Injuries in Auto Accidents

Auto accidents put a lot of strain and pressure on the body that can result in a number of injuries. Trauma related to an auto accident can affect the entire body. While some are more serious than others, pain and swelling are almost always a part of an auto-related injury.

Different auto injuries can occur due to various factors of car accidents.

Rear-End Collisions:

Sudden impact from behind can cause whiplash, a common auto injury, where the head is forcefully jerked back and forth.

Side-Impact Collisions:

Often known as T-bone accidents, these can result in injuries to the head, neck, chest, or limbs, depending on the point of impact.

Rollover Accidents:

These can lead to severe injuries as the vehicle overturns, potentially causing head trauma, spinal injuries, or fractures.


Whiplash is a type of neck injury that most commonly occurs as a result of a sudden back-and-forth motion of the head and neck, resembling the cracking of a whip. Straining the soft tissues in the neck. This sudden motion can cause damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other structures in the neck. It is most commonly associated with rear impact auto accidents.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash

Neck pain, stiffness, headaches, reduced range of motion in the neck, shoulder or upper back pain, tingling or numbness in the arms, and fatigue. These symptoms may appear immediately after the accident or take some time to manifest.

Most cases of whiplash can be effectively managed through conservative treatments. Recovery varies depending on the individual and the severity of the injury. If you experience symptoms of whiplash or have been involved in an accident, it is advisable to seek medical attention for a proper evaluation and guidance on the appropriate course of treatment. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan can help promote healing and minimize long-term effects.

Treating Whiplash

Whiplash is typically treated through a combination of conservative measures aimed at reducing pain, promoting healing, and restoring function. The healthcare providers at Lifestyles Healthcare Group will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of your injury and the pain you are experiencing. Treatment may include manual adjustments, massage therapies, and rehabilitative treatments and exercises. The specific treatment plan may vary based on the severity of the whiplash and individual patient needs. While there is no instant “fix” for whiplash, the sooner it’s evaluated and treated the quicker you will have relief.

It is important to seek care as soon as possible following a car accident as most injuries and related conditions can be managed and treated more easily in the early days before the body compensates for the injury and ends up causing more discomfort in different parts of the body.

Don’t postpone your wellness, get your relief today!

Common Injuries Associated With Car Accidents May Include:


Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then snapped backward, causing strain and damage to the neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Chiropractors often use manual techniques, such as spinal adjustments and mobilizations, along with exercises and stretches to relieve pain, restore mobility, and promote healing.

Neck and Back Strains/Sprains

These injuries involve damage to the muscles and/or ligaments in the neck or back due to sudden, forceful movements during an auto accident. Chiropractors may employ various treatments, including spinal adjustments, therapeutic exercises, massage, and other modalities to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle tension, and enhance healing.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner core of a spinal disc protrudes through its outer layer, causing pressure on nearby nerves. Chiropractors may use spinal adjustments, traction, and other therapies to alleviate symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness associated with herniated discs.

Spinal Misalignment/Subluxation

Auto accidents can cause misalignments or subluxations in the spine, where vertebrae become slightly displaced or restricted in their movement. Chiropractors specialize in identifying and correcting these misalignments through spinal adjustments, aiming to restore proper spinal function, reduce pain, and promote overall well-being.


Auto injuries, particularly whiplash, can contribute to tension headaches or cervicogenic headaches, which originate from neck problems. Chiropractors may utilize spinal adjustments, soft tissue techniques, and lifestyle recommendations to address the underlying causes of headaches and provide relief.

Shoulder Injuries

In an auto accident, the shoulders can sustain injuries such as dislocation, strains, or rotator cuff tears. Chiropractors may incorporate chiropractic adjustments, rehabilitative exercises, and other modalities to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and improve shoulder function.

Knee and Leg Injuries

Trauma to the lower extremities can occur during auto accidents, leading to conditions like sprains, strains, or ligament tears. Chiropractors may employ various treatment approaches, such as joint manipulation, physical therapy exercises, and rehabilitation techniques, to help alleviate pain, enhance mobility, and facilitate healing.

TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can arise from the impact and jolting motions experienced during auto accidents. Chiropractors can utilize gentle jaw manipulations, exercises, and other therapies to address TMJ pain, stiffness, clicking, and limited jaw movement.

