto insurance policy that automatically pays if you are injured, regardless of fault.
Talk to your insurance agent about adding med-pay to your auto policy, it’s only about $10 a month more. Be sure to get coverage for at least the amount of your health insurance deductible OR if you have an HMO get $5000 of med-pay coverage so you are not stuck in the system and can see the doctor of your choice.
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2) Don’t underestimate your injury.
Just because you were not medevac’d from the scene of the accident, doesn’t mean you are fine. Adrenaline is a heck of a drug and you may not feel your injuries for a day or more. Even if you feel fine you should be evaluated by a soft tissue injury expert within 24 hours. The forces impacting the body from an average rear-end collision can be five times the force of the actual collision.
In a 10 mile-per-hour accident, your head can accelerate up to 50 mph causing hidden neck injury that, left untreated can cause a lifetime of unnecessary pains throughout your entire body. If you are asked, “Are you hurt?” the most accurate answer is I don’t know.
3) Don’t worry about getting examined, making an injury claim or talking to an attorney.
You have rights and if you are injured, you need to get taken care of, quickly. Within 72 hours, portions of your injury can become permanent if not treated properly and every day that you delay evaluation decreases the insurance company’s responsibility.
4) Don’t settle for getting pain relief therapies that do nothing to rehabilitate function.
Drugs, hot packs, massage and electric stimulation may give you temporary relief, but without early, measured-functional rehabilitation, that restores normal spinal alignment and function, your pain and disability can last long after the settlement money runs out.
Injuries from auto accidents are mostly to the spine, muscles and ligaments. Chiropractors, specialize in the treatment of these injuries and are best suited to document and correct problems resulting from accidents. You might be unaware that a doctor of chiropractic has the same or more education in the health sciences as medical doctors.
A study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine showed that 94% of patients with neck pain, restriction and neurological symptoms responded positively to chiropractic treatment.
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5) Be prepared physically.
Studies show that more muscle mass decreases the severity of injury in accidents. So avoiding injury is just one more reason to get in shape. And don’t ignore the aches and pains you currently have. These are warning signs that something is not right in the way your spine is working right now. While in most cases, these minor glitches in spinal function are easy to fix prior to an accident, they can multiply the damage caused by even a minor fender bender.
Ask your chiropractor for a Quantitative Functional Capacity Evaluation today and know what kind of shape you are really in.
Dr. Thomas Polucki is a Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor. Find more information at www.doctorpolucki.com. Functional Medicine services are available in most cities via remote labs and internet consultations. Call 661-753-9340 to schedule a free phone consultation. Patients are seen by appointment at 25050 Peachland Avenue, Suite 105, Newhall, California 91321.
Source: Santa Clarita News