If you’ve been injured in a car accident, unfortunately your attention is probably divided by logistical and financial concerns — and if your injuries don’t require immediate emergency medical services, you may be tempted to deprioritize them. But it’s important that you put your health first. Here are three things you need to remember about seeking care after a car crash:
You Don’t Have Unlimited Time
There are two major reasons to get checked out by a healthcare professional as soon as possible after a car accident, whether you think you have serious injuries or not. The first is that symptoms don’t always show up immediately, and yet the injury could still be getting worse without proper treatment. The second is that you may be operating within a relatively narrow statute of limitations when it comes to filing personal injury claims. You don’t want to end up in pain a year down the road because you didn’t seek treatment only to find out that you are no longer eligible to seek compensation.
You Have Multiple Care Options
When it comes to post-accident care, many people focus on two options: the emergency room and their family physician. But there are many more options than that, especially if you’re not dealing with broken bones, bleeding and other emergency concerns. For whiplash and spinal concerns, for example, a back pain specialist is in order. And when it comes to back pain specialists, chiropractors are often the best choice, not medical doctors. Chiropractic adjustments can often resolve underlying issues before they become chronic, and chiropractic treatments work to relieve pain without risky pharmaceuticals, too. Other care such as massage therapy and physical rehab may also be appropriate.
You Need to Get Documentation
No matter what route you end up going for your care, you’ll need to make sure you have proper documentation to support insurance claims, personal injury filings and so forth. You’ll want to be extra careful if you’ve decided to use an alternative practitioner such as your local chiropractor; some chiropractic clinics handle quite a few car accident victims and will know what documentation is necessary, while others might not. It’s better to check beforehand how much experience a practitioner has in this situation than to find out later your paperwork isn’t in order and your claim has been severely weakened.
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