Even a minor car accident can be traumatic and result in painful injuries. Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, may appear benign and insignificant at the time they occur, however, a day or two days later, you may be experiencing neck pain, stiffness, and a limitation of the range of motion of your neck. Your interests would be best served by seeking out the advice and services of an experienced Los Angeles whiplash attorney to maximize the amount of reasonable compensation you need and deserve. The Drexler Law Firm has extensive skill and experience in the area of personal injury and can help you through the process of filing a claim and getting fair compensation.
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when there is an impact with your vehicle—usually the rear of your vehicle—which causes your head to rapidly jerk backward and then forward. This sudden jerking motion causes ligaments and muscles in the neck area to extend beyond the normal range. This forceful jerking motion may also cause strain and malalignment in the cervical vertebrae in the neck area of the spine. In severe whiplash scenarios, where the head snaps back forward, sudden movement in the brain may cause bleeding in the brain which is referred to as a subdural hematoma. Traumatic brain injuries (T.B.I.) can lead to headaches, cognitive dysfunction, memory, and, in severe cases permanent brain damage.
Whiplash injuries are common in car accidents; they can be mild or severe. Because symptoms may not emerge for hours or days after the accident occurred, it is important to go to an E.R., Urgent Care or Primary Physician to evaluate the injury and perform indicated testing to determine the nature and extent of the whiplash injury and the recommended course of treatment.
Here are commonly experienced symptoms when suffering from whiplash from an impact:
Virtually any type of impact with another vehicle may result in whiplash injuries.
Mild or moderate whiplash injuries may only last a few days or weeks and these less severe whiplash injuries are often treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, hot or cold compress, and massage. More severe whiplash injuries can last for many weeks or months with symptoms of chronic pain, headaches, neck, and limitation in the range of neck motion. Treatment of severe whiplash injuries requires prolonged physical therapy, pain relief medications, epidural injections, and other pain management modalities. If testing reveals underlying cervical spine damage, spinal surgery may be indicated. Medical studies have documented that the effects of whiplash may last for years after an accident has occurred.
In severe impacts resulting in whiplash injuries, there may be damage or misalignment occurring in the cervical spine. In the event of cervical spine damage or spinal malalignment, the normal curvature of the spine causes surrounding tissues and muscles to be swollen and irritated. Often referred to as musculoligamentous sprains and strains, these spinal injuries result in physical pain, spasms, and limitation in the range of motion.
More serious damage can occur to the cervical and thoracic spine in whiplash injuries where the spinal discs become herniated. When the discs (the soft cushions between the intervertebral bodies) are flattened or herniated, there is impingement of the nerves that run along the sides of the spinal column. Disc herniation of more than 3, 4, or 5 millimeters may result in pain, tingling, and numbness radiating to the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. This is called radiculopathy.
Herniated discs are diagnosed by X Rays, CT Scans, and MRI’s. Conservative treatment may involve physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, stretching exercises, massage, and pain relief medication. When conservative treatment is not successful, more invasive remedies may be required including epidural steroid injections, nerve blocking devices, or spinal surgery.
The complications of moderate and severe whiplash injuries can be extremely debilitating and life-altering. People experiencing pain, spasms, muscle tightness, radiating nerve pain, and limitation of their range of motion are not able to perform their normal life functions and activities. This affects an individual’s ability to work, exercise, sleep comfortably, and carry out basic activities such as dressing, bathing, and household chores.
Whiplash may also be more severe in older persons whose muscles and ligaments are often less flexible and less likely to heal with conservative treatment. Whether you are old or young, and whether your whiplash injury is mild, moderate, or severe, it is extremely important to seek medical evaluation and treatment as quickly as possible after an accident.
Insurance adjusters, insurance defense attorneys, judges, and juries tend to be skeptical about whiplash injuries and minimize their value when it comes to settlements and jury trials. The argument is made that these are non-existent or bogus claimed injuries lacking objective evidence and credibility. Often referred to as “soft tissue injuries,” it becomes a challenge to document and prove whiplash injuries. When pursuing an accident injury claim involving whiplash injuries resulting from a car accident, it is important to document the injuries because it is your burden to prove that the whiplash injuries are real and that they were caused by the accident.
For all of these reasons, it is important to follow these recommendations and to contact an experienced personal injury attorney:
If you have experienced a whiplash injury in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to different types of compensation.
There is no such thing as a straightforward, simple accident case involving whiplash injuries, whether the injuries are minor or severe. People who have suffered whiplash injuries should always consult with an attorney that is experienced in personal injury cases because insurance company adjusters will always do whatever they can to deny the claim, minimize the extent of the injuries and offer low-ball settlements. A skillful personal injury attorney with a proven record of successfully representing accident victims against insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys will take the necessary steps to prove the fault of the other driver, make sure that the injuries are properly documented by medical professionals and present all elements of recoverable compensation to the adjuster, defense attorney, judge or jury in a professional manner that maximizes the amount of money to be recovered in a settlement, or, if necessary a trial jury verdict. You need a skilled Los Angeles auto accident lawyer, with a proven track record of success, to fight for your right to fair compensation.
To protect your rights and best chances to obtain fair compensation following an auto accident where you sustain injuries and damages, you should contact a car accident injury lawyer as quickly as possible. During your free consultation, you will be able to thoroughly discuss your case and your injuries with an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury law. The Drexler Law Firm will provide you with a free consultation and personalized attention. We can guide you through the legal process, answer your questions, and give you the best representation available. Contact The Drexler Law Firm today.
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