Diligently Working to Prove Hard to Quantify Debilitating Whiplash Injuries – California Whiplash Injury Attorney
Many television shows and movies make fun of whiplash injuries with a comedic actor hurriedly putting a neck brace on before he is observed engaging in activity that would seem to be impossible if he was seriously injured. Few people realize that these negative stereotypes frequently are perpetuated by the insurance industry to avoid paying legitimate claims for serious debilitating whiplash injuries. The term “whiplash” has developed a negative association as an injury faked by malingerers simply looking for a “payday.”
This characterization is incredibly unfair to the many California car accident victims that suffer extremely painful neck, shoulder and back soft tissue injuries in motor vehicle collisions. Many whiplash injuries suffered in car accidents cause agonizing pain, require months of physical therapy and result in long-term disability. Whiplash is often referred to by its more technical names myofascial injury, hyperextension-hyperflexion injury, cervical sprain or neck sprain.
When pursuing an injury claim for whiplash, there are unique challenges that make it critical that you work with an experienced California car accident whiplash injury attorney. The challenges in a whiplash case include difficulty in providing objective diagnostic evidence of the injury, lack of vehicle damage in collisions at lower speeds and the intensity with which insurance companies fight to avoid paying more than a nominal settlement in a California whiplash personal injury claims.
While it is always crucial to seek prompt medical diagnosis and treatment if you are involved in a car accident, it is especially important if you suffer a whiplash injury. Many times the significant symptoms of whiplash do not appear for days or even weeks after a serious collision. If you fail to visit your doctor until you are suffering severe pain, limitations in movement or other serious symptoms, the insurance company will claim that you could not have been seriously injured or you would have sought medical attention sooner. The insurance company also may dispute the origin of your injuries claiming that your injury resulted from some incident or activity after the car accident but before you visited the doctor. While it can be difficult to obtain objective diagnostic evidence of a whiplash injury, a prompt medical exam provides a better chance to produce such evidence and pre-empt claims that you are faking your injuries.
An experienced California whiplash injury accident attorney will often use accident reconstruction and biomechanics expert witnesses to explain to a judge or jury how even a low impact collision can result in serious whiplash injury to the neck. A common whiplash scenario involves being struck from behind while you are not moving because the flow of traffic has stopped. The vehicle that is struck along with the torsos of its vehicle occupants will be trust forward. The heads of the occupants lag behind momentarily causing the neck to be hyperextended. When the occupants’ bodies rebound back toward the seat the neck is again whipped back overshooting the torso again causing the neck too be hyperextended. Sometimes defective vehicle design exacerbates the problem because the head rest is too low or positioned too far back. The injury to the neck also is worsened because the victim does not anticipate the collision so it is not possible to brace for the impact.
Whiplash injuries suffered in California car accidents often result in severe pain in the neck and shoulder with the pain sometimes radiating down both arms. Because there are no broken bones or other visible signs of injury, accident reconstruction and medical experts are frequently needed to explain the origin and seriousness of whiplash injuries. Common whiplash symptoms may include the following:
- Pain in the neck
- Stiffness and reduced range of motion
- Blurred vision
- Sleep disturbances
- Shoulder or back pain
When a car accident victim suffers a whiplash injury, it is anything but a minor injury. An analysis of over 30 studies conducted of whiplash victims since 1956 revealed that sixty percent of all whiplash victims required long-term follow up care. Studies have also revealed that 45 percent of whiplash victims continue to suffer symptoms for approximately three months while 25 percent still suffer symptoms six month after the date of injury.
You should not be misled by low-ball offers from an insurance adjuster who offers a nominal settlement because there is minimal vehicle damage in your California auto accident. The bumpers of vehicles frequently absorb the impact of low speed collisions. Steel bumpers are designed to absorb this impact without vehicle damage, but the injury threshold of the human body is not comparable to the steel bumper of a motor vehicle.
The majority of whiplash injuries are suffered in accidents typically characterized at “low impact” collisions at speeds of twelve mph or less. Studies reveal that 22 percent of those injured in so called “low impact” collisions continue to suffer symptoms as much as 1-2 years after the collision. A California whiplash accident attorney can provide careful investigation of the facts, thorough analysis of the law, effective negotiation with insurance companies and persuasive courtroom advocacy. A California whiplash car accident attorney also can answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.