Common reasons for car accidents in redwood city

Getting in a car accident can be not only traumatic but can cause some serious physical injuries, even at a low speed. Whiplash, shoulder problems and back problems are the main issues that occur after an accident.

Here are some of the reasons people are involved in accidents:

1. Becoming distracted while driving:

I once saw a women at a stoplight with her phone on the dash watching a television show while driving. I couldn’t believe it. Texting, dialing, eating or checking yourself out in the mirror are all distractions and can lead to an accident.

2. Driving too fast:

People tend to treat speed limits as the minimum speed and normally go 10 to 30 miles an hour over the speed limit. These postings are on the road for a reason. Kids can be present, animals may run out into the road, wide turns may be coming up etc. If you are speeding, your reaction time is decreased and this can lead to an accident.

3. Intoxication:

Driving after having one too many inhibits your ability to see accurately, brake in time and focus on the road. If you are out drinking, either have a designated driver or call a taxi or Lyft to get home.

4. Reckless or careless driving:

People who are cutting other drivers off, not merging properly, riding too close to someone’s bumper all lead to an accident. In some cases, the reckless driver may not be the one in the accident but may have caused an accident because other people had to move or brake because of their reckless actions. Please be courteous to other drivers and merge properly. It not only helps the flow of traffic but it prevents accidents as well.

5. Rain

Somehow here in Redwood City and the bay area in general, when there is rain, there are more accidents. People tend to keep driving at normal speed and stay close to someone’s back bumper no allowing for the proper braking speed. When they need to brake they slide into the car in front of them. Cars often spin out in rain as well if they are not changing their driving speed with the weather. If someone is driving on the freeway and the speed limit is 65mph, it may be a good idea to drive at 55mph in the right lanes. Better to be safe than sorry.

6. Red light running;

Going through a red light is dangerous and can cause death. When a yellow light hits, most motorists slow down and stop, not speed up. When the light is red, the other light is turning green and they don’t expect you to come through the intersection. Slamming into the drivers side of the car at full speed can kill someone. Leave earlier for appointments so that you are not in a rush and panic when you have to wait through lights. This can save your life or someone else’s.

7. Failure to adhere to a stop sign:

Again, these signs are there for your safety. People are expecting you to stop and will not be prepared for when you do not stop. When approaching a stop sign at an intersection, stop and always look around to make sure people are stopping and then proceed to your destination.

8. Young Teenage Drivers

Teenagers are many times not defensive drivers and do not take the privilege of having a drivers license as seriously as they should. They also do not have the experience that other drivers do and can make careless mistakes.

9. Night Driving:

Driving at night doubles the chances of an accident. Visability is impaired and it is harder to see pedestrians, road lanes and on coming cars. When driving at night, you must be even more alert than driving during sunshine hours.

10. Careless Lane Changes:

There are a lot of times where drivers want to go first and cut off someone merging or if they think someone is not driving fast enough for them. Using a signal is important to give people a heads up that you are changing lanes and make sure noone is in your blind spot when moving over to the next lane.

11. Driving the wrong way:

Anyone that has experienced someone driving the wrong way on the road can understand how dangerous this is. Noone is expecting you to be coming the wrong way and there is no way to get out of your path. This can lead to a head on collision that can cause enormous bodily harm.

12. Road Rage:

Road rage normally results in the angry person tail gating the other driver, speeding to catch up and sometimes blocking the other driver in and slamming on the brakes. This is dangerous and it happens daily. Yes, it sucks when someone cuts you off or almost hits you but in most cases they are not doing this on purpose and harassing them afterward will only lead to more problems. You are safe, noone got hurt so move on and take some deep breaths. It will allow you to handle what happened and move on with your day.

13. Potholes in the road:

Driving over potholes can blow out a tire, have the driver lose control and spin out or have hubcaps fall off the car. Care should be taken when driving over potholes and if you see someone driving over one, be aware that there may be some debris or loss of control.

14. Driving while tired:

There was a study done where they tested intoxicated drivers and tired drivers. It was actually shown that driving while tired had the same if not higher rates of accidents than intoxication. Your concentration is not at its best while tired and there have been times where people have fallen asleep at the wheel.

