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Seemingly minor crash injuries can cause long-lasting problems

Even if there are no broken bones and open wounds, car accidents can cause long-lasting pain and suffering. However, British Columbia residents are eligible for specific treatments at minimal or no cost if they seek treatment in a timely manner. There is a deadline of 12 weeks for counselling services and treatments like physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture.

Crash victims often avoid these treatments thinking they can’t afford them, while insurance covers treatment for three months after the car accident. Within that period, access to care does not require a doctor’s note. However, those seeking treatment close to the end of the 12 weeks or after the expiration date would be advised to get a referral from their general practitioner.

Which injuries are deemed minor?

The British Columbia government and ICBC describe the following injuries as minor, for which the 3-month free treatment applies:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Cuts
  • Aches and pains
  • Road rash
  • Bruises
  • Minor whiplash
  • Mental health conditions (short-term)
  • Mild concussions
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder, which refers to painful jaw joint movement

Health care providers say recovery is quicker if treated before the 90-day mark. That is when the formation of scar tissue typically begins. Scar tissue is known to significantly delay recovery.

What are the factors that determine the severity of car accidents?

The impact of a crash will typically determine the severity of car accident injuries, and the following are some of the main factors that play a role:

  • The number of vehicles involved in the accident
  • The position where the injured person was seated in the car
  • Road conditions
  • Were seat belts used by the injured parties
  • How soon after the accident treatment was sought

While prompt minor injury treatment could avoid medical expenses, other severe injuries could have significant financial consequences. Having a support team is crucial for most injured crash victims. Family members could assist with personal matters like caring for loved ones while the victim is hospitalized. Additionally, adequate legal support is essential to set the wheels rolling for damage recovery, especially if the crash resulted from another party’s negligence.

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