Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 1120
Lawyers and Medical 74 L

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic

Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006

"Low Speed Accidents and Auto Body Shops"


Dr Studin: here's what's going on, you and I did a seminar two weeks ago in New Jersey. We had 88 lawyers to be precise in the room and we've discussed dismantling an automobile to look for a damage to that vehicle because the carriers are the estimates or they under report. I'm going to tell you what that does at the end of the day, but could you please take a minute and explain why it's important to de-skin the car and what that means?

Guest Doctor: Most vehicles certainly in the last 20 years have a composite bumper cover a plastic, some synthetic material cover, which is used to hide the structure of the bumper. This allows for more streamlined look, It allows for more sleek modern look that work typically used to. It also allows for a bumper to be designed to function, there's no concern for statics because it's concealed behind the cover. The problem with moving the car is that the cover is quite literally like the Outside of cookie bag or the plastic ramping on food. It doesn't tell you really what's your inside. So, when you look at a bumper cover and say it's got to be scraped and it needs to painting, we don't have any way to assess from that if The a structure of the car has absorbed any energy on hitting walls, and as a result we don't really know the extent of what's almost in the front of the car from the structural perspective, from my energy used to form the front of the car. And the reason this is a big deal is because the cover will almost always return to its original shape. So you could have a fair amount of genes in the bumper structure behind that cover and the bumper will come back almost a hundred percent what it was, even though the bumper itself suffers some amount of trauma, I think it's an accurate assessment or look at a bumper car or looking at a repair estimate and I'll summarize the extended of the damage yet it has to be explored then perhaps a very simple analytical approach. Just imagine if You went to the doctor and said, I have this spot on my back and I want you to look at it. And the doctor said, you're wearing piece of clothe, I can only see your head and your neck you look fine. That's if it requires be actual conservation of the components. You can't summarize the nature of the damage without walls.

Dr Studin: Could you also please discuss the pitfalls of estimates, which most unfortunately, most reconstructionist engineers or attorneys work on from?

Guest Doctor: so when you write an estimate, I'm looking at the car and You don't disassemble it initially. A simply come out, they say, if this is what I think it needs, this is how far you're off the rocks over there, the insurance company says you can go to Alyssa for example. You can take the bumper cover off and you can a remove the hood and then we'll go from there. so the initial estimate says it's a hood that needs a bumper cover, needs a grill and a headlights paint and then to be taken apart and they go up. It actually needs this part inside as well. It's going to need an air box. We'll need a radiator in a course. What's is the inner structure that holds the front of the car together, It's a very simple time, these types of updates can be done incrementally, it's not clear. Would you look at an estimate? Where are you offering that? It's entirely plausible with the estimate. It might have been looked at two or three times subsequent to that and a good estimated is Usually one that's approved by and given a reputable shop actually has Budget on it outlines, I am a term, it's called hidden damage, if we start taking this apart in finding more damage, we basically reserve the right to tell you about that. And we expect to be compensated at it.

Dr Studin: with those pieces of information. Let me tell you what the carriers are doing with their SIU units. And SIU stands for special investigative units. When you go to an approved auto body dealer from the carrier, Allstate, state farm, Geico, MetLife, Risko, these auto shops really get put up high on the list for the least they report. So who will the carrier refer the most to? the one that saves them the most money, there is no legal obligation for them. There was a contractual obligation, but if the client signs off and says, I'll take it. In other words like all state ran a program on TV called Click and quote, take a picture, send it to us, we'll send you a check overnight because they don't want you to see what's wrong with the under structure, you just said that there is a box you check off, you reserve the right for additional damage, but most body shops were a good portion of them will want a quick buck and get paid. The people sign off on it not realizing there's undercarriage structure and the carrier pays quickly and they're thrilled because to carry your pay quickly. They got it done and they fixed the skin of the car. They didn't go any deeper, here's what happens when that occurs, you have a much lower amount of damage to the car. Then the carriers get to say it's a low speed accident cause there's no damage to the car. Then the carriers get to say, the person couldn't be hurt because there's no damage to the car. There's a low speed accident. Then the carriers get to say, oh, there's no damage to the car. Your treatment wasn't necessary. Then the carriers gets to say, oh, your treatment wasn't necessary in 80% of your cases because you treat low speed accidents and they don't have any damage to the car and therefore there's nothing wrong with the patients. So you see it all cascades down and the solution for this and you alluded to it when the guy says I reserve the right to but just cause they reserve the right to does it mean they will. The solution is to go to an independent auto body shop and have your patience and chat with the lawyers and suggest perhaps you should go to an independent auto body shop. One that's not recommended by the carriers. It's not going to mean your patient. Their client's going to get any less coverage. There's no level of potential impropriety or financial pressure for that auto body shop to be moved up on the list of who the carrier is going to refer to. So you go to an independent auto body shop and you have them dismantle the car and look and see what's under there or at least to some degree. Now many body shops won't want to go through the time in writing a more complete estimate, but many will realizing that there's a lot more to it than just the skin of the car, is there anything you want to answer that?

Guest Doctor: No, I think that's a very good wrap up. It's very important that the foundations you set to understand what's going on. Do you actually anything I would add is this: the reason that we care about that is because when we have very little time at the car, it seems that any energy that's transfer is highly efficient. And so therefore we really need to be sure what kind of damage the vehicle does and doesn’t have, we want to be able to be a certain, we are a sign of value if it comes to that in terms of trying to calculate it, we want to be certain that it's as accurate as possible. So it does start with having the car looked up by a quality shop who doesn't have any kind of financial pressure or more performance pressure and we'll be able to accurately completely assessed the damage of the car.

Dr Studin: it's just not the assessment of the injury to the car, the damage to the car patches sent to make it simple, you can calculate the amount of energy that the occupant absorbed or as you was translated from the bullet part of the target card or the occupant because the target car does assume some of that energy that doesn't get to the occupant or lack there of. 

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