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What To Do After I've Been In A Car Accident

Auto accident victimBeing in a car accident can feel overwhelming. Besides having to deal with the immediate aftermath of the car crash, working with law enforcement and insurance companies can be stressful. It can be easy to ignore your health after a car crash – specifically, what to do to make sure that you haven’t been injured.

More than 2.5 million Americans are injured in car accidents every year, and even low-speed crashes can cause injury. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your neck and back are healthy after an accident, even if you don’t feel any pain in the immediate aftermath.

As a spine care physician in the Chesapeake region of Virginia for more than 20 years, I have extensive experience working with patients who have been in car accidents and have suffered both minor and major injuries. In this article, I will share some of my top recommendations for things you should do after a car crash.

Stages of A Car Crash

A car accident can cause many different types of injuries. This is because a moving car has a lot of kinetic energy, also known as the energy of motion. Further, although a passenger may not feel like they are moving when riding inside a car, they are nonetheless in motion as well. Therefore, energy during a car crash is not only released through the car’s body but also through the bodies of the passengers.

This can be illustrated by breaking down how a collision occurs in several distinct stages when a moving car hits another object:

  • The car’s body buckles as it hits an object then comes to a stop.
  • The passenger hits an object inside the car. For example, the driver hits their head on the airbag.
  • The body’s organs hit the chest wall or skeleton.

What to Do After a Car Crash

Some actions are important to take immediately after a car crash, while others are important for you to address over the longer term. In this section, I will break down the most important steps for you to take after a collision.

What to Do Immediately After a Car Crash

If you have just been in a car crash, it is important to try to stay calm. You should take several steps in the immediate aftermath of a collision:

  • Check for injuries, including on yourself, and call 911 if you suspect anyone needs emergency care
  • Document the scene, including taking pictures or videos of the cars and their position on the road
  • Move vehicles off the road if possible
  • Call the police by calling 911 to report the accident
  • Collect information, including insurance information and names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Report the accident to your insurer

What to Do Within the First Hours to Days After a Car Crash

It is important to stay organized and focused after a car crash, even after the initial shock and adrenaline have worn off. This includes taking several steps like:

  • Seek medical care: Even if you do not feel as though you have been injured in a car crash, it is still important for your doctor to check you out. Some injuries do not manifest immediately and can take days or weeks to show up.
  • Collect evidence: Particularly if you are pursuing legal options after your crash, you should make sure to collect evidence of the crash and any injuries you have. This includes getting a copy of the police report.
  • Keep copies of your health records: Make sure to keep copies of your medical records, including imaging like X-rays, medical bills, and any relevant prescription costs. Insurance or an attorney can use this information to help determine how much money you are due after a car accident.

Common Injuries in a Car Crash

A car accident can lead to a variety of injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Soft tissue injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, including whiplash
  • Bulging or herniated spinal discs
  • Head injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Arm and leg injuries
  • Scrapes and cuts

Because it can be hard to tell at first if you have any internal injuries, it is important to seek medical attention, even if you think you are fine. Some injuries, like internal bleeding from a head injury, may not be immediately noticeable.

How Can A Chiropractor Help After a Car Crash?

A chiropractor can help your spinal health after a car crash in several different ways. These include:

  • Performing a physical exam and determining if you have any injuries
  • Treating back injuries and pain, including whiplash and bulging or herniated discs
  • Ordering imaging, including X-Rays, CT scans, or MRIs
  • Triaging to other spine care providers to coordinate care if necessary

Getting Care After a Car Crash at Precision Spinal Care

As a certified NUCCA chiropractor and spine management physician, I make sure to evaluate the root cause of your problem before coming up with a treatment plan. I have extensive experience treating patients after a car accident with Precision Spinal Care. This clinical experience, in addition to my advanced chiropractic training, helps qualify me to treat you and help you recover from your accident.

To accomplish this,during your first visit, I will do a thorough examination of your spine. Afterward, I will go over my evaluation with you in detail. Together, we will set reasonable expectations and milestones for recovery and further evaluation. We will also put together a treatment plan that meets your care needs. I will reevaluate you to make sure you are meeting your goals.

My experience and expertise in spinal biomechanics allow me to competently and safely address your back issues. I am a trauma and hospital-qualifiedspine management physician. I have credentials in MRI spine interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic testing through the Academy of Chiropractic. I am also a fellow in Spinal Biomechanics and Trauma which is recognized through the SUNY Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.

If I find that chiropractic care is not the best solution to suit your needs, I will recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you. Further, if other specialists can help complement your recovery, I will include a recommendation for them in my whiplash care plan.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you look for expert treatment. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all your options.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointmentthrough our webpage.

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