Should You See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

Key Points:

  • Chiropractors specialize in treating skeletal and muscular damage.  
  • After a car accident, a doctor may refer you or you may choose to seek chiropractic care to help treat, reduce, or eliminate pain without medication. 
  • Because chiropractor visits typically occur frequently, car insurance lawyers may say treatment was “unnecessary and excessive” to avoid paying for them in a claim. 
  • An experienced lawyer can help you to obtain compensation to cover chiropractor visits from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 
Should you see a chiropractor title

Insurance adjusters may claim that chiropractic treatment is an attempt by the chiropractor to squeeze more money out of the insurance company. However, if chiropractic treatments help an injured person or client obtain relief, you should not be concerned with an adjuster’s opinion of chiropractors.

As car accident lawyers, we are sometimes asked where a car accident victim can or should turn for medical help and is it alright to see a chiropractor? First and foremost, injury lawyers are not medical doctors. And, most reputable law firms will not direct or recommend medical care for their clients.

In terms of seeing a chiropractor or another medical professional, in our experience chiropractors can be very helpful in providing medical care themselves or in directing a more seriously injured person to another medical specialist, such as an orthopedist or neurologist.

From our point of view, the first priority for anyone hurt in a car accident is getting medical care. In many cases, this starts with the emergency room. After that, or if emergency care is not an option, various medical professionals are available to help depending on the nature and severity of the injuries, including family doctors and chiropractors. A chiropractor is a specialist qualified to treat skeletal and muscular damage, and chiropractic medicine is a recognized way to treat injuries caused by a car accident.  

Why Would a Lawyer Encourage Someone to See a Doctor that’s not a Chiropractor?

Seeing a chiropractor immediately after a motor vehicle accident, or after any injury – can be a great option for you if or when you were not hospitalized or seriously hurt, and are experiencing minor symptoms. 

But, if your accident involved a heavy impact, seeing a doctor who is not a chiropractor, such as an orthopedic surgeon, can sometimes be a better option because medical doctors often have a higher level of skill and training and can immediately address serious conditions such as a herniated disk, a broken bone or a fracture, or a torn muscle or ligament. 

An orthopedic surgeon can also refer you to a chiropractor, if the doctor feels that is your most appropriate course of care.  Finally, some insurance adjusters treat injury cases where the initial and only care (and we think very unfairly) is with a chiropractor like “second-class citizens” and make low-ball settlement offers. 

So, if you have suffered a serious injury, a better-safe-than-sorry approach may be to see a licensed medical doctor or specialist as soon as possible and allow the doctor to determine if chiropractic or some other level of care is the most appropriate medical care in your personal injury case.

When to Seek Medical Care After a Car Accident

This decision is up to you. But, if you are injured in a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may want to go to the emergency room for an initial assessment. After your immediate medical needs have been addressed, you may be referred by the hospital or your family doctor to a specialist.

A doctor may also refer you to a chiropractor, or you may seek one on your own after an accident. In any event, if you treat in the emergency room and need additional follow-up care, failing to receive prompt treatment can seriously harm your car accident injury case.

How Chiropractors Can Help Car Accident Victims Recover and Heal

In our experience, chiropractors often utilize tools and treatment modalities that other healthcare practitioners often do not, such as adjusting the spine. The decision as to whether to see a chiropractor should be left to medical professionals. What we do know is that many of our clients have received excellent care and that chiropractors often make excellent witnesses, should they be needed in a court of law.

One aspect of chiropractic care is that some chiropractors may be able to treat, reduce or eliminate pain without medication. Chiropractors utilize various treatment modalities to increase blood flow and strengthen muscles, including:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Stretching
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Ultrasound and laser therapy

In addition to chiropractic and physical therapy, we have found that some people who are unable to take medication, such as women who are pregnant at the time of a car accident have benefited greatly from chiropractic care.

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Insurance Challenges Associated with Chiropractic Treatment After An Accident

When evaluating an injury case, insurance adjusters generally accept and recognize chiropractic care as necessary and legitimate. However, because chiropractors often recommend treatment two or more times per week, insurance adjusters often contend that treatment was unnecessary and excessive. Most of the time these adjuster arguments are bogus and poor excuses to try to pay less on an injury claim. As injury trial lawyers, we routinely fight such arguments and do not let adjusters get away with such bully tactics.

A Lawyer Can Help With Your Accident Claim

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a car crash and saw a chiropractor, an experienced lawyer can work with you to obtain the maximum compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Our lawyers know how to handle insurance adjusters who may be reluctant to offer you a fair settlement.

While doctors and chiropractors work hard to make you physically ‘whole’ again, our team works to make you financially ‘whole.’ Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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