When to Contact a Lawyer

In many cases, it's a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer if:

There are injuries

If you or any passengers in your vehicle have sustained injuries in the car accident, it’s important to consult a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and options.

The accident was not your fault

If you believe that the accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence, such as another driver’s reckless behavior, contacting a lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

You are facing medical expenses

If you require medical treatment for your injuries, especially if it involves ongoing care like chiropractic treatment, a lawyer can help you seek compensation for medical expenses and potential future medical needs.

Insurance issues

Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and overwhelming. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can help navigate the claims process and negotiate with insurance providers to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Loss of wages

If your injuries have resulted in time away from work and loss of income, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for lost wages.

Should I See an Attorney Before I See My Chiropractor?

Medical attention first

If you’ve sustained injuries in the accident, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Chiropractors can provide valuable care for musculoskeletal injuries common in auto accidents, such as neck and back pain. Prompt medical evaluation can also help establish a connection between the accident and your injuries, which can be important for insurance and legal claims.

Contact an attorney soon after

After receiving medical attention, consider contacting a personal injury attorney for a consultation. Many personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to discuss the details of your case and assess whether you have a valid claim. An attorney can advise you on your rights, potential compensation, and the best course of action moving forward.

Protect your rights

By consulting with an attorney early in the process, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not inadvertently do anything that might harm your claim later on.

Insurance matters

Dealing with insurance companies can be complex, especially if the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured. An attorney can assist you in navigating the insurance claims process, advocating for fair compensation, and handling any potential legal challenges.

Document everything

Whether you see a chiropractor before or after consulting with an attorney, make sure to keep detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and any other relevant documentation related to the accident.

Insurance Coverage After an Auto Accident

When it comes to seeking chiropractic treatment after an auto accident, insurance can play a significant role in covering the costs and expenses associated with the treatment. The specific details will depend on the insurance policies involved and the circumstances of the accident.

Here's how insurance typically comes into play:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

In some states, there is a mandatory coverage called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that provides medical coverage for injuries sustained in auto accidents, regardless of who is at fault. If you have PIP coverage, it may help cover chiropractic treatment costs up to the policy limits.

Health Insurance

If you have health insurance, it may also cover chiropractic care, depending on your specific policy. Health insurance can be used to cover medical treatments, including chiropractic visits, for injuries sustained in an auto accident. However, you may need to check if there are any restrictions or requirements related to the accident, such as timely reporting of injuries.

MedPay Coverage

MedPay, short for Medical Payments Coverage, is an optional coverage that can be added to your auto insurance policy. It provides coverage for medical expenses, including chiropractic treatment, for you and your passengers, regardless of fault, up to the policy limits.

Liability Insurance

If the auto accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, their liability insurance may be responsible for covering your medical expenses, including chiropractic treatment. In this case, you would typically make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured and you have this optional coverage, your own insurance policy may cover your medical expenses, including chiropractic treatment.

Coordination of Benefits

If you have multiple insurance policies that may cover your medical expenses, such as both PIP and health insurance, there may be a coordination of benefits process to determine which policy takes primary responsibility for the expenses.

How Auto Accident Insurance Works

In Florida, auto accident insurance works differently depending on the type of coverage you have and the circumstances of the accident. Florida follows a “no-fault” insurance system, which means that regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each party’s own insurance typically covers their medical expenses and related costs, up to the policy limits.

Here's how auto accident insurance works in Florida for a chiropractor:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

PIP coverage is a mandatory part of Florida’s auto insurance. It provides coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and certain other related costs for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This coverage extends to any medically necessary chiropractic care resulting from the accident. In Florida, the minimum PIP coverage limit is $10,000.

Chiropractic Care

If you need chiropractic treatment after an auto accident, you can use your PIP coverage to cover the related medical expenses. The PIP coverage can be used to pay for chiropractic visits, diagnostic tests, X-rays, and other medically necessary treatments, up to the policy limits.

Treatment Timeframe

Under Florida law, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident to be eligible for PIP benefits. This means that you should visit a chiropractor or another medical provider within this timeframe to have your injuries evaluated and documented.

PIP Exemptions

Certain exemptions exist for PIP coverage in Florida. For example, if you own a vehicle and have PIP coverage but do not have any emergency medical conditions, you can choose to be exempt from PIP benefits. In such cases, your health insurance would become the primary coverage for medical expenses, including chiropractic care.

