So, you’ve been in a car crash.
You know it’s important to prioritize your physical, financial and emotional well-being, but at the same time, you’re stressed, you’re in pain, money is short and you’re overwhelmed trying to deal with the fallout of the collision.
Get Medical Care ASAP. We know that this can all seem overwhelming. It’s important to take care of things one step at a time. After taking the necessary steps of filing a police report, an accident report with the DMV (within 72 hours) and opening a claim with your auto insurance company, your very next priority should be getting medical care- even if you don’t “feel” injured. This can help make the difference between a relatively quick recovery and potentially drawn out chronic pain.
- Go to your Doctor/Urgentcare: Visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible for a thorough assessment, even if you don’t immediately ‘feel’ injured. This helps identify any injuries and establishes a record of your condition essential for a PIP claim.
- Don’t minimize your injuries: Now is not the time to show how ‘resilient’ you can be. If you feel something, please mention it. Lots of people say “I’m not in pain, just uncomfortable” or “it’s just stiffness” – those are signs of injury and need to be reported to your care provider.
- Many times the onset of physical pain begins 12 to 24 hours after a collision and the true severity of some injuries may not be apparent until weeks to months after the collision. Even if you did walk away only feeling “shaken up” after being rear-ended by a truck, tomorrow morning when the adrenaline has worn off and you get out of bed it may be a different story.
- Don’t wait to get treatment! Many people hope that their pain will go away on its own and wait for several weeks before finally going to the doctor. Waiting to get treatment is not only not good for your health and long term outcomes– it can hurt your chances of obtaining an appropriate settlement for your injuries if necessary, since there is no medical record of your injury at the time of the collision.
- Don’t exaggerate. Report what you are feeling as accurately as possible to your doctor to help you get the care you need.
Next steps: ongoing care
Once you have opened your PIP (personal injury protection) claim with your Oregon auto insurance, you can use that claim number to receive care for up to $15,000 of covered benefited with no co-pays.
Request referrals for specialists, such as medical massage therapists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, and chiropractors from your Primary Care or Urgent Care. Your PIP policy should cover this collision related care.
- NOTE: We have a handy Medical Massage referral included in this care packet!
- Monitor your recovery progress: Follow the doctor’s and specialist’s advice to the letter and AVOID missing doctor’s and specialist appointments. Do not substitute your judgment for that of an experienced medical professional.
- If you do routinely miss appointments, it will undermine your position if you need to seek a settlement to get further medical costs, etc covered.
When to end care?
We recommend being able to go without significant care for at least 3 weeks to make sure that you are truly stable before letting yourself be pressured by insurance to discontinue treatment and close your claim.
We hope this article was helpful for you! Please feel free to reach out to our team with any questions and download our comprehensive guide to navigating PIP insurance after a collision.