15. Tire Blowouts:

Tires to blow from time to time and if you are driving a truck or on a freeway it can mean losing some control over the vehicle. Leaving space between you and other vehicles is a good idea and can help you if someone loses a tire or loses control of their vehicle.

16. Foggy weather:

Again keeping a good distance behind the vehicle in front of you and slowing down can really help if there is fog. It can be hard to see the road and other vehicles. Make sure your headlights are on and do not use the high beams.

17. Curves:

Keeping a speed that is not excessive on curves is key. Most people brake on curves but it is best to just keep a slow speed on the turn and keep the wheels tractioning. Braking can lead to skidding which can slide you into oncoming traffic or off the side of the road.

18. Deer or other animals on the road:

Note where animals can be hiding or jumping on the road. There are normally signs in these areas so slow down and keep an eye on the sides of the road once in a while. Most times, animals are on the side of the road waiting to cross so you can slow down and flash your lights to warn other drivers of their presence.

I guess the biggest part of this article is to slow down and don’t be in a rush. This is when most people end up in an accident.

How Dangerous is Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving?

As you know, Californians need to be “hands free”.  Why?  Because it is dangerous to drive while texting and using a cell phone.  If you check the statistics they show that at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are in some fashion, attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile. Back when I was a kid, it was hard enough trying to maneuver the radio much less navigate through a phone.  Well, smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times through email, texting and internet but all of this technology has distracted people and make it hard to focus on just 1 task at hand. That task being driving. Cell phone distraction rates are alarmingly high and come with hefty fines if caught using your phone behind the wheel. Here are a few statistics that may alarm you:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
  • 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.

How do teen drivers fall into these statistics?

  • 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
  • According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.

2012 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics

  • In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
  • About 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • In 2012, 11% of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
  • 1/4 of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive and 20% of teens and 10% of parents report having multi-text message conversations while driving.

2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
  • Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
  • In the survey, 24% of drivers reported that they are willing to make a phone call while driving.
  • One in 10 drivers surveyed said that, at least sometimes, they send text messages or emails while driving.
  • Of the drivers surveyed, 14% said they read text messages or emails while driving.
  • A majority of respondents supported laws that banned talking on cell phones, texting, or emailing while driving.

What if I am a Pedestrian?  How dangerous is it to text while walking?According to Researchers conducting a study from the University of Washington in 2012, it can be.  They monitored 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections and observed the following:

  • Pedestrians who text are 4x less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.
  • They also found that texting pedestrians take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.

Not only is it dangerous to text while driving but walking and texting is dangerous too.  I have had patients run into polls, get hit by a passing bicycle and even get hit by a car.  If you are going to use your phone, take the time to either pull to the side of the road or if not in a car, find an area that is safe.

Car Accident Injury Rehabilitation

Most people don’t understand how a small accident can cause injuries. It is real easy to understand if someone is in a head on collision or struck at a high speed. You have got to remember that this vehicle is large and even if you may be a large person, it is still a lot more mass that is slamming into you.

Recovery after a car accident can be slow. The soft tissue damage and alignment issues that occur after a car accident can take significant time to heal (months to years). Often times, victims go to their family doctor for pain medication but this normally only offers temporary relief. It has been found that regular chiropractic visits accelerate the process of healing. Soft tissue work, exercise and visiting your chiropractor to get your range of motion back along with rehabilitation of your body can you feel better both mentally and physically. Also, it is imparitive that you drink enough water, get enough rest and eat foods that are good for you to help you heal.

I was recently checking up on Tracy Morgan who was in a automobile accident and is suing Walmart for his injuries. This accident happened in August of 2014.  As of today, April 23, 2015, he is still recovering from his injuries and is not sure when he can get back to work in the entertainment business. Car accidents are dangerous and can show symptoms for years.  If you are in an accident, please get treatment as soon as possible. Waiting will only make the healing process harder since tissues harden and create scar tissue along with improper alignment which leads to bad body mechanics leading to symptoms.

We can help you heal from an accident and help you become healthy and vibrant again. Call our Redwood City Chiropractic office today at (650) 353-1133.

