Q: Last month, a car struck me while I was jogging. I have been suffering intense pain in my side and lower back ever since. Is it okay for my legal rights if I seek treatment from a chiropractor rather than a physician?
We’re very sorry to hear about your injury. Collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians—including joggers—are extremely hazardous to the unprotected human body. Yet such accidents are alarmingly common, with over 50,000 pedestrians injured in traffic accidents in a typical year. Even if the collision happens at a speed as slow as 10 miles per hour, the pedestrian can suffer catastrophic injuries.
There is no easy answer to your question. We understand that a lot of our clients find substantial relief from chiropractic treatments, so we don’t want to warn you away from them. However, choosing chiropractic care alone can complicate your legal recovery in important ways. Our car crash lawyers in Harrisburg would like to advise you to consider using both standard medical care and chiropractic services—but as we explain later, that combination has its own problems.
Why is Chiropractic so Controversial?
Chiropractic care was developed as what we would now call a “fringe” medical theory around 1895. Its inventor, Daniel David Palmer, was convinced that all human illnesses could be blamed on misalignments of the spine. He taught that the germ theory of disease was false, and that a skilled therapist could cure almost any malady through spinal manipulation.
Some of Palmer’s students and followers added new pseudoscientific ideas to standard chiropractic theory, such as the use of x-rays for therapy—a practice now recognized as extremely risky.
Today, there are still some chiropractors who follow the practices of standard medicine fully and add spinal manipulation to their practice for patients who have back pain. At the other end of the spectrum, there are “straight chiropractors” who stick closely to Palmer’s original conception; they reject the use of medicine or surgery.
How Chiropractic can Hurt Your Injury Claim
Sometimes insurance companies or their teams of lawyers use a claimant’s choice of chiropractic therapy as grounds for denying payment on a claim. Their reasoning: if the claimant had truly cared about his health, he would have gone to a physician instead. Often, the fact that chiropractors prescribe lengthy (and expensive) courses of treatment gives them additional incentive to deny benefits.
If the claimant seeks care from both a physician and a chiropractor, the insurance company may try to avoid paying for at least one set of bills, saying that treatment from two different practitioners is wasteful and duplicated effort.
Of course, a denied claim only counts if the insurance company can make it stick. At Schmidt Kramer, we can take a client’s case all the way to the jury in order to make sure that he receives full and fair compensation for his injuries. If you need help with your claim, give us a call at 717.888.8888 or 888.476.0807 toll-free to schedule a case review at no charge—and also download our FREE report, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured In An Automobile Accident?