Many people who are involved in car accidents seek medical care from chiropractors for their personal injuries. Each person’s injuries are different, so the decision as to where to seek medical care after a car accident depends on various factors such as:
- The extent of the injuries. For example, if there are fractures or broken bones, you’ll probably go to the emergency room via ambulance from the scene of the collision and follow up with an orthopedic doctor. If there’s a head injury that causes headaches or a traumatic brain injury, then it would be advisable to seek emergency care and follow up with a neurologist. On the other hand, if the injuries are “soft tissue,” meaning they are largely muscular and involve the pain caused by whiplash, then seeking care from a chiropractor or a primary care physician is probably okay.
- Whether there is health insurance. If there is health insurance available to cover treatment for injuries related to the accident, absent a catastrophic or emergent injury, then starting with a primary care physician is probably the ideal way to obtain treatment. Chiropractors normally work on a “lien” basis, where they get paid on the back end of the settlement. Any time you have available health insurance to cover the cost of medical care, no matter what kind of provider you use, it is better than treating on a lien care basis because using your health insurance will more than likely allow you to maximize your recovery.
- The health of the person who is injured. Chiropractic treatment is generally considered to be conservative and non-invasive treatment; thus, where a person has a pre-existing health condition that may prevent other, more invasive treatment, then chiropractic treatment (or physical therapy) could be an option. For example, pregnant women cannot take narcotics, obtain MRIs or x-rays, or get steroid injections for pain. Of course, any time you seek medical care, whether it be chiropractic treatment or other types of treatment, you should consult your doctor to make sure that it is okay.
- The personal preference of the person seeking treatment. Some people prefer chiropractic treatment because it is a holistic, alternative medicine type of treatment. Others prefer medical doctors. But it is important to note that chiropractors cannot heal broken bones or perform surgery or handle spinal injuries; seeking treatment from a licensed medical doctor or from the emergency room is imperative in such situations.
- Whether the injured person is obtaining care from a physician. It is advisable that when seeking chiropractic care, you also simultaneously treat with a medical doctor in order to ensure the safety of chiropractic care. Some medical doctors actually prescribe chiropractic care or physical therapy as part of treatment.
The type of medical care that one seeks is a personal decision, but when it comes to obtaining medical treatment after being involved in a car accident and looking to maximize the value of a personal injury claim, getting the correct type of medical treatment can be tricky. Further, obtaining immediate and consistent medical treatment and following doctor’s orders is imperative to building evidence for a personal injury claim. Of course, the best course of action is to follow sound medical advice from qualified medical providers; we would never encourage you to seek unnecessary treatment for the purpose of supporting your injury claim. And, if you are not looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, then you are the only person who has the authority to make decisions about how to treat your body.
If you have questions about what type of medical treatment to seek after being involved in a car accident, call Betty Nguyen Davis for a consultation with an attorney at (404) 647-0722