Can a Chiropractor Help During a Legal Case After an Auto Accident?

ACTAR is the acronym for the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstructionists. That was a group, that’s the only group, that certifies accident recontrsuctionists in the world, and I’ve have gone to court in the past to try to help my patients explain how their injuries occurred.

I was never really allowed to do that, so I decided to go take the same classes that all of the police officers do to become accident reconstructionists. I did that through CSU and the Rocky Mountain Institute for Transportation Safety. What I did is I was always the only non-police officer in the course, and I took all the course work, sat for the ACTAR certification examination, and passed that, and became a certified accident reconstructionist.

This allows me to talk about the bio-mechanics of what happens to you in a motor vehicle collision. It allows me to determine how fast people were going when they hit you, and this allows me to help you come to a fair and just resolution of your medical legal aspects of being in a motor vehicle collision.

Pain Triggered Weeks After an Auto Accident

Having pain come on days later or weeks later is not only common, it is the norm. It happens more often than not. People who have been in a motor vehicle collision will have a lot of adrenaline running through their body, so they don’t feel it until they actually get home and start to relax a little bit. The inflammatory process starts in, starts to inflame muscles, joints, ligaments, and those will cause pain over the next few days.

What also happens in motor vehicle collisions is that the spine is actually knocked out of alignment, and they get what we call forward head posture or ventral head posture where the spine is actually out of alignment. That leads to problems later on in life, much later on in life unless it’s corrected.

Also, disc issues are not only manifested right away with a tear in the disc, but it represents a weakened area of that disc. Sometimes that will propagate, so you can get symptoms like 6 months later that are associated with the motor vehicle collision.

Can Chiropractic Treatment Help with Pain From Scoliosis

Here in the Denver Integrated Spine Center we see a wide variety of patients, scoliosis being one of them. Scoliosis is usually a progressive type of symptomatology as people get older. Here we see older people. We see younger people. In older people basic chiropractic and physical therapy can be a little limited in its overall help in scoliosis but what it can really do it can really lower the pain level down for them, help everybody get through their normal daily activities and basically enjoy life more.

Where we can really make an effect is basically when someone much younger in adolescence comes in and hasn’t gone through their full growth spurt. In that case basically what we will do, one of the techniques we use here is what’s called chiropractic biophysics. It’s the most research based and backed literature that’s out there on actually changing curves as people grow. We want to make sure we institute that properly before they go through their growth spurt or while they go through that so then the bodies can actually develop properly, enable the individual to not be affected near as much as they get older.

Brain Injuries and Auto Accidents

brain injury
One of the most common and underdiagnosed injuries from a car accident is brain trauma. These injuries are often hard to detect and take experienced doctors to diagnosis and treat these injuries. Trauma is the most important determining factor in all brain injuries, causing the majority of all cases. Many of these injuries are from direct blunt trauma to the head which can occur from airbag deployment, striking the head restraint, striking the window, colliding with other vehicle occupants, or striking any other parts of the vehicle. It’s important to note that, you don’t have to hit your head to have a brain injury. Rapid acceleration of the head can cause a concussion or a traumatic brain injury. In today’s medical environment we use the terms; traumatic brain injury (TBI), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and post-concussion syndrome (PCS).  The methodology of injury has been debated through the literature and it has now been theorized that brain injury is more of a process than just an event. Not all brain injuries are detected on advanced imaging but that doesn’t mean that tissues haven’t been damaged. It indicates that our testing parameters aren’t yet sensitive enough to detect all of these injuries. During a whiplash trauma there is diffuse axonal injury; indicating that neurons in the brain have become damaged from the sheer force of the collision. The tissues become further damaged by vascular shunting, increase in intracranial pressure, vascular perfusion, free radicals, micro-hemorrhaging, and the release of excitatory neurotransmitters. This can lead to temporary deficits, permanent impairments, and neurologic damage.

The most common diagnosis given to brain trauma is a concussion. Concussions are graded from mild (grade 1), moderate (grade 2), to severe (grade 3). Several variables are identified such as loss of consciousness, transient mental confusion, and post concussive symptoms. Post-concussion symptoms vary person to person but some of the symptoms are as follows and can last anywhere from days to several years:

Light Headaches Vertigo/Dizziness
Neck Pain Headache
Photophobia- Sensitivity to Light Phonophobia- Sensitivity to Sound
Tinnitus- Ringing in the Ears Impaired Memory
Easy Distractibility Impaired Comprehension
Forgetfulness Impaired Logical Thought

 

Some brain injuries are immediately noticeable while others take time to manifest and develop. It takes a skilled clinician to address these issues and properly document them and treat them. If your doctor is not documenting your working memory, attention, immediate recall, delayed recall, visuomotor tracking, and cognitive flexibility then they are doing you and your case a disservice. Here at The Denver Integrated Spine Center we focus on treating car accident victims; we properly address any cognitive issues and or concerns.

