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Injured in a Car Crash? Here’s what to do.

Injured in a Car Crash? Here’s what to do.

Car Crash: Here’s a top 10 list of what to do before and after you get into a car Accident.

Getting in a Car Crash can cause injuries that could last the rest of your life. Knowing how to best protect yourself and what to do if you have one is vital for your health now and in the future.

     Watch the video above or get the highlights below. Either way, we’re a resource for you if you need care and for any questions you might have!     

     Below are 10 action steps to take before and after a car accident.  I’ll review 10 things you can do to minimize risk and injury and maximize recovery. Five things you can do before you ever get into a car crash and five to do as soon as possible after a crash to give you the best outcomes in regards to your health, your finances and overall future.

     I’m Dr. Kevin Leach and I’m a NUCCA chiropractor. One of my main focuses in practice is managing patients that have been in car crashes. Even if you don’t come to me to manage your care after a car crash the following information can be invaluable to you if you choose to utilize it. 

Before Ever Getting into a Car Crash

#1: Get good auto insurance with a good company including personal injury protection or what’s known as PIP coverage. 

Don’t just get the cheapest. There are good companies, there are okay companies, and there are really bad companies. So definitely do your research before purchasing a policy. Once you decide your company choose a local reputable agent you can meet with and set up your policy. They can guide you to make the decisions that will best fit you. My personal insurance agent sat down with me and explained all parts of my policy so that everything was clear and I understood what was covered and how much would be covered. 

#2: Don’t get the minimum $10,000 coverage. 

This might be enough for a minor injury; however, it will not nearly be enough if you’re transported to the hospital and or you need imaging and expensive exams done. This will leave very little for the care you’ll need to recover with treatment. To get the $25,000 coverage is such a small amount more per month.  It’s absolutely worth it in the end to do it. 

#3: Find a good chiropractor who practices as a Primary Spine Care provider. 

A Primary Spine Care provider is a doctor who not only gives conservative care for your injuries but also will examine you and determine if you need specialized tests or referrals to other providers. He or she can manage your case and make sure you get the help you need for the best possible recovery back to health. 

#4: Your driving position and what you do if you know a crash is going to happen are crucial. Here’s what to do. 

Positioning Yourself:   A couple things with the way you want to set up your seat. The top of the back headrest should be at least at the top of your head or a little bit higher. The reason why is when you get into a car accident, you’re going to ramp up and back. So if it’s too low, your head’s going to go back over the headrest. You also want to make sure that your head is really close (2 inches or less) to the headrest, so that when you hit it with the back of your head, you’re not coming from a forward position.

Another thing you want to look at is your distance between the dashboard and your knees. They should be at least four inches away, if not more.  This is because if your knees go forward during the crash, your knees aren’t really close to get injured against the dashboard.  

Reacting to Oncoming Crash:   If you know you’re about to get into a crash, the following is what you want to do, all at THE SAME TIME. 

1-   Slam on the brakes as hard as you can.  (To create the least amount of movement for the car). Because what happens is, if you don’t have the brakes on and the car hits you then you’re going to move more. If your car is stationary and sturdy and you get hit you’re not going to be whipped as hard and you’re going to have less of an injury. 

2-   Put your hands out on the steering wheel, (palms forward like you’re telling someone to stop. Do not grab the steering wheel. 

3-    Tuck your chin back and put your head against the back head rest, with your head straight forward.  If your head’s turned, you have a risk of increase in injury. 

So if you know someone’s going to hit you if you’re in front of them, you want to slam and put your hands out, chin tucked, head back against the head rest.

 Okay. Now you want to create a muscle memory with doing the protection stance. Try to think about the potential of being in an accident and just practice it. Do it 20 times, 30 times, 40 times just prepare yourself to know that if something happens you’ve trained your reaction, and you won’t panic. You’ll know exactly how to get right into that position. It’s really important.

#5:   Become an expert and overly aware driver to prevent collisions. 

When I’m driving, I pride myself on being so aware of everyone and everything that is happening on the road that my chances of getting into a collision are extremely low. I’ve seen what car crash injuries do to people and I do not want to get into one. It only takes a split second and 50% of people in car accidents have chronic pain because of them. The best way to take care of your spine is to never injure it in the first place. 

What to do After you’ve gotten into a Car Crash

#1:   Determine if a hospital visit is needed.

If you get in a car crash and if you aren’t immediately taken to the hospital, assess your body and any potential injuries you or others might have. If you have the slightest feeling in your gut that you should go to the hospital, please, please do so. If you don’t feel absolutely certain and comfortable driving there yourself get someone to take you. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

#2:   Get a proper exam done to determine injury.

After you’re cleared at the hospital or urgent care, you need to be examined.  Even if you didn’t go but still have discomfort or pain immediately or even days after your crash, it’s vital.  Seeing someone who specializes in the diagnosis and management of conditions related to the spine is essential to get you to the exact care you need. Do it as soon as you possibly can.  The longer injuries go undetected and untreated the worse the outcomes will be. 

#3:   Consult a Personal Injury (a.k.a. PIP lawyer) 

Don’t be overly concerned about the cost. Most initial consultations are complementary. Use all means necessary to get well and do it asap. Do not sign any papers or cash any checks from your insurance or the other party’s insurance until you talk to a lawyer. No matter how friendly they are or how much they seem to want to help.

#4:   Educate yourself on the insurance game. 

They are a business and they want to make money. Unfortunately, they do not have your best interest in mind regardless of how nice your agent may seem. Your agents want you well, but they are taught to deny as many claims as they can and to cut off your care as soon as they can. Ask your doctor and lawyer anything that is unclear about the process.

#5:   Don’t do anything without consulting your doctor or attorney

Especially when dealing with your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. Follow doctor’s recommendations and document everything related to the collision. If you’re asked to do something called an IME or an Insurance Medical Evaluation, tell your doctor and lawyer immediately. It’s a sign they want to stop paying for your care.

OK! Those are the 10 Must Do’s before and after a collision. If you have any questions head to my website or Youtube channel and let me know. If you’re seeking care for a car crash call the office ASAP and get the care you need. I hope this was helpful and stay safe out there on the road.

 

Dr. Kevin

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