I have been getting a lot of questions from patients lately about car insurance and how your insurance works when you are in an accident. Patients are often hurt in car accidents, but they don’t know what to do about it and don’t know if their treatment will be covered.
5 EASY STEPS
Step 1: Information
Get all information from the other driver, including license plate number and driver’s license information. Take photos of the accident. Get names and numbers of witnesses. Make sure a claim is filed with your insurance company, even if you are not at fault. Get the claim number.
Step 2: Get Care
Seek medical care within the first 72 hours if you are injured. Though you may feel fine immediately after the accident, most people experience an increase in pain within the first 24 hours. This is very important! If you don’t get treatment right away, insurance companies often argue that you are exaggerating or even faking your injuries. You can be evaluated at the hospital (if needed), your primary medical doctor, or here at your chiropractor’s office.
Step 3: Estimates
Get your car damage estimates from at least 3 auto repair shops. You do not have to go to the repair shop suggested by the insurance company. It is often a good idea to go to a dealer of the same make of your car.
Step 4: Protect your rights
DO NOT sign any waivers/release or accept check payment from insurance companies until you have been fully evaluated by a doctor. When it looks like an injury has occurred, insurance companies often send out a representative who will attempt to have you sign away your medical rights for as little as $300.
Step 5: Ask your doctor
If you are unsure how to proceed with your case, you can ask your doctor. We deal with car accidents all the time and we often know the answer. If you have legal questions, we often work with attorneys in the area who can answer your questions.