Do I Really Need Too Treat With A Physician Within 14 Days Of My Car Accident?
In 1972 the Florida legislature passed the personal injury protection law (PIP) to protect consumer’s health regardless of who was at fault in a motor vehicle accident. The legislature mandated that a driver’s own insurance company provide coverage of up to $10,000 dollars to pay for the patient’s medical costs. This system had been in place protecting Florida drivers for decades but recently, in 2013, the Governor and legislature passed a new law that changed how the original PIP statute would protect consumers injured in an accident. This new version of the PIP law was controversial because it removed some of the protections and freedom that Florida drivers had in the original law.
What are the changes to Florida’s no fault statute and what do they mean for you and me?
One very important change places a time limit on how much time can pass before you have to see a doctor for medical care after an accident. In fact the clock starts ticking on the day of your accident and if you have not been seen by a doctor by the time 14 days have passed you are no longer eligible to do so. In fact since this law has been in effect I have seen a number patients who for one reason or another waited too long to come into our office and were thereby denied coverage by their auto insurance company. In some cases the patients “thought the pain would go away” or tried to “tough it out” only to realize later that the pain they were experiencing was not going away without treatment. In other cases patients had been called away on business or due to family emergencies and had to put off their own care to care for others, regardless of the circumstances though once that 14 day window closes you are out of luck and must pay out of pocket for your care.
What do I need to do make sure that my insurance company covers my medical bills?
The first step is to get in to see a doctor as soon as possible and definitely before the 14 day elimination period ends. In our office you would undergo a physical examination and x-rays meant to screen for injuries common after an accident. Even in cases where the accident was just a “fender bender” it’s important for you or your family members to get checked because many times the onset of symptoms can be delayed. I have personally seen patients who suffered significant long term injuries to their spine such as disc herniations or ligament injuries who just thought that the soreness they were experiencing would fade away like the soreness after a strenuous workout.
Why Chiropractic care?
Except for cases that are life threatening and require an immediate trip to the emergency room, Chiropractic physicians are one of the first professionals to seek out after an accident. That’s because the spine, especially the neck and lower back, is extremely susceptible to trauma during a car accident.
Because the body moves forcefully and rapidly during an accident, the soft tissue that supports and stabilizes the spine such as the spinal discs and ligaments can get stretched and torn, in addition to these injuries the spinal nerves that exit the spine can become pinched and irritated resulting in pain and sometimes numbness and tingling into the arms and legs. Due to this, Chiropractors, who specialize in recognizing, and treating injuries to the spine are well positioned to care for patients with these types of injuries.
At Sheldon Road Chiropractic & Massage Therapy we combine traditional chiropractic care to re-align the spine with treatments designed to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. Additionally, we utilize cutting edge treatments such as our Class 4 laser therapy to assist the rapid healing of damaged tissue and spinal decompression therapy to treat bulging or herniated discs.
Our office is dedicated to providing you and your family the best possible treatment after a car accident as well as work closely with other specialists so that you can recover quickly and comfortably and get back to doing the things you love.
Getting into a car accident is never a good thing but if you are injured in an accident please do not wait to call us, even if you were at fault. The doctors and staff at Sheldon Road Chiropractic & Massage Therapy have the experience and skill to help restore your health and give you peace of mind.