Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a PIP?
If you have auto insurance in the state of Oregon, you have mandatory PIP coverage. In Oregon, personal injury protection is not “opt in,” so you’re already covered whether you knew it or not.
How do I utilize my PIP benefits?
Part of our job entails taking care of not just your body, but the paperwork side of things as well; you’ve just been in an accident and the last thing you need is more stress. The specifics of getting access to your PIP benefits can vary depending on the situation, but rest assured we will help walk you through it every single step of the way.
I was in a car accident but I wasn’t driving, can I still get treatment?
Absolutely! The driver’s insurance covers everyone in the car to full PIP pain relief, and this is true whether the driver of the car you were in was at fault or not.
I was in an accident over 6 months ago, do I still get free pain relief?
Current Oregon law allows access to PIP benefits up to twelve months after an accident, but because accident aftercare is so very important, legislation is in the works to extend that default timeline to a full twenty-four months.
How can I be sure using my PIP benefits won’t increase my insurance rates?
Under Oregon auto accident law, you cannot be penalized for using your PIP coverage, regardless of how much treatment you need or receive.
I was in an accident and the other driver didn’t have insurance, do I still have PIP benefits?
Definitely. Regardless of who was at fault, your insurance is responsible for covering your pain relief benefits up to a minimum of $15,000. In cases where the other driver was at fault and they have insurance, your company will recoup the amount paid out for your medical care from them.
Is PIP insurance separate from car insurance? Why haven’t I heard about it?
PIP, or Personal Injury Protection benefits, are tied in to your Oregon auto insurance policy. Not every state has mandatory PIP coverage for their residents, and instead adopt an “opt-out” approach; Oregon is one of many states, however, that chose to ensure all it’s residents could receive auto accident aftercare. As insurance companies are in business to make profits, it isn’t in their best interests to highlight or remind you of your PIP benefits unless you’ve been in an accident, and even then most unfortunately don’t encourage you to explore your rightful treatment options. It’s a sad truth that the insurance adjuster assigned to you after an accident, while friendly, isn’t your friend. We’re here to look out for your best interests and long-term health.
My injuries seem small (stiff neck, headache). If I don’t seek treatment, won’t these just go away on their own?
Good question, they might resolve on their own, but it’s extremely common for the full effects of an accident to take up to 10 days to show up. However, given what we know about muscle fibers, scar tissue, and denervation, it’s a very safe bet that if the pain seems to resolve on it’s own what likely happened is your body simply shut down access to the injured fibers and shunted the increased movement load to the remaining healthy fibers. Unfortunately this means that while you may feel better after a few weeks or months, there remains residual and deleterious scar tissue present in your muscles. Additionally, any movement interruption and guarding that occur while in an acutely injured state tend to add up and have a snowball effect, negatively impacting muscle systems up- and down-stream from the site of pain in a compensatory effect. It turns out that many people who shrug off their aches and pains because they aren’t severe enough for them to miss work, end up regretting not seeking treatment once it becomes evident that several months later there is still a nagging this or cranky that. Lastly, and this can’t be stressed enough, these benefits are completely free to you and come with zero penalties or repercussions, so even in the absence of severe pain it’s a wise and forward-thinking decision to come in and get checked over. You only get one body, after all.
Should I be seeing a chiropractor, medical doctor, or physical therapist, as well as — or before receiving — massage?
We always recommend coming in to see us first, so that we can do a full assessment of not only any acute injuries — which is what most practitioners in the above categories will do — but also evaluate the underlying causes and movement dysfunctions that led to the injuries occurring where they did. In our experience, the last thing a body experiencing trauma from an auto accident needs is invasive and abrupt chiropractic adjustments. Pain medications are often the medical doctors first line of treatment, which can serve to mask the pain long enough where the patient believes they’re healed and terminates their auto accident claim, only to learn that once their medication runs out they are still dealing with lingering aches and pains. Therapeutic movement and rehab via physical therapy is an integral part of the healing process, but should come well after much of the inflammation and swelling has come down.