Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents – Did you get injured?

Injured in a motor vehicle accident?

Motor vehicle accident injuries are, unfortunately, very common occurrences.  If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, the process of getting treatment for your injuries may seem confusing with all the paperwork set out from your insurance company.  The purpose of this post is to clarify the process.  So, what should you do if you get injured in a motor vehicle accident? Depending on the severity of your injury, it is advisable to see your doctor first to clear any serious injury (unless of course you are taken directly to the hospital).

Injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents often present themselves in a time-delayed fashion.  For example, you may have just been rear-ended and feel fine, however it is not uncommon for you to develop neck and/or back pain in the days to week following the accident.  Often you will feel worse before you start to feel better.  Generally, common complaints include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, stiffness, numbness/tingling, and fatigue.

It is advisable to see your physiotherapist if you have pain or are injured after a motor vehicle accident.  Treatment will help ensure that you recover as quickly as possible and as completely as possible.  Medical/rehabilitation expenses should be covered by your auto insurance.  Here’s a general overview of how the process works in Ontario with respect to accident benefits claims:

1) You have 30 days from the date of the accident (also known as date of loss) to fill out and return an OCF-1 form to your insurance company.  No treatment plans will be approved unless this form is sent in by you, the applicant.

2) Your physiotherapist or other health care provider will complete an initial assessment and send in either an OCF-18 or an OCF-23.  This is the form that requests treatment and specifies what treatment is requested, how many treatments, and what the total cost of treatment is for injuries sustained as a result of the motor vehicle accident.  The insurer has 10 business days to approve or deny the treatment plan.  When a response is overdue, the treatment plan is deemed approved until advised otherwise by the motor vehicle accident insurance company.

3) The treatment plan is either approved or denied.  If it is denied you will be required to attend a medical assessment by an independent examiner as scheduled by your insurer.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether the items requested in the treatment plan are reasonable and necessary.

It may get a lot more complicated than this, but your physiotherapist or health care professional will walk you through the rest if it comes up.  Just make sure you send in your OCF-1 on time and provide your physiotherapist with the appropriate insurance information.

The sooner you get treatment after your motor vehicle accident, the better.  Back pain, neck pain, and whiplash due to motor vehicle accidents can turn chronic in many people if not treated appropriately and in a timely manner.