Whether you’re in a major accident or a minor fender bender, it can often be difficult to determine what to do after getting in a car accident.
Should you always call 911?
How soon do you need to contact your insurance company?
You’re pretty sure you’re not injured, but should you visit a health professional anyway?
In this article, you’ll discover what to do after a car accident and how seeing the right healthcare professional can make all the difference in your recovery.
Table of Contents
- What To Do After Getting in a Car Accident: 5 Steps To Follow for Receiving Care
- Why Is It Important To Visit a Chiropractor for Car Accident Related Injuries?
- Don’t Wait — Seek Chiropractic Care Right Away After a Car Accident
- Cascade Spine & Injury Center: Trusted and Experienced Auto-Related Injury Care Professionals
What To Do After Getting in a Car Accident: 5 Steps To Follow for Receiving Care
If you have been the victim of a car wreck, it is critically important that you know what to do immediately following the accident. Follow our comprehensive checklist for what to do after getting in a car accident.
#1: Check Yourself for Injuries
Most importantly, you want to assess yourself and any passengers for injuries.
If you find that you are seriously injured, let the medical professionals take you to the hospital for immediate care.
#2: Call 911
Regardless of how big or small the car accident is, 911 needs to be notified.
When necessary, ambulance and rescue personnel will come to the scene with the police officers. If you are seriously injured, the medical professionals will take you to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, you will be free to leave the scene of the accident and will be responsible for seeking your own post-accident medical care, if needed.
#3: Document the Accident
If you are in a car accident, always be sure to document the accident. This may be done by:
- Getting a copy of the accident report from the police officers so you can use it for your insurance claim
- Taking pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident to support your insurance claim
- Getting the address and contact information of all parties involved in the accident
- Collecting statements from 3rd party witnesses and get their contact information for further follow up, if needed.
- Taking photos of any injuries to either party
#4: Contact Your Insurance Company
The next step in what to do after a car accident is to report your claim to your insurance company as soon as you are able — even from the scene of the accident, if possible. You will want to do this regardless of who is at fault.
There are a few ways you can go about contacting your insurance company following a car accident, including:
- Calling them on the phone, although it can sometimes be difficult to get through in a timely manner.
- Using a mobile app. This can often be the fastest route to jumpstarting your accident claim.
They will let you know exactly what documents are needed to support your claim and will be able to advise you regarding the necessary window to have them submitted for timely processing.
#5: Find a Trusted Chiropractor
Whether you can tell you’ve been injured or you think you’re probably fine, it may be a good idea to seek chiropractic care as soon as possible after a car accident.
Your insurance team will work on the process of repairing or replacing your vehicle. They will also give you a claim number you will be able to use when you contact a chiropractor to receive care.
When you are determining where to go for chiropractic care following an auto accident, be sure you are choosing a doctor who is experienced in not only treating car accident-related injuries but also has extensive experience in dealing with the claims process. If they don’t know what they are doing, you may wind up having your insurance claim denied and may be left holding the bill for your chiropractic care.
A referral is not required to visit a chiropractor following a car accident, but you will have to produce the accident claim number from your insurance company. Not all chiropractors accept accident claims, so you may have to shop around to find one that will work with your insurance company.
Cascade Spine & Injury Center specializes in auto-related injuries and knows how to handle the claims process and manage cases related to car accident injuries.
Contact them today to book a post-accident appointment.
Why Is It Important To Visit a Chiropractor for Car Accident-Related Injuries?
While acupuncturists or massage therapists are great and often have a place in post-car accident care, chiropractors can manage every aspect of your recovery care.
An experienced chiropractor can:
- Order X-rays or any other needed tests
- Refer patients out to other care providers if necessary
- Complete a full body assessment
Cascade Spine & Injury Center is a multidisciplinary clinic and has everything a patient might need for post-car accident care under one roof, including:
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitation; and
- Additional health-enhancing modalities
Chiropractic Care Is Non-Invasive
One of the great things about chiropractic care is that it is a non-invasive way to provide pain management for various conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint discomfort.
Chiropractic care can:
- Reduce nerve compression
- Relieve muscle tension; and
- Promote natural healing by restoring proper alignment and function to the spine and joints
You may even be able to avoid surgery by visiting the chiropractor and receiving treatment through other modalities.
Chiropractic Care Can Reduce Soreness, Inflammation, Scar Tissue, and Pain
Chiropractic therapy addresses the injury at the source of the problem, healing the actual injury and not just masking the pain.
When you are involved in a car accident, it is not uncommon for your ligaments and muscles to suffer micro-tears. One problem with micro-tears is that these tiny injuries don’t show up on an X-ray. Often someone will wake up in severe pain the day after a car accident and feel confused about their pain because their X-rays looked normal.
A trained chiropractor can use spinal manipulation techniques to realign your spine. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation throughout your body.
Scar tissue can also develop on your muscles following a car accident injury and result in pain and stiffness. Instead of just letting the scar tissue resolve on its own, a chiropractor can focus treatment on the damaged areas by breaking the scar tissue up to force it to heal more rapidly. This will help you feel better and heal properly at a much faster rate than if you avoid treatment altogether.
Chiropractic Care Helps Restore Range of Motion
If you suffer from a back or neck injury in a car accident, the resulting inflammation can often cause additional problems. Inflammation slows down the healing process and keeps blood and nutrients from making it to problem areas to help them heal.
Getting a chiropractic adjustment mobilizes your spine. This restores the range of motion and lets your body begin the natural process of healing — at a much faster rate than it would without an adjustment.
Chiropractors are experienced with having patients test different ranges of motion they don’t use every day to help identify issues that may be something bigger or that may not onset until a few days or weeks after a car accident.
Chiropractic Care Helps Avoid Long-Term Pain
Long-term pain not only has the potential to drag you down, but it can be flat-out debilitating if it is left untreated. Even minor car accident injuries can become serious long-term problems.
A great example of this is whiplash. Sometimes people don’t realize it has occurred until months after the accident.
That’s why it’s crucial to seek proper medical care immediately following a car accident so you can keep something such as whiplash from becoming a chronic condition that leads to long-term pain for years to come.
Don’t Wait — Seek Chiropractic Care Right Away After a Car Accident
Even if you walk away from a car accident with little-to-no pain, it’s still important to visit a chiropractor as soon as possible to get yourself checked out.
While you may not suspect you have any injuries, in the bigger picture, there could be something going on. If you wait until pain manifests a few weeks or even months later, that gap in care could cause pain and problems down the road.
This also helps prevent you from treating your car accident injuries incorrectly. For example, often people will apply heat to treat muscle soreness, but this actually increases the inflammation and makes the injury worse instead of better.
Cascade Spine & Injury Center: Trusted and Experienced Auto-Related Injury Care Professionals
If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, Cascade Spine & Injury Center in Portland, OR, can help you get on the road to recovery.
Dr. Jonathan McClaren has been treating work, sports, and auto accident-related injuries for over a decade. His multidisciplinary clinic specializes in chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and therapeutic exercises for patients of all ages.
Cascade Spine & Injury Center’s integrative approach provides excellent results for our patients. And if necessary, we are able to work with other alternative and traditional medical providers to coordinate care for our patients, including:
- Primary care doctors
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Mental health workers
- Massage therapists
- Physical therapists
Contact us today to find out more or schedule your appointment online!
The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.