If you've been in an auto accident you know how scary these can be. Most of the time, we are concerned about the health and safety of the occupants of the car and yourself. Once you find that everyone is O.K., you typically are concerned about your vehicle. How will you get to work? How will you pick the kids up? We only have one car, can we get a rental? How much does it cost? These are all legitimate questions and concerns but here are the 5 things you don't want to do after an auto accident.
1) Don't think that because you don't have any symptoms immediately after the accident that you are O.K. Symptoms can appear days, weeks or even months after an accident. It is best to get evaluated by someone that knows how to properly assess your condition and give a diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan that correlates causality to bodily injury, and bodily injury to functional loss. These are all good assets to have from a physician working up an auto accident. Surprisingly, the ER is only looking for life threatening injuries life fracture, dislocation, internal bleeding, etc. So just because you get the O.K. from the hospital, doesn't mean you are alright. Did they check for ligament laxity? Is that bulging disc in your spine new, or an old bulge? Did the ER do the proper x-rays? If you have a concussion, did they treat you for a concussion? Did they just give you a pain medication and/or muscle relaxant? If these steps are not done properly, it could compromise your case. If want to see if I am qualified, you can check out my Curriculum Vitae here: US Chiropractic Directory - US Chiropractic Directory (uschirodirectory.com).
2) Once you call the insurance company of the person who struck you to set up a claim, don't give more information that is necessary. Details of the accident is all. Telling them that you feel alright may misconstrue some facts that are not available at the present. A better comment would be, " I'm feeling fine right now, we'll see how I'm feeling in a couple of days."
3) Never ! Never ! Put heat on an acute injury. Acute means recent. Anything after 6 months is considered chronic. Depending on what condition you have, heat can be applied after 6 months. Initial passive home care should include icing the area of injury, 15 minutes on/45 minutes off as much as possible throughout the day. Remember to not put ice directly on the skin, you could give yourself frostbite. Always take a wet cloth, rise it out and apply the rag as a barrier between the skin and the ice. If you don't have an ice pack, frozen peas or corn can work, or you can take regular ice cubes, put them in a Ziplock bag and apply over the area.
4) Don't diminish the accident. Having little damage to the vehicle doesn't translate into the amount of damage there is to your body. Vehicles are made to crush under impact to disperse the force of the accident. Low impact crashes send the force straight through the vehicle and it's occupants, thus taking more impact from the accident. The insurance adjuster on the phone may try to make it sound that the accident was not that bad. They did not perform the physical exam on you, so they have no right to make that determination. Let the doctor and if needed an attorney be advocates for your personal health.
5) Finally, if you are the at-fault driver of the accident, don't think that you will pay more for insurance if you use your benefits. Some drivers have medpay on the insurance policy. Medpay is extra that is paid on your policy just for healthcare bills associated with an accident injury. And if you have been a great driver and this is your first accident, or have not had a recent accident, there is no need to not use your benefits. I mean that's what we pay for isn't it?
If you have been injured in an auto accident and are experiencing: headaches, neck pain, dizziness, blurred vision, jaw pain, ringing in the ears, mid-back pain, low back pain, disc bulges, spinal stenosis, sciatica, leg pain, shoulder pain and are in the Chicagoland area like: Northlake, Melrose Park, Bensenville, Stone Park, Villa Park, Lombard, Berkeley, Bellwood, Oak Brook, Westchester and Elmhurst, call the Auto Accident Pain Relief Center of Illinois 24/7 at 800-862-5914.