Being involved in a car accident is extremely scary – and the long-term ramifications can be very, very costly. Neck, back, spinal, and brain injuries are common after a serious collision. Some of these injuries can require months – or years – of physical therapy (PT).
As most Americans know, medical costs (in any capacity) do not come cheap. If you are facing an injury(s) that requires physical therapy after a car accident that was not your fault, the liable party must cover these costs entirely. However, the process of holding the at-fault driver accountable is never an easy task.
In this post, we discuss the nature of physical therapy after a car accident, the costs you may be looking at, and how to make sure you are not responsible for them. Let’s get going.
How Can Physical Therapy Improve the Recovery from Car Accident Injuries?
Car accident injuries are not one-size-fits-all. Whether or not you need physical therapy after a car accident depends on many different factors. If you suffered an injury that significantly impairs your ability to use certain muscles, physical therapy exercises can help re-strengthen those muscles and improve your range of motion.
PT may be the best solution to recover faster, more effectively, and reduce the long-term effects of the injury. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce reliance on painkillers after injuries – which is a very common struggle for victims of car accidents.
To determine your needs, you’ll need to consult with your doctor. Be sure to ask them specifically about physical therapy and the best options to consider.
Costs of Physical Therapy
The costs of physical therapy can vary greatly based on the circumstances. To provide a broad overview, PT sessions can cost anywhere from $30 per visit to $400 or more – based on the national average. Fortunately, most insurance plans cover physical therapy, meaning your out-of-pocket cost would typically range from $20 per session to $60.
Many factors influence the costs of physical therapy – including the type of car accident injury you are facing, procedures done in each session, and of course, the insurance plan you have.
Regardless of the costs, you must hold the at-fault party accountable for these expenses. Talk to an experienced car accident injury attorney to learn more.
How Long Does Physical Therapy Take?
The duration of physical therapy after a car accident depends on the severity and the types of car accident injuries suffered. To reiterate, physical therapy can do wonders to enhance the recovery process – but you’ll need to understand: many car accident injuries take a long time to heal.
To give you an idea, less severe injuries (like whiplash) may require anywhere from one to three months of physical therapy. If you suffered a spinal cord injury and are struggling to walk, this could require years of PT sessions.
When you meet with your doctor and physical therapist, they will assess your injury and develop a treatment plan. This will outline roughly how long you will need physical therapy after a car accident and why. Keep in mind, recovery doesn’t always go as planned. You will need to attend sessions until you are fully healed.
Holding the At-Fault Party Responsible for Physical Therapy
If you require physical therapy – or any medical treatment – following a car accident, you deserve to be adequately compensated for every single expense from the at-fault party. This is achieved through the car accident injury claims process.
Unfortunately, earning compensation for physical therapy treatment isn’t as easy as handing the at-fault party a bill. The expenses incurred will need to be factored into the demand for a car accident settlement. The good news is the costs of physical therapy are relatively straightforward.
In personal injury cases, damages are generally grouped into two different categories: economic and non-economic. The economic damages have clear price tags attached to them, and typically include:
- Medical/hospital bills
- Cost of treatment (physical therapy after a car accident)
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Negotiating for non-economic damages is more challenging, as these are subjective expenses including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Reduced quality of life
Regardless of the circumstances, you’ll need a car accident injury attorney to manage your case and earn fair compensation. When it comes to physical therapy after a car accident, your lawyer will manage all the legal proceedings – but there are several key tasks you will need to take care of. These include:
Talk to a Medical Professional
First and foremost, you will need to have a medical professional assess your injury, the severity, and what treatments will be needed on the road to recovery. Your primary care doctor will likely perform an initial examination and direct you to a specialist given the circumstances.
The specialist will conduct a more detailed examination, which may involve x-rays, a CT scan, MRI, etc. From here, they may recommend physical therapy and other treatments. The records of these examinations will be sent to your car accident attorney to begin building the case.
Get Estimates for Physical Therapy
If physical therapy after a car accident is recommended for your injury, you will need to consult with the respective physical therapist. Given the assessment from your doctor/specialist, the physical therapist will provide estimates for the cost of the treatment and the timeline.
You will need to collect documentation for all these expenses – as they will be crucial pieces of your car accident injury claim. Once the scope and costs of physical therapy are determined, you’ll send them to your car accident lawyer to factor into the demand letter.
Add Up All Existing & Future Costs
The costs of recovery from a car accident can be very, very extensive – and physical therapy may only be part of them. To give you an idea, victims of serious car accidents may be looking at the following medical expenses:
- Ambulance rides
- Emergency room visits
- Testing (MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
- Doctor visits
- Specialist visits
- Physical therapy
- Mental health evaluations
- Counseling sessions
- Follow-up appointments
After a car accident, your goal is to earn compensation for every single one of these costs. You and your car accident attorney will need to tally up every invoice, receipt, and estimate to be included in the injury claim. The more information you can provide your lawyer, the better. They will instruct you on everything you need.
File the Car Accident Injury Claim
Once all costs are provided to your attorney, they will create a personal injury claim to be sent to the at-fault party and their insurance company. This claim will outline all of the damages suffered, medical treatments needed, physical therapy, and evidence to prove liability – among many other components.
Once your car accident attorney has everything they need, your primary concern will be recovering from your injury. Your lawyer will manage all the legal hurdles from here.
Talk to a Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today
The prospect of physical therapy after a car accident can be very stressful. But it’s important to understand that you are not alone in this fight.
Most car accident injury lawyers know you are facing an extremely difficult situation – and will be happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we work closely with victims of car accidents in Illinois and Indiana to help them get the support they need. Our experienced attorneys are standing by to educate you on the legal process and discuss your path to recovery – physically, financially, and emotionally. Call our office at 312-786-5881, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or request a consultation online.