Highlands Ranch Auto Accident Treatment

Whether a low speed fender bender or something more serious, an auto accident can negatively impact your life, health and well-being. At Highlands Family Chiropractic , we’re looking for any injury that can occur from low speed to those major, high impact rollover type crashes. There are three major categories of musculoskeletal injuries; bones, discs, and ligaments can be injured in a crash.

Even low speed “fender benders” can produce well-established objective injuries that help identify for the patient whether they were injured or not in a crash.

Whiplash is a mechanism of injury and is now referred to as acceleration-deceleration injuries with symptoms referred to as whiplash-associated disorders (WAD)—the ligament injuries, disc herniations, and radiculopathy that goes down into the hands and fingers.

You’re in Highly Capable Hands

In practice since 2007, Dr. Hicks has done numerous coursework on trauma management. He is certified by the ICA (International Chiropractic Association) in Advancements in the Management of Traumatic Injuries. Dr. Hicks has also taken the Croft trauma courses, including ones in Chiropractic BioPhysics®, whiplash associated disorders (WAD) or the injury of those tissues caused by whiplash. Dr. Hicks has the experience and expertise to address many auto accident injuries.

What If My Symptoms Were Mild?

Many people think that if they have little to no discomfort after an auto accident, they are okay. Even if symptoms are mild, it’s important to be checked for those injuries. Following an auto accident, many people will head to the ER, urgent care, or their primary care provider.

What happens is at the ER or urgent care, they’re looking for the big major issues, such as fractures, dislocations, or immediate life-threatening conditions. That’s opposed to the injuries that are not immediately life-threatening but will be with the patient for many months or even permanently. Being cleared by the ER doesn’t mean you were not injured, it just means you don’t have an immediate threat on life or limb.

Very few doctors actually know how to look for these injuries or measure them. Most physicians do not, and that emphatically includes those in the ER and urgent care. It’s not that they don’t know how to, but that’s not what they’re looking for.

Our Approach to Care

We provide a multi-pronged approach to care by offering the following:

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What to Expect

Your initial visits focus on investigations into the body to identify what is injured. Dr. Hicks will look at your range of motion, muscle spasms, neurological tests like reflexes, and skin sensation changes. Some of these can be subtle, and won’t even have a symptom associated with it until we test it. Dr. Hicks will perform an in-depth orthopedic, neurological examination, as well as health history. With trauma, we will provide on-site digital X-rays (using AMA guidelines for findings) that we then digitally measure to identify those ligament injuries that help diagnose whether the ligaments are actually injured. The AMA Guidelines are the gold standard for these findings.

When necessary, we additionally refer out for MRIs, as well as digital motion X-rays, to identify those injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, and most of the time it is MedPay, which is one of those services that we believe everyone should have. It’s incredibly affordable insurance, and it is designed to protect you in the event of a crash. The reason everyone should have it is because it doesn’t matter who is at fault to use MedPay. Having regular health insurance is not a suitable replacement for MedPay even if your insurance agent says so, or manages to save you a couple bucks on your premium. Make sure to have MedPay and consider adding more. We recommend $10,000.

Not always. For example, we need to determine if there’s joint instability. With a ligament injury, you have an unstable joint in your neck. We want to know if you have that condition prior to treatment. So in some cases, it’s not appropriate to adjust on that first visit.

Some chiropractors will adjust an auto accident patient on the first visit, just to get them out of pain. However, doing so can actually cause bigger injury to those ligaments. In our clinic, we will do everything we can to properly begin the healing process and pain relief on your first visit.

Depending on the severity of injuries and the site(s) of pain, it can be as short as 30 to 45 minutes. For a patient with more serious injuries, we can spend upwards of two hours, as we have to address multiple areas of their body, perform proper evaluations, and order appropriate testing.

There are many types of injuries, but we’re going to focus on the most common types of injuries: a self-resolving injury and a permanent injury. A self-resolving injury is like a simple sprain/strain. For example, in the case of somebody who steps off a curb and mildly tweaks an ankle, 2-6 weeks from now, they forget they even did it. Those types of injuries can occur in a car crash. They also require minimal treatment.

The reason we do a thorough exam is that we want to answer whether you avoided serious injury or not. For example, in the case of a more significant ligament injury, the body may have a permanent injury, and thereby rateable by AMA Guidelines, that will require future care. In these cases, your attorney will fight for your long term status and not just a quick settlement. Unfortunately, these are the injuries missed by most treating chiropractors. We go the extra length to objectively identify the presence of these injuries.

4 Steps Necessary to Navigate Your PI Claims

It’s crucial to report an accident to authorities as soon as possible. To report the accident here in Colorado, file the report online using the 2489 form. This option allows you to report the accident if a police officer wasn’t at the scene. By doing so, the report will reach the legal system if necessary.

It’s a good idea to include photographs in your report. Also, be sure to get the contact information for anyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses at the scene. In the report, you can also note weather conditions, whether poor or good.

While it’s not always a bad idea to see a primary care physician after an accident, if they’re not trained in injury treatment, they can refer you to a chiropractor like Dr. Hicks, who doesn’t need a referral. It is helpful in the documentation process that the PCP recommends you seek chiropractic care, because the injuries can be hidden.
“Even without that appointment, it’s necessary to see a doctor like myself trained in the biomechanics of injury. I can identify those injuries that don’t show up for days after a collision. It can take even a few weeks for some of these injuries—and they can be serious—to show up,” said Dr. Hicks.

It’s also important to keep your appointments and follow up with all referrals that Dr. Hicks will offer. He has a large network of physical therapy, massage, and pain management providers that he works with that can help you in your case.
Please note that even if you are at fault, if you have MedPay, that coverage will pay for services, as Colorado is a no fault state. Being at fault for a car crash means you can still use your MedPay.

We also work on liens when the need for care goes beyond what MedPay will cover. There are usually no upfront out-of-pocket costs, and any fees are paid through the settlement.

It’s important to find out if you have MedPay, how much it is, and that you are seeking at least an exam to identify if there are hidden injuries that go beyond what you’re feeling.

You’ll be asked a series of questions. It’s important not to minimize what you experienced. A person’s natural instinct is to minimize injuries, because the disruption to their life is usually greater than what their initial symptoms warrant. They just want it over with.

Just report in broad-based terms what your symptoms are. If you’re not sure, it’s okay to say “I’m not sure,” as to whether the other person is at fault. You can always say, “I don’t know, I haven’t heard from insurance yet.”

If during the exam, we identify that the injury is a sprain or strain, minimal care is needed, and you will fully recover and return to normal, attorneys are not needed.

“However, when we identify those injuries with a higher risk of permanence or long-lasting symptoms, it’s important to establish with an attorney. We work with numerous lawyers in the area, and can always recommend one that fits your needs,” said Dr. Hicks. All of them will give you a free consultation.

Office Hours
Morning Afternoon
Monday 8AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Tuesday 11AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Wednesday 8AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Thursday 11AM - 1PM 3PM - 6PM
Friday 8AM - 1PM --

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Contact us today to book a free 15-minute consultation with our Chiropractor in Highlands Ranch! We look forward to getting you on the path to optimal health and wellness.