Where do you go for treatment after a car accident? People typically go to the Emergency Room (ER) or an urgent care clinic. Depending on the injury you sustain, you may also need to see a chiropractor.
Why see a chiropractor? Because you’re likely to come down with spine-related injuries after a car accident. For instance, herniated or bulging disk injuries are common. They can cause severe pain but can also be asymptomatic, so people move around with herniations and bulging disks without knowing.
That’s why we advise that you get a chiropractor’s diagnostic interpretations through X-rays and MRIs.They can help determine which injuries are preexisting versus those acute and related to the car accident.
Another question people ask is, ‘if I have to go through these diagnostics and treatments, who’s going to pay for them?’ As an insurance holder in Florida, you’re entitled to the Personal Injury Payment (PIP) to cover your treatment for up to ten thousand dollars after an accident. If you have to go beyond that, your lawyer can provide a letter of protection to continue getting treatment, especially if you have a good case.
Unfortunately, there are many mistakes people make to undermine their case. One of such mistakes is thinking that you don’t need to see a chiropractor after an accident for conservative care. Another one is accepting referrals to unspecialized attorneys. What other treatment and legal mistakes should avoid after an accident?
Learn more in this episode of the David vs. Goliath podcast with elite personal injury lawyer Matt Dolman and his guest, Dr. Fred Williams. They discuss how and where to get treatment after a car accident, why you need to see a chiropractor before agreeing to do surgery, legal options to pay for treatment after a car accident, and more.
In this episode:
- [00:49] Matt Dolman welcomes his guest, Dr. Fred Williams
- [01:00] Dr. Fred Williams introduces himself and what he does
- [02:08] The process of getting treatment after a car accident–and why you need to see a chiropractor
- [03:02] Herniated vs bulging disk: what is the difference?
- [)3:48] The present and future value of a chiropractor’s diagnostic interpretations
- [05:11] How long should a chiropractic treatment be for?
- [05:59] What you need to know about Personal Injury Protection, a letter of protection, and paying for treatment after an accident?
- [07:15] The biggest mistakes auto accident patients make that harm their case
- [08:11] Why you need to see a chiropractor before trying for surgery
Welcome to the 9th episode of the Dolman Law Group podcast. I’m Matt Dolman, managing partner and owner of Dolman Law Group here today with Dr. Fred from Kingdom Chiropractic. Fred, introduce yourself to my audience.
Thank you, Matt, for having me. I’m Dr. Frederick Williams, the CEO of Kingdom Chiropractic. We have locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, Brandon, Florida, Tampa, Florida, and Clearwater, Florida.
Aren’t you venturing into other areas too? You got a restaurant, a barbershop.
Yes. We’re looking to open here real soon, a barbershop and also a Spanish restaurant. The name is Saborda Cuba and the barbershop is the House of Handsome.
But you’re not Spanish though. So-
I’m not Spanish.
What authenticity do you bring to the table at this restaurant?
I’m glad you asked that. I won’t do anything. I’m silent. So everyone in the restaurant will be Spanish, although, I love Spanish food. I love the Spanish culture, so I’m a big fan of it. So that’s why we ventured into this arena.
Where’s the barbershop?
The barbershop is actually … it’s a strip mall where our chiropractic clinic is. So next door to us will be the barbershop and then on the end of the building will be the Spanish restaurant.
Okay, well, let’s get into why you’re here today, which will discuss medical treatment after a car accident. Dr. Fred, I know you treat individuals conservatively through chiropractic care. Tell me the process when an individual gets into a car accident, they have, let’s say a little bit of whiplash on their neck and some lower back pain. What do you suggest? What’s the process?
Sure. So when someone gets involved in an accident, first thing you want to make sure is that the area is safe, call the authorities so they can do the police report so you have the backing to prove what happened the night of the incident or the day of the incident. Typically, folks will either go to ER or urgent care. If they have connections with a treating physician, they’ll come directly to our office, for example. Usually we do some radiology within the first 30 days post accident, reason is when you get into accident, there’s a lot of inflammation in the body. So we’ll allow the body to heal a little bit, to get really clear pictures. We’ll do some conservative treatments. We’ll do a reexamination within those first 30 days, and then we’ll make any recommendation to specialists that they may need, either orthopedic or neurological.
So a lot of individuals get caught up like in the nomenclature of herniation versus bulging disc. What is the difference? And can a bulging disc be more painful than a… Can you be asymptomatic with a herniation? Take me through that. What does it all mean?
