It started with a routine trip to the store. Suddenly you hear a screeching of tires and the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. In the split second before you can brace yourself, you feel your car moving from some unseen force! Automobile accidents can happen anytime and anyplace, causing damage to your vehicle, other property, and most importantly… your body.
It’s tempting to minimize your own injuries because your car has sustained little or no damage. Research shows that occupants can be injured considerably more than what you’d expect from a dented fender or a broken taillight. This same research also demonstrates that due to the accelerative forces in a low-speed accident, the injury may actually be greater than that of a higher-speed crash.
The Medical Solution
If you visit the emergency room, you may be given a clean bill of health because you don’t have any broken bones. Although you might get a prescription to reduce the muscle spasms caused by structural changes in your neck or lower back, you don’t have a drug deficiency. And muscle relaxants do not repair the damage. After what you’ve been through, you’ll need a health professional that truly understands soft tissue injuries, spinal biomechanics and rehabilitation strategies. We understand the biomechanical and physiological effects often experienced after an auto accident, specifically including whiplash and low back injuries, and pain in the extremities. Whiplash-type injuries are especially important to address as they may be associated with torn or damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments, inflammation (particularly in the joints), bruising or bleeding, and severe headaches.
Even a minor automobile accident can have major effects on your health. When one automobile is struck by another, thousands of pounds of force are exerted on the neck and spine. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are thrown or “snapped” back and forth very quickly. The painful result is injury to the ligaments, soft tissue, and discs of the neck and spine. Whiplash also causes impingement, stretching, or irritation of the nerves and the spinal cord. Whiplash can also cause headaches, numbness, pins and needles in the face, chest, arms or hands, anxiety, neck pain, back pain, ear ringing, dizziness, hearing loss and/or blurred vision. Too many people who have been in a traumatic automobile accident do not receive chiropractic care. That is the reason why over half of the accident victims never completely recover from their injuries and may live on pain killers for years to endure repeated surgery. Chiropractic care can make the difference between true recovery and healing or lingering pain and disability. Unfortunately, Chiropractic is not yet available in emergency rooms and medical doctors are not trained to locate and correct spinal nerve stress. As a result, millions of accident victims leave the hospital with as much spinal nerve stress as they had when they entered. They may continue to suffer for months, years or even decades afterwards. Chiropractic Technique emphasizes a non-traumatic, non-forceful approach for human health care. This gentle chiropractic care helps restore nervous system function, helps heal sore muscles and damaged ligaments, and ensures rapid and complete recovery after an accident. Insurance companies realize the many advantages of Chiropractic Care. This treatment is generally covered in full by automobile insurance policies, whether you are a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian… and regardless of who is at fault. Anyone who has been in a traumatic automobile accident, even if there are no obvious symptoms should have an examination. The damage from spinal nerve stress may take months or even years to surface. A simple Chiropractic exam and proper treatment can save an accident victim from much pain and disability later.
Auto Accident Tips
- 1 Stop your vehicle in the safest place (off the traveled roadway, if possible). Turn off the ignition. Get out carefully and determine if anyone is injured. Administer first aid, if needed, but do not try to move an injured individual.
- 2 If appropriate, call the police (9-1-1) immediately. Tell them about any injuries. They will notify EMS.
- 3 If your vehicle cannot be moved, turn on hazard lights, and ask the investigating officers to help you set flares until the vehicle can be towed.
- 4 Document the names of individuals at the scene of the accident.
- 5 If you think the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, insist on a breath test for the other driver.
- 6 Cooperate with the police and other individuals involved, but do not admit fault. You may be asked to show your insurance card, but do not reveal your coverage limits.
- 7 If the other individual accepts responsibility for the accident, do not accept any money offered to you. By accepting money, you may give up your right to file a claim against the other driver, even if the damages are more extensive than you first thought.
- 8 Never agree to ignore an auto accident, even if there appears to be no damage. You may find out later that there were actually hidden damages or injuries or that the other person has filed a lawsuit against you.
- 9 Write a detailed account of the accident.
- 10 If a camera is available, take pictures from various perspectives showing the damage, position of vehicles, skid marks and anything else documenting what happened. Make copies of the pictures.
- 11 Report the accident to your insurance agent or company as soon as possible even if there appears to be no damage or injuries.