Car accidents are violent events and often leave victims with serious physical injuries. In the Golden State, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Report, the following numbers of people were injured in traffic accidents: 2002- 205,223; 2003- 204,174; 2004- 203,386; 2005- 198,708; 2006- 189,957; 2007-184,994; 2008- 170,496; 2009- 163,524; 2010- 161,094; 2011- 159,115.
The steadily declining numbers have been credited to a variety of factors including better law enforcement, tougher penalties for DUI and distracted driving, and better safety features on vehicles. However, the fact remains that every day in California, multiple peoples’ lives change forever as they are injured in car accidents. Many of those accident victims require some form of physical therapy to recover from their injuries.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is the intervention of a professional to help a victim relearn how to use various parts of the body after an accident. Physical therapists are not medical doctors, but they are licensed by the state and must pass stringent exams and requirements in order to practice. They often collaborate with doctors in order to decide on the best way to handle patients who are facing a long road to recovery. In California, physical therapists must have at least four years of training in an accredited degree program and must pass a national physical therapy examination before being licensed by the state.
A person injured in a car crash may require physical therapy after an injury that led to partial or total loss of use of a limb. Many physical therapists work with accident victims to make their legs or arms stronger after a break or other injury. Physical therapists may also work with patients to recover the use of their bodies after a neck or back injury.
There are also other types of therapy that are aligned with physical therapy, and may be necessary after a victim has suffered a serious injury. For example, occupational therapists work with those who need to relearn how to do certain jobs, while rehabilitative therapists attempt to “rehabilitate” a person after an accident by teaching them personal care and how to do everyday chores.
How Do I Pay For Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is not always included in a person’s health insurance coverage. Furthermore, some insurance companies may refuse to pay for physical therapy after a car accident. Therefore, since physical therapy is not cheap, some accident victims may do without this necessary care in order to be able to pay for other expenses. However, there is an alternative to foregoing physical therapy. Accident victims who have been injured by another party may be able to recover compensation to pay for this care by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In such situations, consulting with a personal injury attorney is advisable.