Imagine yourself stuck in traffic, watching the minutes tick by as you crawl along the highway. Only when you get closer do you see it: One car flipped over in the ditch and the other one with a front end smashed so bad that is barely recognizable. Ambulances and fire trucks line the road as you pass the scene. You see the drivers hurt or visibly shaken and all you can think is “I’m thankful that’s not me” as you drive away.
But what if it is you?
In the United States, there are approximately 18,510 car crashes per day. Each year, nearly three million drivers suffer injuries and about two million drivers suffer permanent injuries. The truth is, not everyone gets the care they need or have the right to receive. Often if someone doesn’t go to the hospital or is released from the ER, they assume there are no injuries present. However, what they don’t realize is that emergency room physicians are trained to look for fractures and trauma such as internal bleeding. The alignment of your spine, concussions and strains/sprains aren’t considered to be serious enough to warrant a stay. But as chiropractors, we know that these acute injuries can become chronic and life-altering.
It’s necessary to stress that insurance adjusters deal with car crashes every day. While this may be your first accident, adjusters excel at closing your case for the least amount of financial damage possible. This means it is important to work with doctors and professionals that understand personal injury to ensure you’re not at a disadvantage.
The doctors at Noble Choice Chiropractic have advanced training in personal injury and are prepared to help you return to normal life again.
How we treat auto injuries in Sun Prairie, WI
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
The doctors at Noble Choice Chiropractic are known for their compassion and will really listen to you. Car accidents can not only disrupt your normal life, but sometimes even change it completely. This is why it’s necessary to have chiropractic and orthopedic tests performed in order to find the root cause of your problem. In personal injury cases, it is especially important to have your injuries documented properly for the insurance company and sometimes even an attorney. We understand what is like to feel overwhelmed with the aftermath of an accident and work with a network of professionals that can help you feel less stressed with the details of the accident so you can focus on healing.
Specific Chiropractic Care / Sun Prairie, WI
A car accident can be both physically and mentally traumatizing. Some of the most common complaints after car accidents are neck and back pain. Many car accident victims also suffer from a concussion or whiplash as a result of their crash. When the spine undergoes trauma such as a car accident, the vertebrae can become misaligned. This misalignment puts pressure on the nerves which send pain signals to the brain. Irritation of these nerves can also cause other common car accident symptoms such as numbness, tingling, muscle spasm, dizziness, and confusion.
Chiropractors are specifically trained to locate these misalignments of the spine and to put them back in place through a gentle chiropractic adjustment. This restores function to both the spine and your body, decreasing the symptoms you may be feeling.
The Emergency Room is for emergencies and detecting life-threatening injuries. When x-rays are taken there, it is to rule out fractures or serious trauma. Emergency doctors are not focused on how trauma to the spine and muscles affect your future wellbeing. However, we know that the x-rays in our office focus on alignment of the spine and function of the body, which helps us to prevent long-term chronic pain from your accident.
Digital x-rays in our office help to properly assess how well your spine is moving (or more importantly, not moving) so we can effectively treat your injuries. Your spine and accident injuries directly correlate to your care plan so you can get back to feeling your best.
Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Because car accidents victims have more soft tissue injuries than our typical patients, it’s imperative that a rehabilitation plan be implemented. This means restoring full range of motion and strength back to the injured areas through exercise plans. These custom plans are specific to your injuries and performed alongside chiropractic adjustments to help address both structural and muscular complaints.
What you need to know if you’ve been in a car accident in Sun Prairie, WI
Should I go to a chiropractor after a car accident?
Yes! Chiropractors are specially trained in spinal complaints and injuries and have great success in caring for auto accident victims.
Does car insurance pay for a chiropractor after a car accident?
Yes, chiropractic care falls under the Medical Pay portion of your auto insurance policy if you are at fault. If you are not at fault, then the at-fault member’s bodily injury portion will cover you.
What are my rights to care after a car accident in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, you have a right to seek care from any medical professional independent of your own health insurance coverage. For example, if you wish to seek care from Noble Choice Chiropractic but they are not in-network with your HMO, you can still be treated by them as the medical claims are paid by the auto insurance instead of your health insurance.
Do I have to pay anything out of pocket after a car accident for chiropractic care?
This answer really depends on your auto insurance coverage and who is determined to be “at fault”, meaning who caused the accident.
If you are the victim of the car accident, the at-fault party’s insurance is responsible for your medical care under the Bodily Injury portion of their car insurance. If you are the at-fault party, then the Medical Pay portion of your insurance will cover your medical bills. The following scenarios help to explain any potential out of pocket costs:
What are the Wisconsin Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
$25,000 bodily injury liability for one person
$50,000 bodily injury liability for ore than one person
$10,000 property damage liability per accident
Unfortunately, Wisconsin has very low required minimums based on average health costs from accidents. Imagine you are driving through a green light when your vehicle is struck from the side by another driver who failed to stop at their red light. You are taken by ambulance to the hospital, undergo MRI and CT scans as well as surgery for a broken wrist and foot. Since this isn’t your fault, the other driver’s auto insurance would be responsible for your medical bills up to $25,000. After that, your own auto insurance would be billed under Medical Pay and if that isn’t enough to cover the costs, then your health insurance would cover. However, you still would be subject to your deductible and co-pays for an accident that wasn’t your fault. This is why some victims choose to hire an attorney.
Keep in mind that there are no state minimums for Medical Pay, meaning that if you cause an accident then your own medical bills will not be covered by your auto insurance. They would default to your health insurance or if you don’t have any insurance, you would be paying out of pocket.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make sure your own auto insurance is covering you above and beyond the state minimums so you are not responsible for any medical bills. Please talk to your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered!
How long should I go to a chiropractor after a car accident?
This truly depends on the extent of your injuries. Sprains and strains require longer treatment time, generally with a minimum of 3 months to begin healing. More traumatic injuries like concussions and whiplash take longer to treat, sometimes closer to a year. Note that while your symptoms will improve before then, your body still needs time and repetition to heal properly to avoid any long-term effects.
Common Injuries from Auto Accidents
Whiplash is a term for an injury to the neck caused by a rear or front-end collision. This creates a whipping motion in the neck which damages the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the area. This also creates a loss of the neck curve which can lead to chronic pain and other symptoms later on in life.
Low Back Pain from Car Accidents
Many people think of neck pain when they hear of car accidents but low back pain can be just as common. Disc injuries are particularly common during a traumatic event such as a crash. It’s important to see a chiropractor for spine-related injuries as they are trained to diagnose and treat low back pain. Failure to seek care right away can lead to more pain and accelerated degeneration later on in life.
A concussion occurs as a result of a traumatic event, usually when the head strikes an object. It is a type of brain injury that causes symptoms such as headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears and disorientation, among many others. A person may lose consciousness but not always. It’s also important to note that concussions can occur from a whipping motion of the neck and the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck can also be affected. Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work are two of the best treatment options for concussions.
Dizziness is a common symptom after a car accident due to the effect of trauma to the nerves of the neck. Dizziness can be caused by whiplash, concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Neck pain is the most common reported symptom after a car accident. Even in low-speed collisions, the musculature of the neck and the spine can be injured. Seeing a chiropractor as soon as possible after a car accident can decrease the long-term effects of neck pain, such as decreased range of motion, degeneration, and loss of curve of the cervical spine.