When you are involved in a car accident, the injuries you sustain can be severe and potentially debilitating. Even a seemingly minor car crash or collision can leave you unable to perform certain tasks or activities, while ongoing pain and discomfort can flare up for months or even years after the accident actually occurred. The potential for long lasting and recurring problems after these types of accidents is one of the reasons why it is vitally important to consult with an experienced attorney before settling any claims with an insurance company.
At the Joye Law Firm, our experienced Clinton car accident attorneys understand the lasting ramifications these types of accidents can have on your physical health and well-being. Physical therapy can provide much needed relief to accident victims, yet it is a treatment that may be undervalued or completely overlooked by the insurance company when offering you a settlement. Provided that this type of treatment is medically necessary and you have not already signed any type of settlement acceptance documents, you may be able to get additional sessions covered by the at fault party responsible for your injuries.
The Medical Benefits of Physical Therapy
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), regular physical therapy sessions can play an important role in your overall recovery plan after you have been injured as the result of a car accident. These types of injuries often include broken bones, muscle strains, sprains and tears, back and neck injuries, and head trauma, all of which can benefit from physical therapy. Regular sessions can help increase mobility and decrease pain in the following types of ways:
- By helping to build up muscle tone and fitness in the areas surrounding your injuries;
- By preventing injured joints from becoming stiff and arthritic;
- By increasing mobility, helping victims to get back to previous activities more quickly after an accident;
- By improving flexibility and stability to avoid re-injury;
- By providing a way to decrease pain and the need for medications;
- By repairing joint and muscle damage, preventing the need for costly surgeries.
In addition to the above, physical therapy can also help with cognitive issues stemming from head and brain injuries, which are common in car accidents. Simple exercises can help victims regain cognitive processes, while providing methods they can use to cope with their injuries, such as using cues to spur memories of how to perform everyday tasks. According to the APTA, physical therapy can also benefit accident victims by helping them avoid depression and feel more like an active participant in their own recovery.
Types of Physical Therapy to Consider
In the aftermath of a car accident, there are a variety of different types of physical therapies available which your doctor may refer you, based on your specific injuries. According to the website VeryWell.com, a consumer health information resource, the particular type of therapy you are prescribed depends upon your overall recovery goals. Your physical therapist should take the time to explain to you the outcomes a particular therapy is designed to have on your condition, as well as the time frame in which you can expect to see results. Commonly prescribed types of physical therapy include the following:
- Physical exercises, to increase strength and flexibility;
- Ultrasound treatments, which use deep heat to ease pain and friction;
- Electrical stimulation and TENS (transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation) therapy to help injured muscles relearn how to function properly;
- Traction, to relieve pressure on injured body parts;
- Joint mobilization, in which your therapist gently guides a specific body part to relieve pain and increase movement;
- Message, which can help improve circulation while decreasing muscle tension;
- Moist heat, to relax muscles and decrease pain;
- Ice treatments, to relieve inflammation;
- Laser therapy, which can help to speed the healing process.
In the aftermath of an accident, your doctor may prescribe one or more of these types of therapies, which may be performed in a hospital or freestanding physical therapy setting, as well as on devices, such as TENS units and traction, which may be purchased for use at home during your recovery.
Getting Physical Therapy Covered After an Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, there are four important steps you need to take to protect yourself and your right to compensation:
- Inform your local law enforcement or state police of the accident;
- Get contact and insurance information from other drivers involved;
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you think your injuries are minor;
- Notify your insurer.
In accidents where another driver is to blame, you will likely be contacted by their insurer. It is important to be aware that insurance companies often attempt to settle claims for far less than what they are actually worth, and will likely not factor in the costs of any ongoing rehabilitative care, such as physical therapy, you may require. It is vital to inform your doctor of all of the symptoms you may be experiencing, so that they are documented in your medical records as proof of your condition. It is also imperative to follow all instructions your doctor provides and attend any additional follow up appointments they suggest. Sometimes, providing physical therapy is medically necessary to help you recover and deal with pain, decreased mobility, and discomfort; therefore, these costs can be claimed for compensation, either through an insurance company settlement or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Reach Out to Us for Professional Assistance
If you or someone you care about has been injured as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Clinton car accident attorneys right away. At the Joye Law Firm, we provide the aggressive legal representation you need to hold responsible parties accountable for the damages and injuries you have suffered, and can assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Before speaking with the insurance company or accepting a settlement offer, call or contact our office online today for a free and confidential case review.