What You Should Know About Motor Vehicle Accidents

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What You Should Know About Motor Vehicle Accidents

With winter in full swing, we are seeing a big increase in the number of patients injured in car accidents.  Neck pain and headaches are by far the most common types of complaints, but lower back pain can also be caused by the sudden impact of a car accident.  Recovering from these types of injuries can be challenging, but the stress of dealing with an insurance claim can be equally difficult.  Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’ve been injured in a car accident.

  1.  See a chiropractor right away.  Even if you don’t feel a lot of pain, joints and muscles can still be significantly affected by a collision.  Often, we find that patients feel the the pain set in days or even weeks later, perhaps because of a delayed muscle response or simply because the emotional shock of the accident itself was so powerful.
  2. Keep moving.  The days of the neck collar are over!  The vast majority of injuries are related to soft tissue sprains and strains.  Immobilizing your neck creates stiffness, weakness and delays the healing process.  As much as possible, try to keep up with your regular daily activities.
  3. Be patient.  The nature of whiplash injuries makes pain and stiffness linger.  Don’t be surprised if you’re achy for longer than you expected.
  4. Report it to your insurance company.  Part of your car insurance premium pays for medical or rehabilitation benefits in case you’re injured.  The sooner you get the process moving, the better.
  5. Get your pen ready!  The paperwork involved with filing a claim can feel excessive but it’s part of the process.  Do your best to get it back to your insurer in a timely fashion.
  6. The maximum amount payable by the insurance company is $3500 for minor injuries, which represent almost all the injuries we see in our office.
  7. Despite this coverage, car insurance companies are not required to pay for any services until you exhaust all your health benefits. That means that any coverage you have through your employer or your spouse has to be used up.  Obviously, this creates a problem if you require treatment for non-MVA injuries later.  But, fair or not (we think not!) those are the rules set out by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and have a questions about what you should do, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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