Any injury to yourself you could call personal. In the chiropractic/legal field, “personal injury” takes on an expanded meaning. When you are physically hurt, due to the negligence of another, a legal situation is created. You could call it “assault and battery” and this certainly results in personal injury for the victim. Most personal injury is unintentional negligence. When a car is involved, that act of negligence can be painful. The average driver is statistically likely to be in a car accident every 7 years.
Some of these personal injury car accidents are very, very minor and no injury occurs. Many result in back, neck, leg and arm pain. After about 6 weeks, most of this pain will be gone, even if you do nothing. Even if the pain goes away, this does not mean chronic situations did not result. The body heals as much as it can and the pain ceases. Then months or years later, you get pain in the areas where you were hurt in the accident. What has happened is you did not fully heal at the time of the accident; you just healed to the point of no immediate pain.
When I see a person after a car accident, we often get a Personal Injury Attorney involved. There are lawyers who only practice Personal Injury Law. A good attorney makes sure there is an equitable resolution amongst all parties including the insurance agency, the victim(s) the treating doctor and the attorney.
Having treated many patients over the years, I can tell you that you deserve to get the pain resolved and the often numerous micro-injuries fixed thoroughly so they do not give you grief later on in life.
When you are hit by someone else’s car, you are often a bit dazed and confused. We pass out a form to our patients, to put in their glove compartments, in the event you are hit and don’t remember all the information should get, so that your car and your personal injury can be fixed thoroughly. The form is a checklist of data to collect.
Often, victims do not want to go to an attorney. This is often fine and in many cases attorneys will not consider as the case is too small in terms of dollar damage. You can get insurance companies to cover your chiropractic visits by asking them. One thousand dollars is a typical offer an insurance company will make with you. Once you agree to this figure in writing, that’s all you get. Additional treatment will come out of your pocket. You may want to consult your chiropractor before you sign such an agreement.
Your body is far more complex than an automobile. You should avail yourself of first class assistance when you are in an accident. After all, you must pay for auto insurance regularly. That insurance is to pay for those accidents. The personal injury attorney I use the most recommends drivers get what is called “Medical Pay” or “MedPay” on their car insurance. He suggests not getting “Supplemental MedPay” but “Primay MedPay.” You can talk to your insurance agent about the variety of coverage available.
Insurance companies can be very picky about paying for bodily injury. I have personally dealt with them on several occasions. They do not like to admit that you get hurt much. With cars, it’s pretty straightforward. With your body, things are not so black and white. At my office, we aim to get you to your “pre-accident status.” That is fair to everyone involved. In practice, I probably fix a few chronically tight muscles or joints that existed before the accident in the process of getting you to pre-accident status. Let’s just say those pre-existing conditions were aggravated by the accident. Further, you are having to spend considerable time coming to the office to get treated. Insurance companies have a way of forgetting that this is your valuable time and your suffering while you recover. Remember, the insured assaulted your body with battery, even though it was unintentional. The assault, in this case, is their negligent driving practice, The battery is the collision.
Attorneys have a way of getting you a better settlement than if you personally deal with the insurance company.
If attorneys will not take your case, you can go to small claims court. The Personal Injury Attorney I often use helps the injured person face small claims court, even though he gets no fee. It is a matter of good will. If you are in a car accident, come see me as immediately as you can. Don’t put it off for your sake. If the case goes to an attorney, and you waited several weeks to see me, the insurance company may attempt to use this delay as evidence that you were not really hurt in the first place. Let’s just say as a society we have not gotten to a point where we can fully trust each other. This article sheds more light on the subject of personal injury in as unbiased a format as possible. More mutual trust should result. My attorney tells me I get people healed quickly. I like to think I am doing my part to achieve a more equitable result for everyone involved in these unfortunate situations.
Dr. Mike Spearman