Largest BlueCross/Blue Shield Study of it Kind---Over Ten Years it Shows Regular Chiropractic Care Would Reduce Overall Healthcare Costs By 50%
This ground breaking study has massive implications in general health care as well as car accident injury's. Done in 2007, and can be summed up with this statement, "“My research, conducted over a ten-year period utilizing clinical and cost outcomes data from one of the nation’s largest insurance underwriters, suggest that the regular utilization of chiropractic could reduce the need for hospitalization, pharmaceutical usage and overall global health care costs by almost 50 percent.”
Driving here on the Eastside can sometimes be a dangerous activity. No one WANTS to get into an accident, but with the amount of traffic, distracted drivers, and irresponsible drivers (drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, road rage, etc...) they do happen. Here is the first step to follow if you are in an car accident here in Bellevue.
1. Make sure to be prepared.
Being prepared for an accident before an accident ever happens is one of if not the most important step to take. It is my experience working with auto injury patients for the last 12 years that the people who are well prepared before they ever get into an accident have a far less traumatic experience. The best example I have of this is if you have ever been pulled over by a police officer. The times that I have put all of my relevant information, licence, title, etc... into one envelope that I hand the police officer, my experience has been very low stress. Its the time that my tittle is buried in the glove compartment and I cant find anything that I am the most stressed. So what does it mean to be prepared?
First off, preparation starts when you are buying your auto insurance policy. Know exactly what you are buying and that you have enough insurance to protect for the worst case scenario. Do your research and make sure you are protecting your health, your family and your car.
Secondly, it means having all of the tangible things you need following an accident at arms length. Have all of your insurance information available, company, policy number, and any phone numbers in your glove compartment and in your wallet in case the glove compartment is damaged. Also, if your cell phone does not have a good camera it is good practice to have a disposable camera to take pictures of the scene and your cars. And lastly, a pen and paper to take down all of the other drivers information.
If you are in a car accident in Bellevue, make sure you are prepared for the worst. In our next blog post we will continue this series on the steps to take following a motor vehicle accident.
by Ryan Pauley of The Pauley Law Group
Many people don’t know what type of insurance benefits they have under their automobile policy until an accident occurs. Two of the most important benefits under any automobile policy are Personal Injury Protection (commonly referred to as “PIP”) and Underinsured Motorist Insurance (commonly referred to as “UM”).
PIP coverage pays for any of the costs associated with medical treatment that is related to the auto accident that you were involved in. PIP can also cover lost wages and any other expenses incurred because of the crash, but these amounts are usually limited to a weekly dollar amount. The two most common PIP coverage amounts in Washington State are $10,000.00 and $35,000.00.
UM coverage provides benefits to the victim in the car crash, when the person responsible for the accident has little or no insurance to pay for the costs and damages that resulted from the crash. The minimum UM benefit coverage that a person can purchase in Washington is $25,000.00. This amount can be as high as $100,000,000 (one hundred million?) and of course like all insurance the more benefits you get the higher is the cost.
When a person in Washington State purchases automobile insurance, the Company providing the policy has a duty under state law to offer both PIP and UM insurance to the purchaser. If the purchaser declines PIP and/or UM coverage, the insurance company must obtain a written waiver form the purchaser in writing which declines the purchase of these benefits. If the insurance company fails to obtain this written waiver, then it is required to provide the purchaser with the state minimum benefits at the insurance company’s cost.
For example, assume I purchase an automobile policy in Washington State and decline both PIP and UM benefits to keep the premium low. The insurer then fails to obtain a written waiver from me stating that I am declining PIP and UM coverage. I then purchase the policy. The next day I am involved in an automobile crash and the person causing the crash has no insurance. Under Washington law, the insurance company who sold me the policy must provide me with $10,000.00 in PIP benefits and $25,000.00 in UM benefits at its own cost.
If you can afford it always purchase PIP and UM benefits. With the costs of medical treatment and the number of people who drive without insurance these days, it is too much of a risk to not have these benefits. If for some reason you didn’t purchase these benefits, and you are involved in a crash, make sure your attorney checks to see if you signed a written waiver for your insurance company that waives PIP and/or UM coverage. If your insurance company cannot produce this waiver, demand that they pay benefits.
To learn more about Ryan Pauley and The Pauley Law Group visit http://www.pauleylawgroup.com/blog/i-don%E2%80%99t-have-pip-or-um-coverage-or-do-i
Almost on a weekly basis, we have come in to see us following a car accident and tell us that they have full medical coverage through their motor vehicle insurance that will pay for all of their care. When we call their insurance, as we do with all car accident patients to find out the details of their claim, it turns out they have no personal injury protection also known as PIP. All to often when we are shopping for car insurance we are looking for the best rate, and in doing so we may be signing up for inadequate coverage. My patients thought they were signing up for full coverage, but in reality were only signing up for liability insurance. This all to often leaves these people between a rock and a hard place, and I have found it is such an easy preventative fix.
Whats the answer? Call up your insurance broker or log on to your online account and make sure you have the full amount of PIP coverage. Washington requires all drivers to have what is called liability insurance at a minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, which means that if in an accident they will cover any damages that you created. Washington law requires that the insurance company offer PIP, but it is not mandatory that everyone have it. If you decline signing up for PIP you must either put it in writing, or sign electronically. The majority of the time this is where most get into trouble, in that they are purchasing insurance online, and the box that you must check to decline PIP blends in with all of the other box's that you are checking.
Personal injury protection pays for any and all medical expense, in some cases even pays for wage loss, loss of essential services like house cleaning, and even funeral benefits. In Washington the minimum amount that you can have is $10,000 and you can buy up to $35,000 worth of coverage. You can see that the difference between having $10,000 worth of essential medical care and potential not having anything can be devastating.
Another reason that some decline getting PIP coverage is that someone told them that their health insurance covers all medical treatment if one is injured in a car accident. While this may be true, it is not the best advise. General insurance typically is bound by deductables that you will have to meet before they will start to pay, capped visit amounts and restrictions on what they may and may not cover, where PIP does not typically have these same restrictions.
I have seen far too much heart ache come from inadequate or no insurance and I would hate for you to be stuck in this same predicament. A great place to go to get a better understanding of what your insurance coverage is, is the Washington State Insurance Commissioner. You can find their common sense, easy to understand website at www.insurance.wa.gov. If you have any other questions we would be thrilled to be able to help in any way that we can. Please call Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic at 425-635-0495 today.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34236324@N05/6553972931">HB 203 & 204 Commodore SS</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
Dr. Michael Weir is the clinic director at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. We will also be hosting a variety of relevant guest bloggers to help you understand your injuries better.