Can I Still Be Hurt after a car accident when there is little damage to my car?

In a study conducted 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.”

A vehicle weighs a ton and you are very small in comparison.  So even with little impact, just the weight of the mass can cause damage.  Think of being tackled on the street by a 200lb. person and you can imagine being hurt right?  Well, a car weighs way more than that and even though you are strapped in and have airbags, it is still a large mass that has slammed into you.  This causes damage.

Like I mentioned earlier, the damage to a car is different to the damage to a person.   Even though your body may work like a machine, it is not and it can lead to pain and issues with how your body works.  Even if there is no pain immediately, the impact can lead to pain later on.

Please give our Redwood City Chiropractic office a call at (650) 353-1133 so we can evaluate you using our technology that has been used by cardiologists and personal trainers on professional athletes and astronauts.  It tracks your body during your care and tells us how you are healing.

If I Have Seen A Medical Doctor After A Car Accident, Should I Still See A Chiropractor?

When visiting a medical doctor after an accident, they normally take vital signs and x-ray images to make sure there are no fractures.  They also do a brief exam to  make sure there are no life-threatening conditions.  Patients are usually released with pain medications and  they are not focusing on the long term effects that can occur after an accident.  Pain may go away temporarily, but come back if the problem is not taken care of.

Chiropractors treat the body and help it heal after an accident.  They then keep a close watch on your progress to try and prevent for future problems that may occur after an accident.  So, yes, you should see a chiropractor.  Find one that has the experience and equipment to track your body (even when you are not in pain anymore).

At our Redwood City Chiropractic office, we find out if there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with to prevent problems in the future and get you out of pain quickly and do the things you love to do.

Just think, you are hit by a vehicle that weighs a ton!  This highly effects your body and it can have some future problems if not rehabilitated properly.

Call Dr. Gregory today and set up an appointment, your body will be glad you did!

Does Health Insurance Cover A Car Accident?

You may have great insurance to cover the costs of your car repair but not carry adequate medical coverage on your car insurance policy.

Most people assume that health insurance will cover all of their medical expenses and it doesn’t matter how they were injured.  This is not always the case, and your car insurance does have options that will take care of you if you are in an accident and need care.  If your car insurance is insufficient, you could be stuck without enough insurance to pay for your injuries at all.

Car Insurance and Medical Expenses

Here are some of the car insurance coverages that help with injuries after a car accident:

1. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage generally has a fairly low limit. It does pay for injuries occurring after an auto accident, but usually serves to augment the medical insurance policy that you have. It can basically help with your deductible and will only pay for a full doctor’s visit if it is substantially low.

2. Bodily injury liability pays for injuries that a person causes to another person. If you’re at fault for an accident, your insurance pays for the other person’s damages and injuries; the same is true in reverse whenever somebody else hits you. This coverage has no deductible and pays up to a limit. Once the limit is exhausted, no more funds will be sent out.

3. Medical payments coverage is a first-party insurance like PIP, but it has higher limits and covers more expenses. Most start paying out up to $5,000 for each person in the car who have sustained an injury.  This coverage is for each accident, not annually.

4. Uninsured and under-insured motorist coverages serve to replace bodily injury liability whenever a person is involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance or whose insurance is not high enough to cover the costs of the accident.

Will my Health Insurance cover car accident injuries?

Your medical insurance will pay for injuries only if no other insurance will cover the loss. This is true of all types of injuries. For example, a medical insurance company may refuse to treat an injury that happens while you’re at work until the company is sure you won’t be receiving any worker’s compensation. The same is true of car accidents.

If you do not have car insurance or your insurance has no medical coverages, your health insurance company will most likely cover the cost of your injuries if you were the only person involved in the accident. If another person was involved in the collision, the health insurance company will wait to see if the other party is at fault and their insurance will cover your injuries.  Because most health insurance companies will not move forward with paying a claim until all other claims have been denied, it can take quite a while to have your medical expenses covered. 

Oh, the happy wonders of insurance….


When Is It Good To Get An Attorney After A Car Accident?

