Personal Injury Protection benefits for Auto Accidents

What you need to know if you get in an accident

The state of Oregon requires all car insurance to carry a personal injury protection benefit (or PIP benefit) with your auto insurance coverage.

So what does this mean if you are in a motor vehicle accident (MVA)? The benefit guarantees up to $15,000 in medically necessary healthcare for the year following your accident. This means if you have to go to urgent care or the hospital your care is covered. If you have injuries, such as whiplash, back pain, headaches, or other body pain, you may visit an acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, or other provider for medically appropriate treatment.

The use of your PIP benefits legally cannot impact your insurance rates, and these benefits are available to you regardless of who is ultimately deemed to be responsible for the accident.

What to do if you are in an auto accident

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, first file a claim with your insurance company. When you file a claim the insurance company will give you a claim number and appropriate contact phone and fax number, which you should record and keep. If you seek medical care for the auto accident, you will provide the medical office with your insurance company name, phone and fax numbers, the incident claim number, and the date of the accident. I’m not sure how every medical office handles MVAs, but at All and One Acupuncture we directly bill your insurance company so you don’t have to pay for your visits.

Now here is the detail that confuses many people: we bill your insurance company regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Even if the other driver is responsible for the accident, we still bill your insurance claim, and then your insurance company will collect directly from the other driver’s insurance. This has an advantage, namely that you and your medical providers don’t have to hassle with an insurance company that doesn’t have a vested interest in keeping your business. Your own insurance company tends to be more responsive and have better customer service than the other driver’s insurance company.

I’ve worked with many patients who have been in car accidents. Oftentimes, the extent of the injuries aren’t fully apparent until several weeks after the accident. Even with small accidents that happen at lower speeds, headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, arm pain, and leg pain can creep up a month or more later. I recommend getting an exam by your primary healthcare provider, acupuncturist, or chiropractor right away after your accident to have your injuries objectively evaluated. This sets a precedent if medical attention is needed later. Early treatment usually results in fewer or less severe chronic issues down the road. By being proactive after your accident, and preparing for potential repercussions from your accident early on, you have a better chance at a speedy recovery.

If you or someone you know has been in an MVA, or if have questions about your specific auto accident injury, All and One Acupuncture in NE Portland is here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can support your accident recovery.

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