Navigating Auto Insurance Healthcare Coverage when in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Root Whole Body healing + injury prevention, pain-free living 40 Comments

According to the US Census, there are about 10.5 million motor vehicle accidents (MVA) every year in the United States since 2000.  Besides scary, getting into an auto accident is extremely stressful.  While most of us pay for auto insurance, we don’t really know the details of our coverage especially as it relates to healthcare.
 

Auto insurance is designed to not only repair our vehicles but also our bodies.  The best way to educate yourself about your insurance coverage is to understand your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage amounts and how to maximize them.  What most people don’t realize is that by law, insurance companies have a minimum set amount that is guaranteed (usually $15,000 per person) in every accident, without having to do complicated settlements.

 

Dr. Brenda Ku, chiropractic physician at Root Whole Body Health offers a 10-step checklist for navigating the complex process of how to take care of yourself if you’ve been in an auto accident:

 

1.  Exchange insurance information with the other driver and ideally take photos.

Immediately after an accident, and assuming you are able to move, swap insurance and personal information.  Taking photographs is also recommended.

 

2.  Call the police to report the accident, but don’t be surprised if they do not come

     to the scene.

Everyone thinks to call the police, but unless it is a major accident that is blocking traffic or with seriously injured individuals, they are unlikely to respond.

 

3.  If you are severely injured, go to the emergency room.  If not, make the next

     available appointment with a primary care physician (DC, ND, or MD).

Seriously consider how you feel and take your time to evaluate your condition before you drive and/or decide whether or not to go to the hospital.  If you think your condition is not life threatening, you may opt to avoid the high costs of emergency care, where typically they will take x-rays and send you home with a prescription for pain killers and muscle relaxants and instructions to follow up with a primary care physician within a few days for your whiplash or sprain/strains.  The cost of this visit may equal half to most of your PIP, leaving you with little money for actual treatment and rehabilitation.  The other option is to immediately phone a primary care physician from the accident and make the next available appointment.  Most doctors will be able to fit you in that day or within 1-2 days without the high cost of emergency care.

 

4.  The effects and injuries of an auto accident may take days or even weeks to

     uncover.

Be forewarned that even with a minor accident there can be muscle soreness, decreased mental acuity, headaches, anxiety and fatigue.  These symptoms can take several days or weeks to develop.  So even if you think you immediately feel fine, making an appointment for a few days after the accident is a good idea regardless.  You may be thinking (and hoping), “I just need some days to rest, and this will all go away.” Unfortunately, in cases of even the most minor car accidents, your body has sustained veritable trauma and a little rest and ice is unlikely to eliminate your symptoms completely.  Getting your PIP to pay out depends on a primary care physician (PCP) determining the medical necessity of your care and referring you appropriately.  This can be a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), Naturopathic Doctor (ND) or Medical Doctor (MD).

 

5. Contact your insurance company to file a claim.

The next crucial step is to contact your auto insurance company and get a claim number.  If the accident was not your fault, the other driver’s insurance will ultimately cover your bills.  If it was your fault, or your accident was with an uninsured motorist, your insurance typically covers it.  As previously mentioned, your PIP coverage is typically guaranteed up to $15,000 for medical bills, assuming you have medical proof of your injuries and referrals from a Primary Care Physician.  If that amount is exceeded, further levels of discussion are required, usually leading to a “settlement” and possibly requiring the help of an attorney who specializes in auto injuries.  These are the general and most common guidelines, but you must find out exactly what your coverage is for your particular situation.  Learn what your PIP coverage amounts are, how much insurance the at-fault driver has, and if you have coverage on your policy for an under-insured motorist (UIM).

 

6.  Do not settle with any agents that contact you, unless you are 100% confident

     that you feel perfect and will stay that way.  And remember, NO RECORDED

     STATEMENTS that can be used against you in the future.

Although the insurance companies will ultimately make sure you are covered, they are very eager to ‘contain’ their potential costs and get things over with as quickly as possible.  It is not uncommon for you to get a call or a visit within a week of your accident from an agent (from the at-fault driver’s company) trying to get you to ‘settle’ for a few hundred dollars.  Unless you believe yourself to be feeling 100% as you were prior to the accident, with no doubt whatsoever — this is a legal tactic for you to declare the case over – DO NOT TAKE THIS BAIT.  People can take months or even years to fully recover and you must not feel rushed into this.  And above all else, NO RECORDED STATEMENTS that can be used against you in the future.

