Do Car Accident Settlements Pay for Chiropractic Treatment?
A car accident is a major interruption in your daily life. It doesn’t just throw you off on the day of the accident, either. It can be weeks before you know the status of your car, how much insurance will cover, and more.
And that’s just concerning the damage to your car. What about the damage done to you?
When you’re in a car accident, it’s important to seek medical treatment for possible injuries. You may feel fine in the immediate aftermath and not need any emergency services, but there could be lingering injuries you don’t feel yet.
This is where a car accident chiropractor comes in. Seeing a chiropractor quickly after a car accident can detect joint, skeletal, or muscle injuries you may not have felt, and it can also affect how much you receive in a car accident settlement.
Read on for more details on why it’s important to see a chiropractor after a car accident and how your accident settlement is affected.
What is Covered by a Car Accident Settlement?
After a car accident, the first thing that will help you cover any expenses—be they medical or property—is car insurance.
In states with no-fault laws, like Florida, all drivers are required to have at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection coverage and Property Damage Liability coverage, which can help cover your medical bills or repair your car—regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
So when you’re not at fault for the accident, you may be happy thinking the other driver will have to cover everything else with no questions asked. However, when you’re in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, their insurance may not be enough to cover all of your damages, and the burden will be back on you.
When your insurance settlement is not enough to repair or replace your car and take care of your medical needs, filing a personal injury claim with the help of a lawyer can help you get fairly compensated for all your losses, including whatever medical attention you need.
A car accident settlement can go toward medical bills as well as any lost wages if you couldn’t work immediately after the accident. It can also pay for any emotional distress you may suffer in the aftermath of the accident.
Seeking Chiropractic Treatment After a Car Accident
Many people who walk away from a car accident consider themselves lucky to have not suffered any major injuries and turn their attention to fixing or replacing their car.
But you should always seek medical attention after a car accident. However good you may feel, a car accident is still a blunt force trauma that could have lasting effects on your physical health. Even in a slow-moving fender bender, there can still be damage to your joints.
The most common injury that presents following a car accident is whiplash, and it’s not something that presents right away. Whiplash can cause neck pain, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and more, so it’s crucial to seek treatment from a chiropractor who specializes in treating whiplash and other car accident injuries.
Other hidden injuries caused by a car accident include soft tissue damage, stiff and sore muscles, disc injuries, damaged ligaments, and more. These injuries may not show up on an initial X-ray taken in the hours right after the accident, but a thorough examination by a chiropractor can give you a complete medical assessment and help you get back to your daily routine.
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment for a variety of skeletal injuries, and even if you don’t feel injured after an accident, it’s important to prevent damage down the road.
Chiropractic treatment is about treating the root of your pain with the goal of preventing lasting damage and providing long-term relief.
Is Chiropractic Care Covered by Car Insurance?
As previously mentioned, the Florida No Fault law requires every driver to have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage to help pay for medical bills whether you were at fault for the accident or not.
While chiropractic treatment is covered by your PIP coverage, the type of medical attention you need—emergency or otherwise—affects how much compensation will be available to you.
In states where there is a no fault law, like Florida, you are required to seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident in order for it to be covered by your Personal Injury Protection coverage.
It’s important to remember that you may not show symptoms of injuries for a few days or even up to six weeks after your accident. That’s why seeing a chiropractor as soon as possible is crucial because they can uncover those hidden injuries while you’re still covered under your insurance and begin treatment before they become severe.
If you do not seek medical attention within the 14-day window but still present injuries later on or your insurance settlement does not provide enough compensation, filing a personal injury claim can help you recoup those losses.
If your insurance determines that not all of your chiropractic treatments can be covered by your PIP, you do have a few options to seek more compensation.
As discussed, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim to seek more compensation, and a second opinion from a healthcare professional can provide additional information on the necessity of your treatment.
In any case, the most important things you can do to help your case are to document all your injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Don’t Overlook Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident
No matter how gentle the car accident may feel, hidden injuries are no joke. Even a fender bender can cause whiplash or tissue damage which will have major effects on your life down the road.
Seeing a car accident chiropractor is a great way to diagnose any hidden injuries and start treating them before they become more severe. Symptoms of back pain and stiff joints can take several weeks to appear, but getting a diagnosis early can minimize their effect.
At Oviedo Chiropractic, we strive to offer same or next-day appointments so you can receive care as soon as possible. Call us today and get on the road to healing.