A big mistake people make after a car accident is in having what is called a delay in treatment. A delay in treatment is failing to see a physician as soon as possible. There are two reasons why this is a big mistake.
The first reason is because you are putting your health at risk. If you have been in a car accident you really need to be checked out by a physician. A medical doctor or a doctor of chiropractic are both trained to take a history, examine you and treat you if necessary. You are far better off seeing a health care provider and letting that provider tell you if you are injured or not.
The second reason is that you are reducing the amount of money that the insurance company of the at fault driver is going to owe you as compensation for the harm caused to you. In order to understand this part of your case you need to know a little bit about the claims evaluation software programs being used by insurance companies to settle claims.
A new tactic that insurance companies are using to limit the care you may receive and the settlement that you might deserve is to contact you within a day or two of the accident and try to get you to accept a quick settlement. They may even send you an email that you can click a link and settle your case. THIS IS RARELY A WISE IDEA. They know that you will likely have symptoms that start several days following the accident and they want to give you a small amount of money to get you to settle your case. They are NOT doing this to be nice, they are doing it because they know your case is worth much more and they want you to settle before you know the extent of your injuries.
Insurance companies now have software programs to assist the insurance adjusters in evaluating claims. One of the principal duties of the insurance adjuster is now to feed data from the records into the program. The program does the thinking and generates a final settlement dollar amount. It is very difficult to ever get the adjuster to increase the amount of that computer generated offer significantly so it is very important that the data the insurance company feeds into the software is correct and complete. A delay in treatment may drastically reduce the amount of money the insurance company will pay on your claim.
One of the first pieces of data that the insurance company will be feeding into their software will be whether or not you have seen a physician within 72 hours of the accident. If you have seen a physician within that time frame then you have added what is called a value driver to your score in the insurance company software. There are more and larger value software drivers used in the software but in terms of time, this is the first important value driver that you want to have in your case profile.
So how to you get to a physician within 72 hours of the accident? There are a few simple ways to do so. If you have a hospital emergency room near by this can be your first choice. In fact, if you have any question of serious or life threatening injuries this is obviously the best place to go right away. They have to see you as a patient, even if you do not have health insurance or money to pay for treatment. For all of the above reasons, it is important that you be seen by a physician soon after a vehicle accident.
Another way to see a physician right away is to see a doctor of chiropractic. The insurance company software programs recognize a chiropractor as a physician so if you can be seen within 72 hours of the accident by a chiropractor you will have satisfied this rule. It is necessary that the M.D., chiropractor or other physician see you, take a history, perform an examination and record the findings. As long as a written record of that exists you have satisfied this first rule.
Some people might be reluctant to see a chiropractor because they think the chiropractor must necessarily "crack their spine" or perform adjustments on their spine. In fact, many chiropractors will not do spinal adjustments on the patient's first visit. What they do perform is the taking of a history, doing a physical exam and possibly taking X-Rays, which is all that you need at this point. Chiropractors are trained to perform the same physical examination as an M.D. The chiropractor just cannot prescribe prescription medications. In any case, all you need is the history, physical exam and possibly and X-Ray. You are entitled to be examined, even if you are not feeling pain or discomfort.
Let the health care professionals at Smith Chiropractic Center, P.A. check you out, preferably within 72 hours of the collision, to make sure you receive care if you need it. This will also make sure that any eventual claim you may make against the at fault driver's insurance company has overcome the first hurdle of needing an examination by a physician within 72 hours rule.
At Smith Chiropractic Center, we have treated thousands of people injured in car accidents over the past 15 years and we are well versed in the process. We can see you in most cases the day you call or within 24 hours so that you don't have a delay that can hurt your settlement or worse, hurt your health. You have one spine that has to last you a lifetime, don't let a car accident cause you pain now or problems later in life. Call us today at (919)989-9559. We can take your call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.