Normally this page is focused on the benefits of chiropractic care for patients who have suffered injuries in car accidents- and we will get to that discussion. However, first we want to inform our patients and friends of upcoming changes to auto insurance laws that will have significant impact to access to coverage and treatment after an accident.
New PIP Laws to take effect in 2013. The laws governing your Personal Injury Protection coverage in your auto insurance policy are changing dramatically for Floridians in January of 2013. You will have only 14 days from the date of the accident to see a medical doctor and obtain a diagnosis of an emergency medical condition related to your accident in order to access the $10,000 PIP coverage. Failure to get the diagnosis can result in your coverage being reduced to $2500. Even worse, if you simply do not see a doctor at all during the first 14 days, you may lose access to PIP coverage for this occurrence all together.
What does this mean for you and your chiropractor?
Under this new law, chiropractic physicians are not authorized to make a diagnosis of “emergency medical condition.” However, we are still here to help. If you have even a small fender-bender, we encourage you to contact us immediately for evaluation and, if need be, referral to a medical doctor. After an accident these days, your body needs attention far more urgently than your car.
The irony of it all.
Chiropractic care, massage and physical therapy has for decades been the optimal course of treatment for soft-tissue injuries most commonly related to auto accidents. Cervical sprain/strain injuries, known also as whiplash, are effectively and non-surgically addressed by chiropractic modalities. Mid and low back pain, which often surfaces several weeks after an accident, can be alleviated with adjustment and realignment of the spine. Resolving spine and neck injuries through a comprehensive treatment plan can also help prevent serious long term structural issues like post traumatic osteoarthritis.
What’s troubling about soft tissue injuries is that patients frequently do not immediately realize the extent to which they are injured. First thoughts are usually about how to get the car repaired and how to get to work tomorrow morning. Headaches, tingling, increasing tightness, stiff neck, reduced range of motion and neck or back pain are put on the to-do list after the “important” things are handled. Indeed many who have discovered the chiropractic lifestyle have done so as a result of lingering pain and unresolved issues from car crash.
Today, getting your body checked out must be on the top of the list after an accident. We all pay our auto insurance premiums. Now to protect the coverage that you have paid for, be aware that you must take action within 14 days of the loss date.