 

7. As soon as possible, contact a Chiropractor, Medical Doctor or Naturopath that is

    familiar with managing auto accidents, and is open to referring you to other

    practitioners for the best possible care.  Do not delay.

Your rate of rehabilitation and healing are directly related to how quickly you respond to your injuries with a doctor visit.  Each day that goes by without treatment will lengthen your recovery process.  Patients who have sought treatment within a day or two post-accident have often recovered in less than half the time of someone who waited a week or longer.

 

8. Be diligent with your treatment plan so that you can get back to 100% as quickly

   as possible. 

Your recovery can be accelerated and improved with an active and thorough approach to your care.  “The worst you thing you can do is nothing,” says Dr. Ku.  From her experience, “getting 80% better happens relatively fast, but that last 20% may never come without good hands-on restorative care and rehabilitation”.  And she warns not to neglect care for little ones that may have been involved, even if they can’t tell you how they feel. Children of any age are extremely vulnerable and should be evaluated even in minor accidents.

 

9.  If your case becomes complicated and you are concerned about exceeding your

     coverage, you may need to contact an Attorney.

There are several criteria to consider in choosing the right lawyer, and your Doctor will often have a referral for a good one.

 

10. Record the details.

Keep a daily log of the amount of time you spend dealing with all elements of the car accident.  Document everything from the time on the phone with agents, the auto shop, providers and lawyers, to your appointments, as well as how you are feeling each day.  This will all be very helpful in your final settlement.

 

For a complete and holistic approach to MVA (motor vehicle accident) care, visit Dr. Brenda Ku or one of the other chiropractors, acupuncturists or naturopathic doctors at Root Whole Body Health to assess your injuries, treat your physical and emotional trauma and refer you to exceptional acupuncturists and massage therapists.  Private exercise therapy and sauna services are also available.  Accidents are stressful enough — recovering from it doesn’t have to be.  Contact Root Whole Body Health at (503) 288-7668 immediately should an accident occur and we’ll help you navigate your insurance and care.

 

 

 

Comments 40

  1. wonderful submit, very informative. I wonder why the other
    specialists of this sector do not realize this.

    You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base
    already!

  2. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just
    sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?

    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  3. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through a few of the articles
    I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly happy
    I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  4. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might as well
    check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking into your web page repeatedly.

  5. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new
    scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful info to work on. You
    have performed an impressive job and our entire neighborhood will
    be thankful to you.

  6. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and
    also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or
    did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one
    these days.

  7. Wow, awesome weblog layout! How long have you ever been running a
    blog for? you made blogging glance easy. The total glance of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content material!

  8. Hello everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit
    at this web page, and piece of writing is really fruitful for me, keep up posting such articles or reviews.

  9. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

  10. Definitely imagine that that you said. Your
    favorite justification seemed to be at the web the
    easiest factor to bear in mind of. I say to you,
    I certainly get irked at the same time as people consider worries
    that they plainly do not recognize about. You managed to hit
    the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , other people could take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

  11. I want to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it.
    I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you
    post…

  12. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
    though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw
    away your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  13. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
    own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved
    what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  14. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic.
    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating
    and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable
    and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait
    to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous
    site.

  15. Can I just say what a relief to find somebody that genuinely understands what they are talking about on the internet.
    You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of
    your story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you most
    certainly possess the gift.

  16. Hi there very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..

    I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also?
    I’m happy to search out so many helpful info right here in the submit, we’d like work out extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  17. I’ll right away grasp your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please let me recognise so that
    I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  18. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will
    bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your
    blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.
    Cheers!

  20. I don’t usually share any sources of additional income, however today will make an exemption. Check this affiliate program: http://bit.ly/phallomax-affiliate-program . I joined nearly 3 months back and I’m now smashing roughly $5000 a month – all that by sharing on forums with my link. Ridiculously easy income that you can do basically in your bedroom. Register there and post your thoughts here, so others might see it is legit program. Best Regards.

  21. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and
    I am impressed! Very helpful info specially the remaining phase 🙂 I maintain such information a lot.
    I was seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time.
    Thanks and good luck.

  22. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?

    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
    worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  23. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. However imagine if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this website could certainly be one of
    the greatest in its niche. Great blog!

  24. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would
    really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Appreciate it

  25. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.