What to do in a Car Accident

What to do in a car accident is today’s subject for discussion and it’s essential to know what to do for more than simply being treated.

Number one, my job or the job of a doctor is to get you better first and foremost. And to do everything we need to do to get you better.

If you’ve chosen to go the route of using an attorney and we’re going to try to get compensated from some personal injury, there’s certain steps you want to do and I’m going to guide you along those ways.

And I first want to start this off by saying, hey I’m not an attorney, and this is by no means any kind of legal advice, but I’ve been doing these cases for a long, long time and I know all the things that you need to do to work a case up to make it very presentable and workable for your attorney.

And I say that because the insurance companies are not on your side. They will fight you tooth and nail and they will nickle and dime you for everything and the better document your case is the easier a job an attorney has and the more likely you get compensated for your pain and suffering.

Remember, pain and suffering isn’t just your physical pain. But it’s a pain in the butt to get your car fixed, taking time out of your day, having to go to the doctors, do therapy three times a week for a month or two. It’s all things that you wouldn’t be doing if someone else wasn’t negligent at hit you. So, your time is worth money and let’s make sure that you get compensated properly and I will show you what to do in a car accident in terms of this.

Alright, so let’s go over a couple of things.

First things first, if you get hit and you feel like you’re injured, the first thing you do is get evaluated by a doctor who’s qualified in treating car accident victims.

If you can’t get to your primary or come in to see us or it’s happened late at night or on a weekend, I want you to get to an emergency room, get checked out, document it. Even if you feel like your injuries aren’t substantial, a lot of times pain and injuries take time to set in. You’ve got adrenaline flowing, you’re excited, inflammation hasn’t set in quite yet, and things take a few days. But it’s best that you get it documented, get your injuries documented and make sure everything’s going to be ok.

Now look, if you go to an emergency room and there’s a time and place to go, and this is for minor to severe injuries, emergency rooms do a great job at letting you know if you broke something, if you’re bleeding and they make sure you’re not going to die. And that’s about it they’ll refer you off to other doctors. And that’s about it, their job is to take care of any immediate injury and get you off to a specialist.

So many times you get these accidents, especially if you’re in an accident and unless something is broken, bleeding and you’re not dieing, they’ll maybe take some imaging, maybe give you some muscle relaxers, maybe some anti inflammatory, get you to feel a bit better. They’ll say you’re ok, maybe you’ve got a soft tissue injury, and then they’ll send you on the way. Not knowing that even a small car accident or a low impact car accident can do quite a bit of damage to your neck and to your low back. Sometimes that pain or those symptoms or indications of that problem don’t set in for a few days or even a few weeks. So don’t always take what they say 100% to heart because a lot of times those injuries maybe they miss.

After you get to an emergency room the next best thing is to go see a primary or come see us or get to an urgent care doctor and get a further evaluation, a little more detailed evaluation. If they didn’t take any imaging, let’s take some imaging, x-rays or MRI or catscan, or something to see what’s going on. And get some appropriate medication to help slow down the severity or get the recovery process to start soon. And appropriate medication will do that.

Along with seeing a medical doctor I think the next best thing is in coordination with that doctor, to come in and get some chiropractic care, typical three times a week for 4 weeks.
Number one, we want to do it to speed up the recovery process to prevent further problems down the line, but also for using an attorney, we need to build your case, we have to document injuries, we have to show that you’re out there physically trying to get better.

So protocol care is three times a week, for about a month and then we re-evaluate. And see a medical doctor and get on some medication during that time.
So whether you go to the best university doctors around, or the best specialist around, the same protocol is medication, therapy for a month.

And then we see how you are.

If you haven’t progressed to where we want you to be after three times a week for four weeks, and taken some appropriate medication, then we’re going to order some imaging.
And at this point, we probably should already have had some x-rays to make sure we’re not dealing with any fractures or severe misalignments, then the next thing we want to do at that four week mark is order MRIs. So say your neck is hurting, we need to see if there’s any soft tissue injuries that we’re dealing with. So are we dealing with a herniated disc? Are we dealing with a pinched nerve?

Are we dealing with muscle tears? Or strains? We want to know exactly what it is.

