Important Information Regarding Auto Accidents and Injuries/ Whiplash
Have you ever been in a car accident and you didn’t know what to do, how to treat injuries, or where to go for help? This post should help you understand your rights and benefits as an insured driver.
AUTO-INJURY TREATMENT IN OUR CLINIC IS COVERED 100%
Most important financial decision, and most commonly misunderstood: Your insurance rates will NOT go up if you are NOT at fault. As it states below in the “PIP Statute” summary, you are entitled up to $3000 of medical care following your auto accident provided that it is medically necessary. When you are NOT the at fault driver, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the at fault driver’s insurance company for any treatment they covered for you. Basically, this is what you have insurance for, to cover costs incurred as a result of an accident!
It is often unknown that YOU are expected to seek medical attention for injuries incurred as a result of an auto accident. If you decide to wait it out in an attempt to let your body heal itself without medical assistance, the insurance adjuster/company will attempt to attribute your injuries to something other than the car accident, and will possibly reduce or eliminate your medical coverage all together. In addition, many insurance adjusters will contact you within a week of the accident inquiring your physical status and if you were injured; because many people misunderstand injuries (for example having headaches following an accident is considered an injury) the answer to the adjuster might be “no” when in fact you were injured and just don’t understand what constitutes an injury. Most often, I hear people say that they were not hurt and thank goodness; then a few days later they are complaining of headaches all week. What they really mean is that they were not rushed to the ER with CRITICAL injuries following the accident.
MOST IMPORTANT DECISION: seek chiropractic and/or manual therapy (therapeutic massage) treatment WITHIN 1-7 DAYS following your accident. Our team is well trained to treat your auto accident injuries, in fact Dr. Norris is an expert in treating whiplash! Our massage therapists are also very experienced with many types of injuries, but extremely well versed in whiplash treatment. Studies show that EARLY, ACTIVE chiropractic care results in a faster, and more complete recovery than those who received passive medical treatment, for example pain relievers and muscle relaxants. BONUS! Chiropractic care AND Massage therapy are more affordable than traditional medical treatment. So, it works better AND costs less? You betcha! Again, to reiterate, waiting longer than 7-days following your accident is not a wise decision; however, if you haven’t received treatment and have passed the 7-day mark, don’t stress yourself about it, but you should come in for an exam/evaluation ASAP.
Now, if you ARE at fault, your insurance company may raise your rates after evaluating multiple factors of the claim. Many times you are awarded a “free” accident within a certain period of time (usually 7-years), “free” meaning that it will not raise your rates. If you are concerned about this, we understand, but it does not justify neglecting your body the treatment you need for the injuries. Please let us know if this is a concern and we will help you navigate the possibilities and help you to make the best possible decision.
–Tyffani C. Jackson
Utah’s “PIP Statute”
Utah’s No-Fault Law is found in Utah Code 31A-22-307. Here is a summary:
When you are involved in an accident, the insurance company primarily responsible to pay the first benefits associated with your claim is your own insurance company, or the insurance company insuring the vehicle in which you were a passenger, even though the accident may not have been your fault. These benefits are called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or no-fault benefits. The following is a summary of the basic benefits available to you under Utah law:
No-fault insurance will pay at least the first $3,000 of medical bills for reasonable, necessary and related medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, rehabilitation (which includes prosthetic devices), ambulance, hospital and nursing services.
No-fault insurance will pay the lesser of $250 per week or 85% of any loss of gross income and loss of earning capacity from inability to work for a maximum of fifty-two consecutive weeks after the loss, but there is an initial waiting period of three days. If your disability to work continues for a total of two consecutive weeks after the date of injury, the three day waiting period is not applicable.
No-fault insurance will pay a special damages allowance, not exceeding $20 per day, for a maximum of 365 days, for services actually rendered or expenses reasonably incurred for services that, but for the injury you would have performed for your household. This benefit need not be paid by the insurance company for the first three days after the injury unless your inability to perform these services continues for more than two consecutive weeks.
No-fault insurance will pay funeral, burial or cremation benefits, not to exceed a total of $1,500, for a deceased person.
No-fault insurance will pay compensation on account of the death of a person, payable to his or her heirs, in the total amount of $3,000.