Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) and Whiplash (WAD)
What is MVA/WAD?
Just being involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) is scary enough. But dealing with the laws and process around making a claim and dealing with your injuries following a MVA can be confusing and overwhelming and make the situation even harder. At Prairie Therapy, we want to help you simplify the process so you can focus on your healing. From online appointment bookings to on-site massage, physio and more, to streamlined home exercise programs, we’ve created a process that gets you back to your life pain-free and as quickly as possible.
We will get you started on your path to healing as soon as the same day as the accident – no doctor referral is needed. The process starts with an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.
What to do when you've been involved in an accident
Step 1: Open a claim with your insurance company
Contact your motor vehicle insurance company as soon as possible following the accident to open an Accident Benefits claim. Do this even if it seems you have not suffered any injuries, as even low-impact accidents can lead to significant pain and discomfort down the road. Contact information for your particular insurance company can be found on your car insurance paperwork.
Step 2: Fill out AB-1 form
Complete a Notice of Loss and Proof of Claim Form (AB-1 form). You can find this form on the Government of Alberta’s website (you may need to scroll down a fair distance to find the form).
This form should be submitted within 10 days of the accident. You can submit it yourself, or bring it to your assessment at Prairie Therapy. We can help you complete and submit it if you wish.
Step 3: Get assessed by a physiotherapist
Book an appointment with a physiotherapist as soon as possible. Our physio will submit the rest of the necessary paperwork (i.e. AB-2 Treatment Plan form).
In Alberta, you can see a physiotherapist and start your treatment even before you see your family doctor. Depending on your injuries, it is very likely that your treatment will be covered by your car insurance; we will help you understand your coverage at your first appointment. Your physio is trained and capable to assess for serious complications and injuries that require further medical intervention. Prairie Therapy also has the ability to direct bill your insurance company so you will pay nothing for the service.
Depending on your injuries, you may also want to schedule an appointment with your family doctor. Although technically not required, this can provide clarity of your case down the road in the claims process if needed. We can help you decide if you should see your doctor or not.
Step 4: Know your coverage
Alberta has legislation in place to ensure people receive appropriate care following a MVA. Under these Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols, most cases are entitled to a fixed number (usually between 10 and 21) of treatments (physio, massage, etc.) to be completed within 90 days of the date of your MVA. These costs are 100% covered by the insurance company.
Injuries sustained in MVAs that happened more than 90 days but less than 2 years ago may also be eligible for insurance coverage. In this case, the best thing to do is book an assessment with a physio. They will then request appropriate treatments from the insurance company. If approved, your extended health benefits would be used first, with the insurance company covering any portion of the treatment those benefits don’t cover. If you have no benefits or have run out of benefits, insurance would cover the entire cost of treatment.
The details of this can be a little confusing, but we will gladly talk you through your entitlements and answer any questions you have. The important thing to know is that no matter what, you are entitled to receive care following any accident involving at least one vehicle.
You are not alone. When you book an assessment at Prairie Therapy, we will be there to help with every step along the way. Book an initial MVA assessment with one of our experienced Physiotherapists to assess and treat your injuries.
What is WAD?
Whiplash Associated Disorder (WADs) or whiplash is the term used to refer to injuries sustained during a sudden acceleration or deceleration, such as the impact of a car accident. They are graded according to severity, from WAD 1 to WAD 4.
Signs and Symptoms of WAD
Whiplash is a complex injury and can present with a variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Neck and/or back pain and/or stiffness
- Reduced range of motion in the neck, mid-back, and low back
- Concussion and related symptoms
- Injuries to muscles around the spine
- Injuries to joints of the the spine
- Psychological symptoms – anxiety, depression, changes in emotion
In addition, there may be injuries to other areas of the body (sprains, strains, impact injuries, fractures, etc.) that may need help to heal.
It is difficult to predict how long and how well an individual will heal following this type of injury. For this reason, it is important to get assessed as soon as you can to ensure you are on the optimal path to healing.
Prairie Therapy Physiotherapists
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