Cognitive issues are very concerning for the individual as well as for close family members and friends. They will be able to see the decline in mental capacity first hand and usually before the affected individual realizes it. Brain injuries affect your job, your relationships, and your overall ability to function at a high level.   These are life altering conditions and need to be treated as such. Not all doctors are created equal in their ability to diagnosis, treat, and document your injuries. It is your doctors’ duty to be able to prove the extent of your injuries and this includes all brain injuries whether it be a TBI, mTBI, or PCS.

If you have been involved in any motor vehicle collisions or feel that your injuries were misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, please give us a call for a free consultation at 303-758-9000.

Rear-End Collisions & Spinal Health


Two cars crash each other

Auto accidents involving a rear-end collision are the most common type of motor vehicle accidents. A rear-end collision results when a driver fails to stop in time and collides with the vehicle in front of them. In many cases this causes a chain reaction of multiple collisions that was resultant from one vehicle striking another in the rear which propelled it into the vehicle in front of them.

There are many causes and circumstances that lead to rear-end collisions. The severity can be range from minor injuries to life threatening. Usually, inattentiveness is the main reason to cause a motorist to not stop in time to avoid the collision. The driver also may have become distracted due to texting, talking on the phone, playing on their phone, or messing with the dash components. The speed of the vehicle is also a major factor in rear-end collisions. The driver might not have realized the rate that traffic was slowing or misjudged their necessary stopping distance. In either case a rear-end collision is highly likely to occur. Following too closely or tail-gaiting also causes a substantial amount of collisions. Weather is also a factor in regards to the prevalence of rear-end collisions. If the roads are icy or snowy then all vehicles will have less traction and the probability of auto accidents goes up immensely.

Factors

There are many factors that need to be addressed in a rear end collision and need to be documented:

  • both types of vehicles and vehicle weights
  • presence of a mounted brush guards on a vehicle’s front end
  • presence of a towing hitch on the struck vehicle
  • vehicle crush
  • damaged frames
  • type of head restraint
  • height of occupant
  • position of occupant
  • gender and size of the occupant
  • pre-existing conditions
  • being in a stationary vehicle
  • unpreparedness for impact
  • multiple impact collisions
  • point of impact and final resting position of vehicles

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are 2.5 million rear-end collisions each year. This equates to an average of one accident every 8 seconds on the US. The highest percentage of rear-end collisions are for drivers between the ages of 18-24. This trend is only rising as drivers utilize devices such as smart phones and other electronic equipment while driving. The NHTSA reports that drivers are four times more likely to have a serious accident when using a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.

Injuries

Many injuries can and do arise from rear-end collisions; even low speed impacts can cause significant damage to the occupant. Many research studies have proved this time and again, however insurance companies want to refute the research and deny your claim. Many times they will utilize the amount of damage done to your vehicle as an assessment of injury. These two are not directly related; for instance if you get rear-ended in a 2015 Ferrari the damage cost will be extremely high as compared to the damage cost of a 1998 Ford Tempo. Injuries can be wide ranging but the most common are:

  • Soft tissue injuries (injuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles)
  • Neck Pain
  • Disc Herniation
  • Fractures
  • Headaches
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Seat belt injuries

Although the issue of fault in rear-end collisions is not disputed in most cases, it can be disputed in certain cases. Insurance companies are often suspicious of injuries from any claim and this includes rear-end collisions. They will sometimes dispute the nature and extent of the injuries particularly “soft tissue injuries”. Many times their doctors state that your injuries aren’t consistent with the type of collision that you sustained but as one can see there are many variables that are listed above that greatly affect the outcome of any collision. Therefore it is important that you have experienced doctors on your team to assist you. Don’t wait any longer, Act Now!

Procrastination is something to avoid when you’ve sustained injuries in an auto accident. Many different types of injuries can and do occur in rear-end collision and it is vitally important to get these injuries treated and properly documented. Call us now to see if we can help, we offer free consultations to discuss your case and your injuries at no charge to you.

Don’t delay, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to recover from your injuries.  Call us now at 303-758-9000 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Putting Whiplash Misconceptions to Rest

Teenage Driver Suffering Whiplash Injury Traffic Accident

Teenage Driver Suffering Whiplash Injury Traffic Accident

Whiplash and its associated disorders (WAD) is a constellation of symptoms usually, but not always, following a motor vehicle collision. There are other types of mechanisms that cause whiplash, skiing, snow-boarding and sports injuries to name a few. The most common complaints are headaches, neck pain, mid- and lower back pain, concussions and TMJ (jaw) pain, but there are a lot of other injuries that we see less commonly in our practice. Dental and bone fractures, shoulder separations, and joint injuries all occur less frequently.