Additional Insurance

In addition to PIP coverage, you may have other optional coverages, such as MedPay (Medical Payments Coverage) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which could also provide additional benefits for medical expenses, including chiropractic treatment.

What if I’m Outside the 14 Day Timeframe to Seek Medical Attention?

In Florida, if you are outside of the 14-day timeframe to seek medical attention after an auto accident, you may face limitations on your ability to claim Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits for medical expenses. The 14-day rule is an important requirement under Florida’s no-fault insurance system, and failing to meet it can affect your access to PIP benefits.

Here's what you should be aware of if you are outside the 14-day timeframe:

Limited PIP Coverage

If you do not seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident, you may lose your eligibility to claim PIP benefits for medical expenses altogether. PIP benefits are designed to provide immediate coverage for medical costs and related expenses, but the law requires prompt action on the injured party’s part.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some exceptions to the 14-day rule. For example, if you can show that your injuries did not manifest immediately after the accident but developed later, you might still be eligible for PIP benefits. However, it’s important to demonstrate that the injuries were indeed related to the accident and that you acted reasonably in seeking medical attention when you became aware of the injuries.

Other Insurance Options

If you are unable to claim PIP benefits due to missing the 14-day window, you may still have other insurance options to cover your medical expenses. For instance, if you have health insurance, it may cover the costs of your chiropractic treatment or other medical care.

Consult with an Attorney

If you have missed the 14-day timeframe and are unsure about your insurance options or how to proceed, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can evaluate your situation, help you understand your rights and available options, and guide you through the claims process.

Remember, auto insurance laws can be complex and vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and the specific insurance policies involved. If you have missed the 14-day timeframe, it’s best to seek legal advice promptly to ensure you protect your rights and explore all available avenues for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

Auto Injury Questions & Answers

It is important to get examined by the doctor first. The findings from your examination need to be documented immediately after your accident to determine the appropriate health care necessary for optimum recovery. After your Doctor’s examination it would then be appropriate to consult an attorney for legal counsel.

Documented studies done by Charles Carroll, M.D., Paul McAtee, M.D. and Lee Riley, M.D. revealed that: “The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants.”

In other words, the damage to the passengers is not necessarily directly related to the damage to the vehicle. Thus all auto accident injuries need to be immediately evaluated by a qualified chiropractor like Darin W. Stokke, DC.

We will immediately refer you for a MRI or any imaging studies necessary to evaluate the extent of your injuries. We also work exclusively with other local qualified medical doctor professionals such as orthopedics & neurologists to provide any additional necessary care.

In most cases, your auto accident insurance will pay 100% for the cost of your chiropractic care. Our Office can assist you in obtaining this information. Using your medical coverage should not raise your premiums.

Do not sign or settle anything until you have consulted with an auto accident injury chiropractor. If you settle before your injury is fully resolved, you will risk having to pay out of pocket for your care.

You need a doctor who is skilled in providing the necessary care and diagnosis of auto accident injuries. Usually hospitals will check vital signs, make sure there are no life-threatening conditions and release the patient with pain relief medication. They normally do not provide healthcare for the underlying injuries that can often lead to future pain. Thus after your hospital visit you need to make an immediate appointment with a chiropractor like Darin W. Stokke, DC.

Yes. The care is safe and gentle. In fact, we have patients that range from newborn infants, children, to the elderly who receive effective relief.

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Our Mission is to deliver the highest quality healthcare services and patient education resulting in healthy, happy patients who experience excellent outcomes, refer others, and are able to live and enjoy the lifestyle they desire.

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At Lifestyles Healthcare Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide personalized chiropractic and rehabilitative healthcare services. We are dedicated to achieving the best results for your health with customized care; and direct client contact is the key. Whether you’re a new, returning, or a regular patient, we would like to speak with you personally when making an appointment.

To schedule an appointment, please call (239) 334-9355 during our business hours, or leave us a brief message with your name, callback number, and preferred callback time. 

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Patient Care Professionals

At Lifestyles Healthcare Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide personalized chiropractic and rehabilitative healthcare services. We are dedicated to achieving the best results for your health with customized care; and direct client contact is the key. Whether you’re a new, returning, or a regular patient, we would like to speak with you personally when making an appointment.