Two reasons, number one so we can treat you more appropriately and try to speed up the recovery process, number two we need to document your case. Your attorney’s going to want to see that there is a physical problem that is being worked on which will help your case.

Again, I’m kind of going back and forth I’m talking to you like a doctor and someone else who’s trying to give you advice on how to build your case as this is essential to what to do in a car accident.

Alright, so four weeks of care, medication, and if we’re still the same, we’re going to go imaging such as an MRI for your neck or catscan and at that point we see what the problem is.

If we do see some issues in there what we’re going to do is refer you to a neurologist, and an orthopedic. Couple of reasons, number one as building your case we want to get as many other professionals in different fields all saying that you have an injury as a direct result of your accident.

So you’ll have the emergency room, you’ll have your primary, or pain management doctor, you’ll gave your chiropractor who’s doing the therapy on you. You’re going to have a neurologist and you’re going to have an orthopedic at that point. And everyone’s going to document what the problem is so when your attorney goes to the insurance company, he has a full case that says, ‘hey we have multiple documents all saying that they have the same injury, this is a documented injury, it isn’t made up, they need to be compensated with it’. Along with a neurologist, they may order an EMG. So an EMG is an electromyogram, and that test is where they’re going to tell you exactly where the pain comes from.

So you have multiple areas in your neck or you low back and we’re not sure which one it is generating the most pain, they’ll do these tests two reasons. Number one, to further document that we’re dealing with a sustainable injury, and number two if they need to do injections like epidural steroid injections, they’re going to be able to go to the correct spot to get you to heal faster quickly.
So we’ve gone four weeks of care, we’ve taken some medication, and we’ve got some imaging, we’ve gotten you to two or three more specialists, we’re going to attempt to do another four weeks of therapy along with more appropriate medication if they had a change or not, and during that four weeks, according to the pain management doctors or neurologist, or even orthopedic for that matter, they’ll be in consideration for steroid epidural injections. So putting the medicine right in the bad spot.

A lot of people look at these things and think they’re bigger issues than they are, but what it is is they are just going to put the appropriate medication on the appropriate spot to get you to feel better.

And many times they try two to three times if they’re not getting the results they want.

So far you’ve been to the ER or your primary, you’ve been through a couple of months of therapy, you’ve been to a neurologist, orthopedic, pain management doctor, we’ve considered injections, another thing we’ll consider is some home supplies. Do you have a TENs unit, do you have ice packs at home, do you have pain relieving back supports at home? We want to see that you are doing things at home that actively help you to recover from your injuries.

If at that point, 90% of our patients are feeling much better, if we’re still feeling there’s issues and the doctors combined don’t feel that we’re doing is getting you to respond the way we would want to, you may or may not be referred out for surgery consultation. That really depends on what we see from MRI, and what everyone sees as a combined effort.

Couple of things here. Number one, remember, our goal is to get you better as quickly as possible and to get you back to your normal life. We want to get everything fixed up that’s been injured in this accident. We want to make sure that there’s a team of specialists that is looking at you so that no one misses anything and to get you to recover, because what happens is, we don’t want this case to close and 6 months later you start complaining that you have another injury that’s probably as a result from the accident that never got resolved. So we want to make sure everything’s right.

And all of this is being said because insurance companies aren’t always on your side. They do a lot of good for the world but they will fight you tooth and nail sometimes when you want to get things paid for. The closer we stick to a direct care plan, the easier things will be on you.

So I hope some of that helps you out there to know what to do in a car accident, god forbid or a family member or friend has been in an accident, and you’re not quite sure what to do, just message me on Facebook or give me a call at the office. If you’re down in South Carolina you can look me up at MurrellsInletChiropractic.com. If you’re watching this video up in Vineland, in my South Jersey office, it’s BackPainRC.com

To see the video that goes along with this article, visit our YouTube channel, and you can always message me on Facebook too.

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Dr Ray Marquez DC is a chiropractor and the owner of Back Pain Relief Center. He has two branches, one in Vineland, New Jersey, the other in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. To learn more about him, check his site at Back Pain Relief Center Vineland or Back Pain Relief Center Myrtle Beach

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