Auto Accidents

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Auto Accident Facts and FAQ

Have you or anyone you know been in a car accident? No matter how big or small the accident, injuries often occur and there are many treatment options to help you. Dr. Nowinski at Overlake Chiropractic in Bellevue is here to help, even if you are the person responsible for the accident! So, whether you're a current patient or someone new who needs help after an accident, we're here for you. Click here to schedule an appointment at our Bellevue, WA Chiropractic Clinic!

1. Seek treatment right away! While major symptoms can often take days or weeks to appear, it is important to see a chiropractor right away. It is quite common for people to wait to see if the symptoms they are feeling will just go away.  Or they seek help from their family doctor who only prescribes dangerous pain relievers and muscle relaxants - medication that only masks the pain. Chiropractors specialize in the detection and TREATMENT of injuries sustained in accidents by addressing the CAUSE and not just masking the pain.  The sooner you can begin care the less time it will take to recover.

2. Who will pay for my treatment? The answer to this question will vary based on who was at fault.  In Washington state most auto insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Assuming you have this coverage it will cover you 100%. Using your PIP will never increase your auto insurance premium.  If another party is at fault, your insurance will seek reimbursement from the at fault party's insurance.  We will help you understand and file claims based on your case.  If no insurance is available, we can recommend several ethical attorneys in the Bellevue/Redmond area.

3. Should I settle my claim? You should never settle your claim if you are still experiencing symptoms or if you have not been checked out by an experienced chiropractor.  If you settle before your condition is resolved you will be forced to pay for any ongoing care yourself.  It is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer you a settlement just days after an accident.  It's important to remember that injuries may not be apparent for days or even weeks.

4. What if it was my fault? All too often we hear from people that they didn't seek treatment in a timely manner because the accident was their fault.  You pay for your insurance in case you are in an accident.  Your PIP coverage is there for you regardless of who is at fault in the accident.  Again, your premiums do not go up because you use your PIP.  Waiting to be treated can lead to a host of problems that can last for years.

5. Why should I see a chiropractor? Injuries sustained in auto accidents, if left untreated, lead to dysfunction in your spine, nervous system stress, and eventually spinal degeneration to the involved joints and discs.  The degeneration is progressive and the damage is permanent.  Chiropractors treat the spine by restoring proper motion and balance so you can get back to normal as soon as possible.  At Overlake Chiropractic we incorporate massage therapy to aid in your speedy recovery.

6. What types of symptoms might I feel after an accident? Typical symptoms include: Neck pain, which typically starts a few hours after the accident and worsens over the following two days. This is often the result of tightened muscles. The muscles tighten as a result of the trauma in an effort to splint the injured area to protect it from further injury.

About half of those suffering from whiplash complain of headaches. These headaches, like the neck pain, are often the result of tightened, tensed muscles trying to protect the injured area.

Shoulder pain radiating down the arms, as well as radiating down into the shoulder blade area, may also be the result of tensed muscles.

Muscle tears are often described as burning pain, prickling or tingling. More severe disc damage may cause sharp pain with certain movements, which may or may not radiate into the arms, hand and fingers. Often pain from disc damage is relieved by holding your hand over your head.

Other symptoms you may feel:

 Fatigue  Sensitivity to noise
 Shoulder Pain  Difficulty concentrating
 Tension  Blurred vision
 Pain between the shoulder blades  Irritability
 Head seems heavy  Difficulty swallowing
 Anxiety  Dizziness
 Low back pain  Forgetfulness
 Sleep disturbance  Buzzing in ears
 Radiating pain in upper limbs  Pain in the jaw or face

Please don't wait to seek treatment!

Call us today!


or request an appointment here!

Consultations are always free!

Overlake Chiropractic Clinic, 15615 Bellevue-Redmond Rd, Bellevue WA 98008


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Office Hours

Our Modified Summer and Covid-19 schedule


9:00am - 12:30pm

2:30pm - 5:00pm




9:00am - 12:30pm

2:30pm - 5:00pm


9:00am - 12:30pm

2:30pm - 5:00pm










Review By Our Satisfied Patient

  • "Thank you so much Dr. Sarah Sabo!!! After having my first chiropractic adjustment with you today I feel like someone flipped a light switch on inside my body and electrified everything. It feels like my body woke up and everything started communicating to each other. I can breathe easier, my hips and sacrum feel like they are moving properly, my back mid-back and shoulders aren't nearly as achy and painful as they were, and my neck feels brand new. I feel blood pulsing through my veins in a way I haven't felt in who knows how long. I feel my body changing on the cellular level. I honestly can not thank you enough and can hardly wait to see you again! Thank you for your down-to-earth personality, mindful approach, your knowledge, skillfulness, encouragement, and your hard work! I am spreading the word about you and your practice!!! Have a great day!!! See you soon! ;-D"
    Jill B