After a car accident you need to make all the right moves in a specific insurance environment, and you need a chiropractor who can do the same. We have 20 years of experience working with patients who have had car accident injuries and want to recover fully.

Every person needs a customized treatment plan that is an exact fit.  As a leading personal injury clinic, we have been treating Motor Vehicle Accident injuries for over 20 years. Besides setting up an approved treatment plan, we will document your case accurately and appropriately.

In Oregon, Personal Injury Protection (PIP, or Med-Pay) coverage is mandatory for auto insurance policies. Under PIP coverage, you and all the passengers in the car are insured regardless of whose is at fault for the accident (typically up to $25,000, with certain limits).  Chiropractic treatment and physical rehabilitation is usually fully covered by automobile insurance policies – no matter who is at fault – and no matter whether you were the driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian. We can help you submit the necessary insurance paperwork and file a claim with your insurance company. We will help you to understand your insurance benefits and bill insurance for you.

Dr. Sibilla is an integrated provider, who can work with the doctors you are already seeing – without conflicts – and exchange coordination of care reports quickly.

Doctor Sibilla is an approved attending physician for Motor Vehicle Cases, and at Blue Heron Chiropractic,  No Referral Is Necessary.  You are not required to ask permission from an insurance company or a medical doctor to get care from Doctor Sibilla.

Can I get an MRI, Acupuncture, or Physical Therapy?

Dr. Sibilla can directly order and interpret an MRI, and we also get a full radiologist read as well.  If you need referral to a neurosurgeon or pain management specialist, we have cooperative medical doctors within our networking. If you need physical therapy referrals beyond what we can do in our clinic, or if you need Acupuncture, those referral networks are already set up for you at Blue Heron Chiropractic.

What is PIP COVERAGE?

If you have been in an accident in the State of Oregon, most automobile insurance policies are protected with up to $25,000 of Personal Injury Protection. That means that in most cases, coverage is available to pay for your treatment after you have an accident, without you having to sue someone. That means you can get chiropractic care and massage therapy at Blue Heron Chiropractic without having to pay anything out of pocket under most circumstances. In most cases, you do not need to have a lawyer to begin to get care. We can see you if you had an accident in Washington State, as well.  See our FAQ about legal questions.

Can Chiropractic help me recover?

Whiplash injuries, which are strains or tearing of neck muscles, often associated with sprains and injuries to joints and occasionally damage to the discs and nearby nerves, or low back sprains (joint injuries) can be caused by rapid changes of speed and the forces of impact. Chiropractic is the ideal modality and healthcare delivery system to address these.

What is the risk after a car accident?

Impact injuries often produce both hard and “soft tissue” injuries, which often recover with fibrous scar tissue, loss of range of motion, or painful nerve damage if not treated properly. Headaches caused by car accidents can return for decades if not diagnosed and treated.

It was a small auto accident, not a lot of damage, but my body still hurts! Why?

Property damage is an unreliable predictor of injury risk or outcome in low velocity crashes as there is still a substantial number of injuries reported in crashes of little to no property damage. An example would be whiplash injuries
Volunteers in test crashes are often healthy, young adult volunteers. A crash (low-speed or otherwise) which did not injure a younger passenger may cause a middle-aged and possibly less fit person injury and disability.
Crash tests also mostly contain subjects who were strapped in and positioned correctly. In the real world, not everyone may be wearing a seatbelt, some won’t be sitting facing forward and some would not have the proper head rest.
Vehicle mass is also a factor as people in smaller vehicles who get struck by much larger ones are more likely to be injured. Smaller cars are made “stiffer” by manufacturers to keep them up to safety standards – this stiffness may also work against occupants as the energy of the crash would expose occupants to greater force.
Head restraints in a lower position (or a poorly positioned head restraint) can intensify an injury as this will act as a fulcrum that would allow the head to extend over and above it.
The author also pointed out that while seat belts have been proven to save lives, the use of seat belts has increased injuries in lower speed crashes.
Interestingly enough, they were of the theory that females have a higher risk for injury in car accidents, because of body structure, and that they have a more violent kinematic response to trauma because of a smaller muscle mass.

It was not my fault, do I have to deal with my insurance at all?

Regardless of fault, your car insurance’s PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage passes the medical costs to the responsible party via something called subrogation. Your carrier is the initial recipient of the bills, regardless of what you have been told; it’s the law, even if your insurance is not charged.

It was my fault, does that mean I can’t get care?

If your automobile insurance has Med-Pay, you are entitled to get the care that you need and it will be covered based on the necessity we will document.

The other driver had no insurance, does that mean I am responsible?

There are a number of ways a claim can still be created, and there is also often Uninsured Motorist Coverage. We can help you determine this.

The wreck was in Washington State, can I get treated in Oregon?

Yes, you can. We will confirm with your policy if you have personal injury protection (not necessarily included on all Washington policies), however, we can treat you either way. Let our insurance specialists work with your case.

I have legal questions!