There are several misconceptions surrounding the whiplash phenomenon. One of the most common being that the more damage to a car the more injury potential it has. Romilly, et al, in their paper refuted this notion. They stated that cars behave differently at different speeds. Cars are stiffer these days compared to 20 years ago. This stiffness makes them accelerate faster when hit at lower speeds compared to a car that would start to crush during a crash. Think of two billiard balls hitting each other as compared to two squishy oranges rolling into each other. (Science folks: Google plastic versus elastic collisions). When a collision reaches a high enough impact speed the car will start to crush. This crushing actually reduces the acceleration to the car and the occupant. This is why they put crumple zones in cars; to make them less injurious.

Another misconception is that there is an injury threshold. That is, some people say that the car that hits your car must be going fast enough to accelerate your car to 5 mph for you to be injured. The truth of the matter is that an injury threshold has never been established.

There are several risk factors that can predispose you to being more easily injured. Some of these are gender, body and/or head position at time of impact, awareness of impending impact, pre-existing degenerative changes (arthritis) and prior injuries to the affected area.

Lastly, another misconception is that you must hit your head or have a loss of consciousness in order to have a concussion. This is also not true. While these two factors increase the head injury potential, rapid acceleration to the head can cause concussive symptoms. Fortunately, most concussions are self-limiting and the symptoms usually lessen within weeks and usually resolve within a year. Of course there are always exceptions.

If you are suffering from auto injury pain, we can help! Here at Denver Integrated Spine Center we are a multi-disciplinary practice featuring a Medical Doctor, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage and acupuncture. All of the services we offer are likely covered by auto insurance – that means no money out of your pocket!

Top 10 Reasons Car Insurers Don’t Pay continued….

Continued….. Top 10 reasons Car Insurers Don’t Pay

This is the continued list of the top 10 reasons that most experienced Doctors have seen, used by car insurance companies to avoid paying claims.

6. You didn’t call the police and now there isn’t any record of your crash. While it is wise and practical to call the police it isn’t a necessity for your injury case.  The police generate a report that adds insight to the crash and also establishes who was at fault.  Many times it is blatantly clear who was at fault without having the need for such a police report.  In other events such as bad weather the police might not even come to the scene of the crash due to a high volume of calls.  In these situations it is always advisable to create an online report after the crash to document the events.   Just because you didn’t call the police or they didn’t show up doesn’t in any way mean that you have sabotaged your case.  You are still able to pursue an injury claim against the at-fault driver.

7. They state that you were partially or fully to blame for the crash. Remember that insurance companies are looking for any reason not to pay your claim. They can state anything that they want in an attempt to make you not pursue a claim.  This is very disingenuous but they do it regularly in an attempt to scare uninformed drivers.  Gathering the necessary documentation, taking pictures, and recording the events of the crash always help when establishing who was at-fault.  Having an experienced personal injury lawyer is very important in these cases to provide the evidence and get your claim paid.

8. You were driving while distracted, it was your fault, and we aren’t paying your claim. If you caused a crash due to being distracted, this does not mean that the auto insurance is not contractually responsible for your injuries.  If you have Med-Pay, you are covered up to the limit of your policy.  Whether it be distracted driving, inattentive driving, or careless driving; you are at fault but your carrier in most cases is still obligated to pay your Med-Pay claim.

9. You’re exaggerating your injuries. This is a very common reason for the denial of many medical claims.  Auto carriers will state that you are faking your injuries, lying about your injuries, and overall embellishing to get a higher settlement out of them.  They categorize crashes and if you don’t fit into one of their “boxes” then you must be lying.  We know through countless research articles that no two crashes are alike and categorizing them is very difficult.  If you don’t fit into their categories then they deny your claim.  This is why it is very prudent to have our experienced doctors manage your case because we have to ability to rebut and provide substantial evidence that your injuries came from your crash.

10. There isn’t enough evidence for your claim. In most cases after a crash there is ample evidence of the details of the auto crash.  However that doesn’t mean that the insurance carrier is actively looking for it or that they have to disclose that they have it on file.  Remember that after an auto accident the best thing you can do is be your own advocate.  Take pictures, get the necessary documentation, call the police, make an online report, and talk to witnesses.  Having a good team of doctors and a good lawyer will be able to handle their accusations and get your claims paid.

There are many reasons why auto insurance companies will give as to why they aren’t going to pay your claim.  We highlighted the top 10 reasons that we see in our facility, however this isn’t an all-inclusive list, there are definitely many more.   If you have been in an auto accident give us a call at 303.758.900 so we can evaluate your case and get your treatment started.