Often, when first meeting a patient involved in a motor vehicle collision, they are informed their situation can be likened to a three-legged stool. The balance and stability of their case hinge on three crucial elements: top-notch medical care, comprehensive medical imaging, and an exceptional attorney. The absence of any of these elements could destabilize the metaphorical stool, thereby jeopardizing the outcome of their case.
The Importance of Trust
A fundamental aspect of these cases is trust. Assuring the patient they are in capable hands is a primary objective. The process can be overwhelming, especially for those uncertain about whom to consult, or for those who have had previous negative experiences or heard unfavorable stories about such incidents.
Manipulation by Insurance Companies
Unfair practices, like swift settlements or questioning of liability by insurance companies, often result in people not receiving the necessary care. Hence, the initial consultation aims to establish trust and reassure patients they’ve made the right choice.
Initial Consultation and Examination
In the initial stages, a meticulous consultation is carried out to document the details of the incident. This includes the nature of the collision—be it rear-end, side impact, front impact, T-bone, oblique, or rollover—and the extent of injuries sustained. Subsequently, a thorough examination of all areas of complaint is conducted to ascertain the severity and scope of the injury.
The Role of X-Ray Imaging in Diagnosis
During this phase, attention is paid to patterns of muscle tension and spasms to understand the biomechanical implications of the accident. A comprehensive orthopedic/neurological examination helps identify the exact injury sites. Throughout this process, the focus is on consistently recurring issues in specific areas, which are then prioritized for further investigation via X-ray imaging.
A serious practitioner in the personal injury domain would have an X-ray facility on-site. Alternatively, the patient would be immediately referred to a place where these can be obtained. If a chiropractor does not order X-rays right away, it is a sign that the patient should seek care elsewhere promptly.
The Significance of Functional Films
Obtaining functional films of the injured area is crucial. However, this typically applies to only the cervical and lumbar regions since the thoracic region is generally non-analyzable as per literature. X-ray films assist in identifying areas requiring adjustment, or more importantly, those that don’t. Past experiences have revealed instances of fractures, tumors, broken surgical screws, and severe misalignments like scoliosis, highlighting the indispensable role of X-ray imaging.
Adherence to the American Medical Association’s Guides
It’s important that all functional films are measured as per the American Medical Associations Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. This protocol acts as a beacon for chiropractic practice, validating the profession.
Identifying and Addressing Spinal Ligament Injuries
These guidelines can confirm the extent and location of a spinal ligament injury. According to these guides, a spinal ligament injury or Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity-AOMSI equates to a whole body impairment similar to a bone fracture or a herniated disc. This means around 19% impairment in the cervical spine and 17% in the lumbar spine.
The Collaborative Approach to Care
From the initial visit, the severity and location of the injury can be identified. By correlating patient’s symptoms, examination findings, and imaging results, the chiropractor can prioritize treatment and commence arrangements for MRI and medical specialists’ referrals. No serious personal injury doctor would handle a case singlehandedly; having a trusted team of doctors is crucial.