Auto Accident Injuries – Three Mistakes


Don’t Make These Three Mistakes After Auto Accident Injuries

At Vital Wellness Center, we often treat patients who have been injured in an auto accident. Most of the time, auto accident injuries are minor and can be treated with a conservative course of therapy and patients are feeling back to normal after a short time. But sometimes these auto accident injuries can be more complicated and serious, even what seems to be a small accident can lead to complications. In these cases, we have noticed that people often make a few serious mistakes soon after their auto accident and that these mistakes cause many of the problems.

Don’t ignore pain or “minor” auto accident injuries.Auto Accident Wreck

In our experience with auto accident injuries, patients often felt only slight pain or tightness shortly after their auto accident. They naturally thought that everything was fine and that their pain would subside without treatment. However, it’s very common for people to feel worse over the first few weeks after an auto accident. Symptoms like pain in the spine or radiating down the arms or legs usually don’t develop for a few weeks after an auto accident, especially with herniated discs.

Many other auto accident injuries can get worse, rather than better over time too. Changes in spinal position or range of motion (the way your joints move) are common auto accident injuries and can have long-lasting effects that may not be felt for weeks or months after an accident. Doctors know that even minor spinal or joint injuries, if not treated properly, can lead to degenerative arthritis, and loss of functional ability.

Many people don’t know that Florida Law allows auto insurance companies to deny your medical claim if you don’t seek care within fourteen days from the date of your accident. That means that waiting to see if your auto accident injuries will get better on their own can cause you to lose your insurance benefits and be stuck with paying all your medical bills on your own. All you have to do to protect your right to care is get checked out by your medical or chiropractic doctor within fourteen days. It’s the smart thing to do anyway.

Don’t use your insurance benefits for unnecessary tests and treatment.

Of course, in a medical emergency, you should go to the hospital or emergency walk-in center. But, those places are for emergency cases only, and they are very expensive. One visit to the emergency room can use up all of your Personal Injury Protection insurance money. Often when patients first come in to see us, we find that the emergency room has used all their insurance benefits for tests which, in hindsight seem very unnecessary.

It’s not just the hospital that can use up all your benefits though. All too often people still in pain from auto accident injuries come to see us after many weeks or months of treatment at another doctor’s office. They complain that the other doctor “did nothing” to help them and are shocked to find out that the doctor has billed all their insurance! Be careful, too many doctors are taking advantage of you and your insurance company. Pay attention to what is being charged and don’t accept any “shady” billing. It’s your insurance benefit and should be used for you to get better, not just for the profit of some doctor’s office.

Also, keep in mind that if your auto accident injuries don’t improve as expected, you may need some more advanced diagnostic testing like MRI or CT scans. Be sure that there will be sufficient funds to pay for those services should they become necessary, otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a big bill!

Don’t think of your “case” more than your health.

This is something we see all the time. Auto accidents are unfortunate and can have a huge impact on your life. Some people are left with permanent impairment in their ability to work or partake in activities that they enjoy. If the accident was someone else’s fault, their insurance may owe you a settlement or you may have to take them to court. It’s very important for your doctor to keep great records of all your complaints and your treatment. These records may become critical to your case. However, your doctor’s recommendations and treatment must always be for the benefit of your continued improvement and should never be “to make your case better”. Be very wary of doctors or lawyers that suggest you get any treatment or procedure solely to make your case bigger. It’s not worth it.

After an auto accident, many people will consult with an attorney before a doctor. This is understandable since most people don’t know how the claims process works or if they are going to have to pay a bill at the doctor’s office. But, keep in mind that you do not have to use any doctors that the attorney’s office suggests. You should always ask around, get second opinions and be comfortable with your doctors. Don’t let anyone force you or even pressure you to see any particular doctor. It’s your right to choose your own doctor. And it’s your health!

No settlement is worth living with chronic pain from poorly treated auto accident injuries. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Be smart and be healthy.


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