Accident and Injury

car

Car Accident
If you've been in a car accident, you may feel your injuries right away or not for days or even weeks. A chiropractor can evaluate and treat you after an accident, both for injuries to the spine and muscles that are immediately apparent and for many of those that are “silent.”

Getting timely chiropractic care can lower the risk of long-term complications from car accident injuries. One study showed that accident victims with neck, upper back and lower back pain who had chiropractic care experienced a significant decrease in pain and increase in movement compared to patients who received a cervical collar and rest. Experts rated 83% of the subjects as “much improved” after chiropractic treatment.

Typical Musculoskeletal Injuries From Auto Accidents
What is remarkable is that many musculoskeletal injuries result from low speed car accidents—the typical being the rear-end collision with vehicles moving 15 miles per hour or less. In such cases, newer vehicles are designed to withstand such impacts with minimal damage, but unfortunately those forces can be transmitted to the occupants instead. The result is injury in situations that you might normally regard as minor.

Here are some common injuries from car accidents that chiropractors see and treat on a regular basis:

Whiplash injury

  • Whiplash: Wearing seatbelts reduces extreme trauma but increases neck injury, especially to muscles and ligaments. When a crash throws your head forward and back, forces measuring thousands of pounds can be exerted on your neck, but it can take days for the injury to show up. Whiplash can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision or a sore neck. Chiropractic treatment includes gentle stretching, working on optimizing alignment, and soft tissue therapies to reduce inflammation and relieve painful knots in your muscles. As you heal, cervical adjustments help restore mobility and range of motion.
    Herniated discs: A crash can jar spinal discs out of place in the upper, mid or lower back. A herniated disc, which is when the core of the disc bulges through the outer layer, can press on nerves or other soft tissues and cause inflammation, pain, weakness or numbness. Chiropractors use techniques to open up the area and allow the disc to return to position, reducing pressure on nerves and relieving pain and inflammation.

  • Spinal misalignment: Car accidents can throw spinal joints out of alignment, causing instability, pain and reduced function. Spinal adjustments—the hallmark chiropractic treatment—realign your spine, which alleviates pain, increases mobility and encourages the body to heal.

  • Soft tissue injuries: Some injuries to the muscles and ligaments are easy to identify, but others are micro-tears of the delicate soft tissues of the spine. It's important to treat these injuries quickly so they heal properly. Otherwise, scar tissue can form and cause chronic pain and loss of function. Muscle weakness after an injury makes you vulnerable to re-injury, so it's important to help soft tissues heal quickly. Chiropractors may use manual techniques and therapies such as ultrasound, cold laser and mild electrical stimulation to treat injured muscles.
    Early diagnosis and treatment is vital after a car crash, and chiropractic treatment can help relieve pain without the use of medication. Although pain medication is frequently used after an injury, it can mask a problem rather than addressing the cause of pain. Some prescription painkillers, like opioids, come with the danger of overuse and addiction. Research has shown that opioid use for the treatment of pain is less common among patients who see chiropractors.

Chiropractors are experts in addressing disorders of the spine, nervous system and supporting structures using conservative, non-invasive techniques that help the body heal naturally. Even if you walk away from a fender bender, consider scheduling a consultation with a chiropractor, who can evaluate you and suggest a treatment plan to address both symptomatic and hidden injuries.

How To Choose the Right Lawyer

This is a very important step in an Accident or Personal Injury case. With that being said we want to help make that decision a little easier as we have one shot to get this right. Making changes mid case can come across as a sign of weakness.

What Types of Attorneys are There?

Law professor Nora Engstrom’s article, "Sunshine and Settlement Mills," warns about the law firms you don’t want representing you.

Settlement Mills (lawyers that advertise excessively on television, sides of buses, and billboards, & who buy huge phone book ads) typically have poor trial records or take very few cases to trial. They will drop the client before they will take the case to court. They promise the moon and large settlements, typically they have no idea what your case is actually worth, have little medical knowledge, and ultimately poor relationships with their clients. Low settlements come quickly with this type of firm, sometimes as soon as 2 to 6 months. Settlement Mill firms work with insurance companies & settle cases with the rationale that it is better to be guaranteed a small payout than to spend time & money in a trial that might be lost.

The next tier of lawyers still focuses on settlements, not going to trial. Settlements can be below average. Their trial record is almost non-existent but they may, every now and then, go to trial. These lawyers are typically overwhelmed by large caseloads, & have poor working knowledge of medical conditions

Middle tier lawyers are reasonably selective about what cases they take. Their trial record is reasonable; it may or may not be available on their website. While a pre-litigation settlement is favored, these lawyers will go to trial, the insurance company knows that, & will be more apt to give a proper & fair settlement. Lawyers in this tier have fewer personal injury cases, advanced working knowledge of medicine, & good working knowledge of how insurance companies handle claims. It typically takes a year or longer to settle a case. They don’t need to advertise. This is likely the tier that you want to find to represent you in a personal injury case.

Upper tier law firms have higher negotiating skills, don’t take every case that walks through the door (they generally will not take a case that is valued less than $100,000), & will litigate when the insurance company won’t settle for the policy limits. They are selective of the client’s personality & the injuries have to be devastating. This tier of lawyers has trial records that intimidate the insurance companies into fair settlements for their clients.

We strongly encourage you to call law offices and ask as many questions as you can to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your case. Get some information regarding their case types and what success rate they have on cases such as your own. Do not be afraid to do the proper screening to find the lawyer best fit for you and your case.

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