Can I pay for physical therapy with car accident settlement money?

physical therapy after Indiana car accident

Many Indiana car accident victims require physical therapy and other rehabilitation services to treat chronic pain and improve mobility.

If you were injured in a crash and were awarded damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, that money can be used to pay for any medical expenses, including physical therapy.

However, our Indianapolis car accident lawyer adds that if you did not factor this potential cost into your demand for compensation before agreeing to a settlement amount, you might not have enough money to cover ongoing therapy.

When you work with the car accident team at Keller & Keller, you can be sure we will include all possible costs when we write a demand letter. Let’s take a look at the kinds of car accident injuries that often require long-term care and how a physical therapist can help.

Common Car Accident Injuries That Could Require Physical Therapy

While a broken bone will usually heal in time after being set, soft tissue injuries, head trauma, and joint injuries often require follow-up physical therapy to help you get back to your pre-accident condition. Specific injuries that might require rehab include:

  • Whiplash. One of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash occurs when your neck is snapped back and forth by the force of the impact. This motion can stretch and tear tendons and ligaments, causing chronic pain and restricted movement.
  • Herniated disc. The impact of a collision can also cause damage to your vertebrae and the discs that provide cushioning between them. A herniated disc can cause tremendous pain and limit your mobility, whether in your neck or further down your spine.
  • Head injury. A skull fracture or concussion can occur if your head strikes the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield during a crash. Brain damage can also occur when your head is whipped back and forth, even if there is no impact on an object.
  • Joint injury. A violent car crash can also cause joint damage, such as an ACL tear in your knee, a rotator cuff injury in your shoulder, or a broken hip or pelvis. These injuries take a long time to heal and often require ongoing therapy.

Physical therapy and other types of rehabilitation can help many painful injuries. Your doctor might recommend it immediately after your initial medical treatment, or you might not know you need it until weeks or months after the accident. A skilled personal injury attorney will include this cost when demanding compensation from an at-fault driver.

How Physical Therapy Can Help a Car Accident Injury

Physical therapy focuses on restoring movement and function in injured and disabled patients. Physical therapists use a combination of exercise, strength training, massage, and education to help patients reduce sources of pain and regain the flexibility, mobility, and strength they lost due to an injury. 

A physical therapist will work with you to:

  • Mobilize joints
  • Strengthen and stabilize weakened areas
  • Improve range of motion
  • Decrease scar tissue
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote tissue healing
  • Create custom exercises to address dysfunction and weakness
  • Improve your posture to resolve neck, shoulder, and back pain

A physical therapist will customize a treatment plan to your specific needs. In addition to PT, you might also benefit from occupational therapy to help you adapt to your work, given the limitations created by your accident injuries. Whatever kind of rehabilitation you need, the at-fault party should be responsible for paying for it.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller