5 Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

You just crashed your car.

Your mind is racing, your heart pounding. Am I injured? Are other people in my car or the other car injured? How badly is my car damaged?

Are we in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic? Should I get out? Where’s my phone?

What am I supposed to do next after a car accident?

Thinking through some basic steps ahead of time can help prepare you for this moment when you’re panicking and feeling unsure about the safest course of action.

Above all, remember to focus on your breath and do your best to remain calm. (You may want to screenshot these steps to have them available on your phone, or print out this post to keep in your glove box.)

Step 1: Pull over and call 911.

Stop your car. Pull out of the line of traffic, if it’s possible to do so. Don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights. Unless it was a super slo-mo fender bender and you’re absolutely sure no one was injured, it’s a good idea to call 911. The federal government’s website, 911.gov, recommends calling after “a car crash, especially if someone is injured” so, if you have any doubt, make the call. If you are injured, stay put until you can be evaluated by a medical professional.

Step 2: Exchange car insurance information.

Even if the collision was minor and there are no obvious signs of injury or damage, you still need to ask the other driver for their complete car insurance information. Some problems are not immediately apparent, and don’t emerge until hours or days later. This applies to both your body and your car! You need to have that info just in case.

Step 3: Get the business card of the officer who responds to your accident.

You’ll need the number listed on their business card in order to request the police report, which is vital for your insurance claim. If you don’t get the card, call the local police station and let them know the officer’s name and the date and time of your accident to request the report.

Step 4: Take photos and gather witnesses.

It’s extremely helpful to get pictures of the accident scene from all directions. It may not be obvious which photos will be most helpful later on, so take as many pictures as possible. Capture close-up shots and some from further away--and get all possible angles. If you think that someone’s witness account of the accident scene will be relevant, be sure to capture pictures from that person’s perspective.

For example, if the other driver told you after the accident that he/she couldn’t see you coming, you would want to take pictures that showed how far back the other driver had a view of the accident scene. And be sure to get names and contact info of anyone around who witnessed the accident.

Step 5: Contact an experienced auto injury health professional.

Once you’re safely home and have filed your insurance claim, make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor. Even the most minor car accidents can lead to soft tissue injuries and upper cervical misalignments. Left untreated, injuries from car accidents can lead to chronic arthritis and predispose you to further pain and health complications.

More than half of all whiplash injuries occur in crashes where there was little to no damage to the vehicle!

It’s best to err on the side of caution and get an evaluation--and especially if you’re already experiencing pain.

Because of the whiplash effect that happens in nearly every accident, we recommend a comprehensive spinal evaluation following a car accident. Unique, detailed X-rays can help determine subtle misalignments in the upper cervical spine that often go unnoticed until they cause problems down the road.

Between the Atlas Orthogonal Procedure, the PulStar Instrument and Spinal Disc Decompression, Dr. David Nygaard uses the latest technology to ensure your recovery.

If you’re in the Asheville area, call Atlas Chiropractic (828) 253-0700! 

We can also help you with the insurance process.

We work with a number of insurance companies to provide chiropractic care including Geico Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Statefarm Insurance, USAA Insurance, and Essurance, and others. The insurance process for auto accidents can be confusing, which is why our staff is trained to explain your benefits and options. We assist you with getting the proper tests and even work with your primary doctor to make sure we’re all on the same page for your care.

Dr. Nygaard has had tremendous success with patients who have sustained car accident injuries.

We hope you don’t find yourself in this situation--but, if you do, we can help.

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
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Whiplash

Whiplash, also called cervical acceleration/deceleration (or CAD) syndrome, is a neck injury commonly caused by car accidents, falls, and contact sports. It results from a quick, jerking motion that forces the neck beyond its normal range of motion. When the head is suddenly and violently whipped back and forth, the cervical spine can be hyper extended, or forced past its normal range of motion. This can result in permanent stretching of ligaments.

Post Whiplash Complications

Whiplash, also called cervical acceleration/deceleration (or CAD) syndrome, is a neck injury commonly caused by car accidents, falls, and contact sports. It results from a quick, jerking motion that forces the neck beyond its normal range of motion. When the head is suddenly and violently whipped back and forth, the cervical spine can be hyper extended, or forced past its normal range of motion. This can result in permanent stretching of ligaments.

Chiropractors are able to treat neck and back injuries, whiplash injuries and help with soft tissue pain and injuries. Many times, individuals who have been injured in a car accident have so much muscle pain and stiffness that they simply cannot function normally. This discomfort, on top of other injuries, can be a serious issue.

The first step on the road to recovery from these injuries is to make an appointment with a chiropractor. First, your chiropractor may want to take x-rays to determine if there are serious injuries in the neck or spine. You may not notice the signs or symptoms of this type of injury, so it is important that you consider x-rays.

You may be suffering from headaches, pain or general discomfort as a result of a whiplash-related injury. Most people assume that whiplash injuries only occur during high-speed accidents, but a change in speed of just 2 – 3 miles per hours during an accident can cause them.

Some individuals experience indicators of whiplash right away, such as blurred vision, headaches, shoulder pain, dizziness, reduced range-of-motion and arm pain. Whiplash can also result in minor back injuries, muscle injuries, ligament problems, and disc damage. Other individuals may not experience any serious indicators right away and make think they are just “stiff” or “sore” after the accident, when serious injuries could be forming.

If left untreated, these issues can go on to cause other additional serious health problems. In fact, you may not think you have been injured after a car accident, and then start to experience discomfort or headaches several months after the fact. This is why you should always visit a chiropractor for an evaluation, even if you think there may not be a serious injury to blame.

When you treat an injury like this right away, you are putting your body in the best possible position to heal and recover quickly. This is why you need to visit a chiropractor right away. They can help put the spine in line and help the body start healing right away. Chiropractors can help relieve pain, provide exercises that can act as physical therapy for injuries and give you nutritional advice that can also help with the healing process.

The first step in healing after an accident is taking the initiative to go visit your chiropractor. With professional help, you can start recovering after a traumatic automobile accident and put yourself on track to fully recover.

Have you been in an auto accident? Please call us, so we can determine together if you can be helped by this specialized approach. 828-253-0700

Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
(828) 253-0700
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Whiplash is a common type of neck injury - often brought on by an Auto Injury - that could leave patients with a variety of symptoms. These symptoms can sometimes last for months, so additional orthogonal care could certainly be used to supplement your regular treatment. To find out more about whiplash and common forms of treating whiplash, please read the information provided by David Nygaard, an Asheville Chiropractor and Orthogonal Care Specialist below.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

A condition such as whiplash can have lingering symptoms, which may or may not have an influence in your daily life. Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, tenderness, stiffness, difficulty moving your head, frequent or continuous headaches, muscle spasms, pain in the shoulders, pain in the arms.

There are also some less common symptoms associated with whiplash; these symptoms may include pins and needles in the extremities, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, and irritability. Some of these symptoms can be associated with the primary symptoms of the condition.

Please note that symptoms of whiplash may take several hours to develop. Thus, most people who have suffered whiplash will not experience any symptoms until several hours have passed. Symptoms are usually most intense upon the first day of the injury.

Treating Whiplash - Should I Consult My Chiropractor?

Treating Whiplash with Orthogonal Care

Since whiplash can be a result of a traffic accident or a sudden impact to the head, patients should always consult with their local Doctor of Chiropractic if they suspect whiplash. Even though whiplash is not a life-threatening condition, a serious impact to the head and/or traffic accident could lead to other underlying injuries that are life-threatening.

What Are the Treatments for Whiplash?

Your physician can advise a number of treatments for whiplash. However, the most common way of treating whiplash includes a combination of neck mobility exercises, painkillers, and physiotherapy. In some cases, patients suffer long-term pain due to whiplash, this could lead to a referral to a local pain clinic such as Atlas Chiropractic Of Asheville.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Whiplash?

Even though orthogonal care and physiotherapy can assist greatly in your recovery, recovery times can be different for everyone. Most patients will experience an improvement of their symptoms within a few weeks. For other patients, the condition can last for up to a year.

Please note that there is also a mental health component associated with whiplash and therefore treating whiplash is often better with orthogonal treatment that takes into account the brain stem and Central Nervous Systems. Since the condition can influence your regular daily activities, a connection between whiplash and anxiety or depression have been reported. If you suspect your mental health is in jeopardy due to this condition, please speak to your physician or a mental health professional as soon as possible.

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