Have you been in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
We can help you.
Often times, knowing what to do and who to talk to following an auto accident can be very overwhelming. We have provided information below to help you navigate this process.
What to do at the scene:
Believe it or not, most people are not sure what to do when they've been involved in an accident.
Here's a helpful list to keep in mind.
Feel free to download this postcard and keep a copy in your glove box!
What to do afterwards:
(1) Take a moment and Breathe
No really, if you're able to, clear your schedule and actually rest. You might not initially feel the stress of the accident. However, your body can only run on adrenaline for so long before fatigue will set in.
Believe me, we understand how full life can be. Forcing a *pause* in your schedule gives you a moment to breathe and is necessary to evaluate what you need moving forward after a MVA.
(2) Make contact with your auto insurance company and the at-fault insurance company.
There will be a number of people to coordinate with regardless of who is at-fault. Each MVA will have the (1) initial insurance contact, (2) the vehicle damage claim adjuster and (3) the bodily injury adjuster. Some companies combine these roles into one person.
It will be your responsibility to stay in touch with these individuals until both claims are resolved.
Be sure to get your claim number (with both companies), and names and phones numbers of the adjusters you're working with.
(3) Please, do not feel like you have to be quick to settle your bodily injury claim.
There is a growing trend by at- fault insurance companies to offer a "limited time offer" type of contingent settlement based on a time-frame. Take time to consider your options! In the state of Georgia, you have two years from the date of citation to settle your bodily-injury claim. While it's often times not necessary to wait this long, at least take time to have you and whoever was with you in the car evaluated for injuries. Once you sign the settlement agreement, it's almost impossible to obtain more compensation.
Be careful what you say. Often times, the adjuster will ask to take your statement right away. If you have not had time to settle yourself from the accident, you can request to set up a future time to do this. It will be recorded and used as evidence either for or against you. When they ask if you've sustained injuries, it's OKAY to say "I don't know yet." Always be honest. This is where the ol' adage of "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" comes into play. A MVA should not be viewed as a "free vacation ticket" and at the same time, you are entitled to be fully compensated for injuries, vehicle damage, loss of work, time spent getting well etc... You need time, beyond the first couple weeks, to fully catalog all these things.
Lastly, your vehicle damage claim should be evaluated and paid out separately and usually within the first month after the MVA.
How to know if injury occurred
Please, schedule an evaluation with our office to determine if any level of injury occurred and what modifications, if any, need to be made to your care program.
Seeking medical attention is a vital part of any car accident claim. if you injuries are serious, you may be taken straight to the hospital from the scene in an ambulance to be treated. if not, you should schedule an appointment with our office right away.
Not all car accident injuries are apparent immediately!
Certain injuries may take days to surface. For instance, traumatic brain injuries (ie: concussion) can often take days or even weeks to manifest, and might not show up on a scan or test. The symptoms might only appear as behavioral changes initially. it is important to collaborate with our doctors on any potential injuries or even unusual symptoms that were not present before the accident.
Primary and/or Delayed Injury after a car accident include:
Headaches and dizziness
Neck, back, and/or shoulder pain (especially after a rear-end accident)
Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Ringing in the ears
Mental health or behavioral changes
Especially with children, secondary symptoms are often hidden. For yourself, and any minors, take note of any of the following:
Change in sleep patterns
Loss of appetite
Change in bowel movement frequency
Some issues such as "Late Whiplash" Syndrome can present more than six months after a neck injury in a MVA and consists of headache, neckache, neck stiffness, depression, as will as anxiety.
The most common injuries people experience as a result of MVAs that FFC can treat:
Whiplash describes soft tissue injuries in the head, neck and shoulder areas. Muscle, tendon and ligaments can be injured by the sudden jolt the body receives during impact. This type of injury occurs when the body suddenly moves backward and then forward, such as when a car is jolted forward during a rear-end accident. The effect of whiplash can be long-term, especially if not properly treated.
Head / Brain Injury:
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can occur during a car accident. These injuries may not be noticeable at first, especially with a concussion, which is why it is imperative that you seek a medical evaluation immediately after an accident occurs. Head injuries must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid serious complications.
Many different factors of an accident can cause trauma to your back. One of the most common injuries is a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the disc moves out of place in your spine. This can cause serious discomfort and lead to other complications such as sciatica.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
The emotional stress related to the car accident can become overwhelming for some people. The anxiety over their injuries, their financial losses, and their recovery can cause emotional and mental stress. Some people become so anxious about being involved in a wreck that they no longer feel safe entering a vehicle. At FFC, we utilize NeurOptimal Advanced Brain Training to help heal not just the PTSD but concussion and other brain injuries as well.
NeurOptimal Brain Training is a therapy we offer to help any age individual "defrag" their hard drive (brain). It's a non-invasive way to help your brain restore itself to its optimal functioning. This dynamic training using neurofeedback simply "turns the light on" so your brain can see what is out of order and then gently begins its own reset process.
This has proven to be especially effective in helping individuals heal from the trauma,
both physically and emotionally, that a motor vehicle accident can cause.
(See testimonials at www.neuroptimal.com)
NeurOptimal® brain training works as a ‘detection and monitoring’ system of the changes in electrical and cortical patterns within the brain. It mimics the communication of your Central Nervous System (CNS) by ‘mirroring’ the brain activity. When trauma has occurred, electrical pulses and patterning are disrupted and can undermine optimal brain function. The brain has an inherent ability to self-correct when given the right information. NeurOptimal gives your brain the ability to see itself, and this causes a natural self-correction that allows your brain to function more efficiently, effectively and comfortably. When this happens, literally everything gets better because your brain controls every aspect of your physical and emotional self.
Check out our NOPT informational page or Call our staff for more information if you are interested in benefitting from this training.
How to help your body
USE ICE NOT HEAT, INITIALLY
Use Ice to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you can after the MVA. Do it for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. Wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth to prevent injury to the skin. Using heat with an initial acute injury can stimulate too much inflammation and is not recommended.
Wait to use anti-inflammatories if you can!
Why? The body always responds to an injury with a predictable inflammatory response, as the first step towards healing. One of the damaging side effects of some Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (ie: Advil/Ibuprofen) is the inhibition of this process.
In a normal healthy response, inflammation becomes activated, clears the pathogen and begins a repair process and then ceases. Redness and heat are caused by increased blood flow and movement of fluid and white blood cells into the injured area. The pain and swelling can keep the individual from using the injured part, serving to protect it from further injury.
Do you need an attorney?
In most cases, your MVA claim (both the vehicle and bodily injury) can be settled without contacting an attorney.
However, there are some cases where attorneys are necessary, such as if no one was cited at the scene, or if neither insurance company is accepting liability. In other cases, some individuals prefer to retain an attorney simply so someone else can manage the details.
Whatever your reasons may be, we have two attorneys that we'd like to mention to you as we've had good experiences with them in the past.
Both attorneys offer a pressure-free complimentary consultation. There's no out-of-pocket expense on your part as the attorney's get paid out of the settlement they procure for you.
Here are a couple useful links courtesy of the attorneys we recommend: