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Steven M. Lee, PC

Q:
Will it hurt my vehicle accident case if I see a chiropractor instead of a medical doctor?

A:

When you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you need a doctor. While a car crash victim may benefit from seeing a chiropractor, there are limits to the treatment they can provide.

Injuries Requiring a Doctor

Vehicle collisions can cause anything from minor bruises and cuts to severe organ damage. Chiropractic care may be helpful as one aspect of an injury treatment plan, but many of these ailments require more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment than a chiropractor can provide.

Some of the injuries that typically require a doctor include:

  • Spinal cord injury. Spinal cord damage may cause sensory deficiencies or difficulty in movement. These injuries require stabilization, hospitalization, and treatment by a neurological specialist in order to minimize their effects.
  • Internal injuries. Vehicle accident victims may suffer internal injuries without even realizing it. Pain from these injuries may be misinterpreted as back pain, prompting a visit to the chiropractor. However, chiropractic adjustments will do nothing for internal injuries or bleeding.
  • Injuries requiring surgery. Some vehicle accident victims may visit a chiropractor when they experience pain due to soft tissue tears, broken bones, and other traumatic injuries. These injuries cannot be resolved through chiropractic visits, and require treatment from an orthopedic specialist and surgeon.

Establishing Medical Evidence

Chiropractors aren't medical doctors, and not licensed to write prescriptions for pain medication or perform surgery. Consequently, insurance companies often question the need for chiropractic treatment, and chiropractors may be viewed as less credible than medical doctors. Jurors also tend to trust a doctor’s injury diagnosis and his testimony regarding future medical treatment more than they trust a chiropractor’s.

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, it’s okay to visit a chiropractor if you want, but you should also see a medical doctor as soon as possible. Attorneys aren’t qualified to offer medical advice, but your physician can. This can provide peace of mind, if nothing else.

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