Have You Been in a Car Accident? Read This NOW!
Can auto accidents cause concussions? Can a crash set forth a domino effect of health challenges that can lead to multiple sclerosis? Can a low-velocity fender bender lead to serious injury?
So what should you do if you are involved in a car accident? First, breathe. It’s going to be OK.
At the accident:
- STOP. By law, we are required to stop if there is an accident that results in injuries or damage to the cars themselves.
- Help the injured.
- Prevent further accidents. Move out of the way of oncoming traffic, if possible. If on the freeway, stay in the car and immediately call 911 or the highway patrol.
- Exchange information with the other driver. With camera phones available, the easiest thing is to take a photo of the person's insurance card and registration. (Technology rules!)
- Get the names and numbers of witnesses.
- If your car is driveable, drive to the nearest repair station or home. If it's not driveable, get it towed. (Personally, I think AAA is the smartest money you can spend. For less than the price of a crummy dinner, AAA covers many things, among them car towing in case of an accident.)
- Seek medical attention, the sooner the better. Immediately is best. Go to an ER for serious injuries, or to your chiropractor as long as there are no cuts, lacerations, or other serious injuries not involving the spine.
After the accident:
- One of the most important factors in determining how quickly and how well you'll recover is the time you wait to be seen. The longer you wait to start treatment, the higher the probability of chronicity. Because so many people wait until there is neck or back pain to see a doctor, many hidden injuries can rear their ugly head days, weeks, and sometimes even months after the impact. Regardless of the presence or absence of pain, go see your doctor of chiropractic or medical doctor, preferably one with experience in handling personal injury (PI) cases. Do it. Now.
- A great chiropractor or MD with post-accident treatment experience will almost always take x-rays, do an evaluation, and provide treatment as needed. Referral for further imaging will also be discussed, as MRIs and CT scans might be needed to rule out disc herniations and other injuries not seen on standard x-rays.
Atlas Wellness Center Goals
- Short term: Getting you out of pain.
- Mid-to-long term: Prevent the injuries from becoming chronic and causing disability.
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Lastly, the million-dollar question that I oftentimes get from patients when they’ve been in an automobile accident: should I get an attorney? The short answer: probably.
Bottom line: When you’re involved in a car accident, assemble a “Dream Team” of professionals who are well-versed in the nuances and idiosyncrasies of personal injury. A chiropractor, an MD, and a personal injury attorney are a great start so that you can sit back and focus on what really matters: your health and your future.
If you ever need names of great doctors or attorneys or have any questions regarding auto accidents or any types of personal injuries, feel free to send me a PM, and we can discuss privately or you can call Atlas Wellness Center, my office, at 7145406792 and ask for a no-charge consultation. I’m always happy to help friends (and even enemies) navigate the uncharted waters of post-accident chaos. Holler.