Sure. There are folks walking around that’ve never been an accent with herniations and bulging discs. But when you’re involved in an auto accident, there’s just different degrees. A bulging disc… If you think of a jelly donut, if you squeeze down on a little bit, the jelly will go to the edges, but it won’t come out of side of the donut. With herniations, those materials start to excrete through the donut hole, and sometimes they can even go through the canal, which in case those would be a much more severe injury.
And that would be an excursion.
Okay. So you can also be, you can be painless. You can be asymptomatic for herniation.
So you treat the actual symptoms, not the underlying condition.
Okay. So why are you concerned about diagnostic interpretations? What’s the importance of an x-ray or an MRI in terms of your scope of treatment?
Right. That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked that. The purpose of the MRIs and x-rays, number one is I’m not Clark Kent and I can’t see through the body. So we use the radiology facilities to document any of the injuries. And also for example, folks are oftentimes involved in multiple accidents. So without having the radiology to document the injuries, if any future accidents occur, the insurance company will play the game where they point fingers at each other. So this shows the proof. And also for folks that remain in office for wellness care, we can go back in the future and see if they’re as any changes or what’s happened as far as the radiology’s concerned.
So it creates kind of a timeline for you. In addition to they get into a second accident, you can compare and contrast the preexisting versus occurring.
Absent a second accident occurring or multiple accidents occurring, how do you know what’s preexisting versus what is acute and related to the car accident itself?
Correct. Looking back again to the radiology, there’ll be some radiographic signs that will show acute injuries versus chronic injuries. And so with our staff and also with the radiologist, we can look at those markets and easily determine which are which.
Okay. So normally after a car accident, what should we expect? How much treatment are we looking at? You know, absent, obviously the individual has drop foot or grip strength loss and need to see a surgeon immediately. With back and neck, which is primarily the focus of your treatment, how long is the treatment plan for, and when do you decide that enough’s enough?
Great. That’s another great question there now. There’s no cookie cutter plan for any patient that comes into our office. Everyone’s different, there’s different size or shapes. So everyone’s care is particular to their case. Typically, we’ll see a patient in our office between 15 to 25 visits. Now sometimes more, sometimes less. All depends.
Okay. Now, as a personal injury lawyer, I can obviously explain and expound on what a letter of protection is. What does it mean in terms of your practice? Because a lot of clients come to me, especially prospective clients and ask how we going to pay for this treatment? How does PIP work? Where is it? What’s the end to play between PIP and what if I go through my $10,000 in allotted PIP payments, then who’s paying for it? And am I going to get stuck with medical bills? I can answer obviously the legal portion of the case from a medical standpoint, how do we deal with the outstanding bills? And when do we bill PIP?
Correct. Again, a lot of folks get involved in an accident that have no idea how everything unfolds. Only thing they know is they pay XYZ insurance company every month and then they file a claim in. So it’s all brand new to most people. So how it works is in Florida, everyone is required to have insurance, of course, but they also are required to have the PIP insurance, which is $10,000. Of course any medical treatment that would be the treatment physicians. The urgent cares Dr. The radiology, once those funds are exasperated, then we go into the LOP, which you mentioned there. And that’s essentially just an agreement between the physicians and attorneys to say, once everything settles out, we’re going handle the balances. And if there need to be any adjustments to make sure everyone’s taken care of, then we do that at that time.
Okay. And from a legal standpoint, in case consumers or my clients would like to know what a letter of protection is, it’s from our end, it’s an agreement that will earmark, those outstanding funds in trust, pending the outcome of the case. And once we have it settled that cases isn’t over, obviously we have to get the medical bills reduced accordingly and usually [across the board, of the various physicians they treated with.
So what are the worst signs? What are the… Let me step back for a second, what are the biggest mistakes that you see auto accident patients making that harm their case?
All right, one of the biggest things, folks take bad advice. Now that could be a referral to a physician. It could be a bad referral to an attorney. There’s a lot of folks that would like to do it that never have done it, or don’t know to do the right things for their patients. So in our office, we see two types of patients. We see athletes, young kids to professional athletes in all accidents. If you think about those two populations, if you have someone getting attack about a 300 pound linebacker, pretty traumatic. And then if you’re in a car accident, you get hit by a big truck. That’s also very traumatic and caused a lot of injuries. So those two are very similar. So you just want to go to a specialist, you don’t go to a Chinese restaurant and order the steak. It’s just not what they specialize in.
Yeah. It would probably be a big mistake. Yeah. I mean, I know people that probably do that, but it’s outside their realm, their expert expertise. Anything else you want to share with my viewers about chiropractic treatment and what’s the benefit of seeing a chiropractor versus seeing a medical doctor after a car accident?
Absolutely. In our office, we work with all types of physicians, just because if you think of… In an auto accident, it’s like a baseball team. You have the pitcher, you have the catcher. Now you get to pitch a hundred miles an hour, but if you don’t have a catcher to catch the ball, he’s not going to be very good. So we all work together as a team to come to… For the care to make sure they get the best things that they need to get to back to pre injury status. So in chiropractor offices, obviously there’s no prescription writing for any medications, if that’s needed, we can refer out to pain management type of facilities, the radiology, we also refer out. So the main difference is we address the spinal column via the brain and the spine to affect the nervous systems by realigning the spinal bones, taking pressure off the nerves to allow the body to function back at a hundred percent optimal health.
If you think of the analogy of the water hose, that’s what I use in our office all the time. You take a water hose, you spray the garden, but then once you step on the water hose, what happens? The water decreases, or it doesn’t come out at all. And what happens with the plants and flowers over time? They start to wither and die. Same thing happens to the body. Once you have nerve interference, it will cause pain as a symptom, but leave it long enough, it’s going to start to see organ dysfunction. This is what we see here in America. But oftentimes what we do is we put a bandaid over it. For example, if you’re driving your car and the gas light comes on, we put a bandaid over, or black tape, over the gaslight. Now we still don’t have any gas, but we keep driving. Now we’re stuck on the side of Courtney Campbell and we’re like, hey, what happened?
We know what happened, we’re out of gas. But we cover that symptom with what? Pain pills, drugs, different surgery. Now, nothing against surgery or injections, but my arm’s hanging off, and my eyeballs popping out, “Hey, guess what? I want something for the pain.” But a lot of times there’s a lot of things we can do before we get to that point. So we just try to work together and seem to get the best possible results for that person. And we treat every patient, like family as if it was my mother sitting on the table, do everything that’s best for them.
Okay. I know the knee jerk reaction by a number of personal injury lawyers in this town alone, is they see a cervical lumbar MRI. That’s positive for again, a herniation or significant bulging disc pressing upon maybe the cord. We’re going to send it out to a spinal surgeon. I don’t do that. Explain why that’s a mistake and explain what can be done to obviously avoid surgery, if and why you only want to have surgery if you failed conservative care.
Correct. Now there’s going to be certain attorneys that… So there’s going to be two groups, folks that are looking for the best interests of the clients and folks that are looking for the best interests of their pocketbooks. Now, if you go to someone that actually cares about it, they want you to go through their proper steps, their proper channels. First, you’re going to start with conservative care, like with a chiropractor. Do physical therapy, massage, that sort of thing. Now, once those options are exhausted, you can go to injections and different things like that. There’s a process before you have to get cut, now understand there’s going to be cases where people need to have surgery. There are injuries that it’s going to take that, but there’s a lot of things you can do before that. Like if you go, you drive your car, you have a flat tire. You’re not going to go and say, hey, I need a brand new engine or new car. You probably want to fix the flat tire first and then see what else is going on.
Gotcha. I think we did a pretty thorough overview of chiropractic care today with Dr. Fred Williams of Kingdom Chiropractic the CEO owner of numerous establishments around town, including a barbershop and a Spanish restaurant. That’s opening up very soon. Where is that going to be again?
They’re all in the west Tampa area, up the road from St. Joe’s hospital and on MLK.
So if a client of mine or a consumer out there wants to reach you, how they reach you for Kingdom Chiropractic?
That’s perfect. We have a 24 hour number. It’s 1-844, Florida spine. So just remember, if you’re in a wreck and need a check don’t waste time, call 1-844 Florida spine.
Gotcha. That was good. You should develop a song for that. That concludes episode number nine of the Dolman Law group podcast. I, again, thank Fred Williams for joining me today. Take care and have a blessed day.
Thank You guys.
💡 Meet Your Host 💡
Title: Partner at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Specialty: Matt is a nationally recognized insurance and personal injury attorney and focuses much of his practice on the litigation of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.
💡 Featured Guest 💡
Name Dr. Fred Williams
Title: Clinic Director at Kingdom Chiropractic
Specialty: Dr. Williams is a passionate and compassionate health care provider who empowers communities with the gift of improved health through chiropractic. He provides affordable state-of-the-art chiropractic care for people of all walks of life.
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The insights and views presented in “David vs. Goliath” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information presented is not a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Any case result information provided on any portion of this podcast should not be understood as a promise of any particular result in a future case. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers: Big firm results, small firm personal attention.