Not only is car repair expensive but so are medical claims that have been accumulated after an auto accident.  The more insurance companies involved, the more complicated the process becomes.  If you’re in a situation where multiple car insurance companies are involved or your injuries will only be covered by a third party (the other person’s insurance); working with your health insurance to cover very expensive medical care can get confusing.  You may need or want to get the assistance of an attorney.  Often times third party insurance companies tell you that car repair and medical expenses will be paid by them easily, but in the end, they won’t pay medical professionals and those professionals then expect payment from you.  If you are not insured by them, they have no urgency or responsibility to pay for your medical or car repairs.  

When you are injured after an accident, the last thing you want to do is negotiate with an insurance that doesn’t insure you…they insure the person who hit you.  Better to focus on getting better and let someone else deal with the stress of payments.

An attorney will be able to help negotiate a higher settlement for you and explain the process in terms that you will understand.  A good attorney will be invaluable in helping you settle a claim. Be aware, however, that once you hire an attorney, your ability to communicate with the insurance companies will be limited and in most cases, the attorney automatically gets 1/3 of all settlement funds.

We work with attorneys on a lien and can help you get the care you need after an accident.  Call our Redwood City Chiropractic office today, this will allow you to get back on the road to health.

How Do Insurance Companies Handle My Car Accident Injury Claim?

When you’re trying to get payments from your insurance company for an injury, you have to be proactive and know how an insurance company works.  For example, if you get into a car accident, the insurance company for the driver who caused the accident or is at fault will be the ones you’ll try to get paid from and settle your claim.

So how do insurance adjusters work and what is their motivation?

They are assigned to a case to investigate facts and determine how much each claim is worth. They work for the insurance company, not for you as the insured or as the victim. They are interested in keeping the payouts as low as possible or not at all so the insurance company doesn’t lose money.

Insurance adjusters want to pay out as little as possible and avoid a lawsuit. If a case does not settle with the insurance company, the individual who was injured can take it to the courts.   This is risky for an insurance company, as the damage award can end up being very high depending on the judge and jury. Legal fees and other costs associated with a trial can also become expensive for an insurer.

The insurance adjuster, wants to get the insured to accept the lowest settlement offer possible, without having to go to court.  Most adjusters decide on a number that they are willing to pay out and then will make an offer and then will make an offer to you that is lower than the maximum they came up with.  This can sometimes be as much as 25 to 50 percent lower. This is because they want some room for movement in case of settlement talks.

How an Insurance Adjuster Decides on an Offer

Adjusters are usually looking at:

  • Actual expenses (medical bills and costs) that have been incurred and that will be necessary in the future
  • Actual losses in the form of lost income or lost wages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional distress damages

Pain and Suffering Calculations

Because of the complexities associated with calculating pain and suffering, adjusters have a system. Here are two examples:

1. The injured victim is paid a set amount for each day of suffering 

2. Insurance company multiplies medical bills and lost income times a set number. The number that is often used for a pain multiplier will usually vary between 1.5 and 5, but each insurance company may have a slightly different system here.

Other Considerations

Insurance adjusters also consider two other key factors: policy limits and the strength of the plaintiff’s case.

The policy limits.

An insurance company is never going to pay more than the maximum amount of the insurance policy. For example, if a driver bought $50,000 in liability insurance, the maximum the insurance company will ever pay out is $50,000 total in legal fees and damages.

Effectively Dealing With an Insurance Company

Once you have an understanding of how insurance companies work and of what the motivation of the insurance adjuster is, you can use that information to your advantage to negotiate the best settlement possible. There are a few key things in particular that you should do:

Consider hiring a lawyer.

This lets the insurance company know immediately that you do take your rights seriously and that you will be filing a lawsuit if you aren’t given a fair settlement. Your lawyer also knows how to determine what your specific case should settle for and can use her expert legal knowledge and negotiation skills to get you the best outcome.

Make sure you have track and keep great evidence:

Photographs, journals, extensive medical records, and records of all bills paid and work lost are all essential.

Consider sending a demand letter

This is essentially a letter where you state what you will accept in order to settle the case. If you send this letter, then the negotiations with the insurance adjuster can begin at the number that you believe is fair, rather than the number that the insurance adjuster decides is right.

