Car Accident Essentials

It’s quite common here in Portland to find oneself involved in a car accident. In fact, car accidents are still the most common cause of work-related fatality in the U.S. We have a high number of crashes here, but in spite of that, any accident is a shock, regardless of how small. Work-related car accidents need to be reported to the authorities and supervisor immediately.

Today, we’re going to talk about what happens during and after an accident, and hopefully give you some tips to manage an accident event.


The most important thing in the event of an accident is to make sure that everyone involved is unharmed. Quite often, the impact will cause adrenaline to surge through the body, which will cause shock. That shock will block pain receptors. It’s quite common for an injury victim to say they’re alright when it’s evident they aren’t because they’re bleeding or have a broken bone. If anyone is injured, do not move them. Head, neck, and internal injuries can be worsened by moving the victim.  We will get to non-visible injuries such as whiplash in a moment. Call for help. Call if anyone in the other cars involved is hurt, as well.

If there is fire, the odor of fuel or the car is in a position of danger; it’s essential to get away from the vehicle as quickly and safely as possible. 

Reports by police and other authorities will help expedite the insurance company claims. Oregon law explains the conditions under which the accident needs to be reported to police. They include injury and death, towing, or an excess of $1500 in property:

“Oregon law requires that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death, damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1500, or the towing of any vehicle, must file an official accident report with the state within 72 hours after the accident.”

Gather the names and contact information of any potential witnesses. The police will do this if they are available. If anyone saw what happened, the insurance companies may want a statement.

When you notify your supervisor (if it’s a work-related car accident) or insurance company, they will handle any claims against you and may process your claim against the other insurance company for you. Your policy may or may not cover your car or injuries, but it’s important to seek treatment for car accident injuries.

If neither insurance company covers the damage to your car, you have some choices to make. The first is whether the vehicle can be fixed and if it is worth it to fix it. You may be better off buying another car than repairing the old one, especially if it had a lot of damage, many miles, or was starting to become an endless money pit due to repair costs. It’s much easier to decide when you can see the differences on paper.
Here is that breakdown:


New car expense list:
Down payment
Monthly payments
Insurance/registration change
Maintenance costs change (+ or -)
Less the scrap value of car, if any

Old car expense list:
Accident repair cost
Continuing repairs from old age and wear

Many people report feeling okay the day of the accident, but discover the next morning that they’re achy or bruised, have headaches, or they have back or neck pain such as whiplash. The reason is that the adrenaline released at the time of the accident has worn off. It is not at all unusual, and those problems need to be addressed by a professional.

When you’re injured in a car accident, there is no reason to delay treatment due to lack of insurance or while waiting for insurance approval. Here at Northeast Portland Chiropractic, we treat car accident cases with zero out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Call 503-493-9730