Should I See My Medical Doctor or a Chiropractor after a Car Accident?

Should I Seek Medical Care or Chiropractic Care After an Auto Accident in Arizona?

For immediate treatment after an auto accident, you should seek emergency room care. Emergency room nurses and doctors are equipped to deal with serious auto accident trauma, and can see you right away without appointment or waiting times.

In most Arizona auto accident incidents, if you or any other person needed emergency care, the police will arrange emergency transportation promptly at the scene of the accident. This could be an ambulance, or even the fire truck with paramedics. Whether the police will recommend emergency transportation to the ER will be based on:

  • The severity of the crash
  • Obvious serious injuries
  • Statements from you or other accident victims (One of the first questions the police officers will ask is, “Are you seriously hurt, do you need emergency care right now?”)

There is no definitive policy for police officers regarding when to send someone to the ER in the Arizona Traffic Accident Report Forms policies, but there is a section for injury classifications which probably has weight regarding the officer’s decision to get emergency transportation.

Car rear ending another car

Arizona Auto Accident Injury Classifications are:

  1. No injury – a situation where there is no reason to
    believe that the person received any bodily harm from the
    motor vehicle traffic accident in which they were involved.
  2. Possible Injury – Any injury reported or claimed which is not
    a fatal, incapacitating, or non-incapacitating evident injury.
    Includes such situations as nausea, hysteria, complaint of
    pain, and injuries not evident.
  3. Non-Incapacitating Evident – Any injury other than fatal and
    incapacitating which is evident to any observer at the scene
    of the accident. Includes bumps, abrasions, bruises and
    minor lacerations. The person receiving these injuries is still
    able to leave the scene under their own power.
  4. Incapacitating – Is an injury, other that a fatal,
    Which prevents the injured person from walking,
    driving or normally continuing the activities which he was
    capable of performing prior to the motor vehicle traffic
    accident. Includes severe lacerations, broken or distorted
    limbs, unconsciousness, inability to leave accident scene
    without assistance.
  5. Unknown – Primarily used for people who
    have left the scene of the accident prior to police
    arrival such as hit-and-run situations.

(For more information on police protocol for Arizona auto accident scene reporting, download and view the State of Arizona Traffic Accident Report Forms here)

I Was Not Taken to The ER After my Car Accident, Do I Call an MD or Chiropractor?


    1. If you are experiencing dizziness hours after the accident, blurred vision, or serious pain, we recommend not taking any chances and seeking emergency care.
    2. If you are experiencing moderate pain, personality changes, or headaches, we recommend seeing a medical doctor promptly. In some cases the MD may refer you to a chiropractor to treat the cause of these symptoms, but an MD will be able to determine that based on their medical evaluation.
    3. If you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain, back pain, stiffness, or numbness in the arms or hands (a sign of whiplash), then we recommend seeing a chiropractor. Again, promptly. If possible, find an auto accident chiropractor in your area that can see you same day — and be sure to find a ride! We don’t recommend you drive yourself if you haven’t been evaluated by a doctor or chiropractor yet. For your safety, and other drivers on our Arizona roads, we provide same day appointments AND free transportation.

Need a Same Day Post Auto Accident Medical Appointment and Transportation To and From Your Visit?

We provide that. If you’ve been in a car accident and need to see an MD or chiropractor, Call Now, and we can get you in today and offer FREE, safe and clean transportation to and from your appointment.

Is it Best to See Both an MD & Chiropractor After an Auto Accident?

We believe so, which is why here at Southwest Spine & Rehab we have Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, and Physical Therapists on staff and on site. We want professional advice from all perspectives, so we are able to put together the most effective treatment plan possible for YOU with confidence. We also want to make sure you are able to get all of your care in one place without having to make numerous doctor appointments around town when you should just be focusing on getting well.

Depending on your initial diagnosis, your treatment plan may include seeing a doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist to get you back to 100% in the shortest time possible. At Southwest Spine & Rehab, we are also very intentional about ensuring we have and utilize the latest medical and diagnostic technology available. We Provide x-rays, MRI, lab, and many other medical resources onsite for your convenience and treatment efficiency.