Remember, the insurance adjuster is trying to save money for the insurance carrier.  They will try to keep costs low.  You need to be paid what is fair under your policy.


Car Insurance, Settlement And Medical Payments

If you get in a car accident and you have Medical Payments on your insurance coverage, your insurance company will pay for you and anyone in the car that has an injury up to policy limits.  This is really good to add to your insurance policy if you don’t already have it and it only costs a small portion more per year (you will be surprised how little).  With this included in your policy, care is easy and effortless on your part.

Now, if you do NOT have medical payments on your car insurance policy and are hit by someone else:

During your care with a doctor, the insurance company for the person who is “at fault” sends a final settlement for damages to you in the mail or sometimes wants verification over the phone.  After this is verified, the insurance company will send out a check within 30 days after you reach this settlement figure for car damages or in some cases, the car repair shop will send the bill directly to the insurance company for repayment.  A “release” is included with the final paperwork to sign for closure of the damage part of your insurance settlement.  You must sign the release and return it to the insurance after which you are free to deposit the check.

Be Careful What You Sign Though….

If you also have a personal injury claim arising out of the same ­accident, which means you are seeing someone for injuries sustained by your car accident.  Be sure to read the documents you are to sign in accepting a property damage settlement. When you receive the check and release document, make sure the words “Property Damage Only” or “Property Damage Claim” are presented on each of the documents requiring signature.  Do not deposit any check or sign any document that reads General Release” or does not clearly indicate “Property Damage.” If you are not certain that either the settlement check or release is properly marked, ask the insurance adjuster to add “Property Damage Only” on the documents and to write you a separate letter confirming that this settlement amount is only for the property damage part of your claim.

This release is FOREVER and if you sign a document which covers your personal injury, you will no longer be compensated for your injuries and your case is closed.  A lot of insurance companies will pressure you to settle your injury claim, but do not do so until you are advised by your doctor that you are indeed finished with care.  Also, there may be future problems with a car accident injury that may not look like it is attributed to the past accident.  Try and make sure to negotiate future medical expenses in your settlement.  If you are not comfortable with the settlement, you may want to contact a lawyer, continue your treatment and have them negotiate with the insurance company.

Check your insurance policy today and find out if you have medical coverage on your policy, you won’t regret it.


Inventor Of MRI Has Found Possible Cause For Multiple Sclerosis

A noteworthy press release was sent out last fall that talks about the possible etiology of MS, including an eight-subject trial run at a non-invasive treatment.

If you have had a car accident, whiplash injury or head trauma from some other cause, there may be a lot more going on than you may know. According to the study, head trauma like that seen in whiplash injuries causes obstruction of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) thus increasing the pressure in the ventricles and leaking into the brain. This has become more visible on the new FONAR Upright MRI than the traditional lie-down-in-the-tube MRI.

The obstruction comes as the first few bones in your neck becomes misaligned and causes a backup of CSF. When this misalignment was corrected, the study shows pressure decreases by 28.6%! The flow also becomes uniform again once treatment is given. The idea of the fluid (CSF and blood) collecting in the brain due to the poor draining and improper position of these vertebrae is under review for a cause of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well.

You might think that because the CSF and other vessels are deep in the brain that surgery is required. Au contraire says Dr. Scott Rosa. Dr. Rosa preforms an upper cervical chiropractic technique called Atlas Orthogonal that corrects the malposition of the cervical spine without surgery or drugs. Did you hear that?! NO DRUGS! No prescription and no side effects. No cutting, scarring and recovering. This procedure alone is enough to allow CSF and blood flow to normalize and decrease the pressure that will diminish the risk of the person from developing MS. That is as long as draining remains clear.

Everybody knows that neck injuries present with varying degrees of severity. How long after an injury does it take to develop into a condition like MS? On average, the study showed an 11 year lap between the initial injury and the diagnosis of MS. That should change the way we understand and treat vehicle accidents, sport injuries and other injuries to the head and neck. There are growing numbers of studies and theories relating to decrease flow of CSF and venous blood from the brain.

Reference: Dr. Flanagan