We can’t advise you legally, but we can help you get answers. Auto accidents are “Medical-Legal” – this means that there is law involved. You may find that “everybody”, including your relatives, will tell you they “know the law”. A lot of this “knowlege” is years old, may not apply in Oregon, or is just plain wrong. We caution you about relying only on the “legal advice” of insurance representatives – they are not lawyers, and there are potential conflicts of interest. All of the lawyers we would consider introducing a patient to would not charge to answer your questions, even if you did not become a client.

Do I need an attorney?

This is not a question that we can answer for you, other than to say that a legal opinion is a good idea. We would not try to have our own personal car accidents without an attorney on our side.  In cases where there is a challenge to liability, difficulties with the insurance, or complicated legal issues – like prior accidents and pre-existing conditions – it is often advisable to be able to get counsel to simply assistance with all the details. Typically, we have heard attorneys advise patients that a settlement is a legal document best reviewed and negotiated by professionals. While we can’t advise you legally, we can help you get your questions answered.

The insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I accept it?

We constantly hear people being told, “here is some money, everything else will be taken care of, just sign here”. For the record, we have rarely seen this work out in the patient’s favor – often quite the opposite. We do not recommend that you settle your case until you are released either with a full recovery, or your condition is stabilized and you have been given a permanent impairment rating. You should get legal advice about settlements. Do not take the advice of the party offering the settlement as necessarily being in your favor. If you do choose to settle your case, you must advise us beforehand,  as this would otherwise be a breach of your billing agreement with us. If you do settle your case, you must check with us to make sure your bills have been paid in full by the insurance carrier, or you may become responsible for them.

FREQUENTLY ASKED CAR ACCIDENT QUESTIONS

Can Chiropractic help me recover?

Whiplash injuries, which are strains or tearing of neck muscles, often associated with sprains and injuries to joints and occasionally damage to the discs and nearby nerves, or low back sprains (joint injuries) can be caused by rapid changes of speed and the forces of impact. Chiropractic is the ideal modality and healthcare delivery system to address these.

What is PIP COVERAGE?

If you have been in an accident in the State of Oregon, most automobile insurance policies are now protected with up to $25,000 of Personal Injury Protection. That means that in most cases, coverage is available to pay for your treatment after you have an accident, without you having to sue someone. That means you can get chiropractic care and massage therapy at Blue Heron Chiropractic without having to pay anything out of pocket under most circumstances. In most cases, you do not need to have a lawyer to begin to get care. We can see you if you had an accident in Washington State, as well.  See our FAQ about legal questions.

What is the risk after a car accident?

Impact injuries often produce both hard and “soft tissue” injuries, which often recover with fibrous scar tissue, loss of range of motion, or painful nerve damage if not treated properly. Headaches caused by car accidents can return for decades if not diagnosed and treated.

I had a small accident, not a lot of damage, why does my body hurt?

The amount of damage to the car does not reliably predict the risk of injury in a low velocity crash. More important factors include directions of the impact, the body and head positioning of the subject and the condition of their muscles at the time of impact, seatbelts, headrests, and vehicle weight. For example, even a small abrupt lurch of a vehicle in a parking lot impact can can create muscle tearing.

Can I get an MRI, a Neurosurgical Referral, Acupuncture, or specialized Physical Therapy?

Doctor Sibilla can order an MRI directly.  If you need referral to a neurosurgeon or pain management specialist, we have cooperative medical doctors within our networking. If you need a physical therapy referrals beyond what we do in our clinic, or if you need Acupuncture, those referral networks exist.

It was not my fault, do I have to deal with my insurance at all?

Regardless of fault, your car insurance’s PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage receives the medical billings, then passes the responsibility of payment to the other carrier by a process called subrogation.

If I don’t tell my insurance, my payments will not go up.

You are contractually obligated with your insurance to report. If you were not at fault, your policy is typically not chargeable. Also keep in mind that most policies can cancel your coverage, without notice – even after another accident has occurred – if they find out you have not advised them of a prior accident involving damage or injury. Keep in mind also that insurance carriers share claims database information. If the other driver claims their accident, even to repair a scratch their car, your insurance carrier will know. You should get advice about this, and we can help direct you to that.

It was my fault, does that mean I can't get care?

If your automobile insurance has Med-Pay, you are entitled to get the care that you need. If you are hurt, we should get you treated. Let us help you assess your needs and possible available benefits.

Do I need an attorney?

You do not need to get an attorney prior to seeing Doctor Sibilla. Our billing/legal specialist can help focus that question and advise you if there are issues that might require an attorney to support you. This often alleviates worry. We find that our patients do a lot better when they are not worried.

Do I have to sue someone to make a claim?

Making an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident is not suing someone. What it does is it makes available the benefits that have been paid to an insurance company to pay for situations just like this. Speaking to an attorney for legal advice after an accident is also not suing someone. We can’t give you legal advice but we can help reassure you, and direct your questions properly.

The Insurance offered me a settlement, can I still get care?

In most if not all situations, settlements terminate med payments, and patients are often “induced” to settle claims too early. Please advise us if you are discussing settlement with a carrier, so we can determine if you still have access to benefits. Of course, you can still get care; the nature of the billing may change.