Whiplash Injuries in New York
Car accidents cause many injuries, and one type is common in almost all accidents. Yes, we are talking about the Whiplash injury.
Many in New York get hurt and struggle to show proof of injury to receive insurance benefits.
A whiplash injury lawyer can help you show your insurance company that you are struggling to recover from your injury. They will use facts and documents to prove your case.
The Ward Law Group has several experienced and respected whiplash injury lawyers that are ready to represent you in your case. If you or a loved one sustained a whiplash injury call us now for a free consultation.
Statistics on Whiplash Injuries
As we know, whiplash is a common injury sustained in motor vehicle accidents, involving up to 83% of patients from collisions. Women are more likely to experience WAD compared to men, possibly due to differences in neck muscle strength and size.
It is estimated that $3.9 billion dollars annually in the U.S. is the overall financial burden of whiplash injuries, which includes medical care, disability, and sick leave. It is said that 4 of every 1000 people in The United States alone suffer from this injury.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) are defined by the Quebec task force (QTF) as “bony or soft tissue injuries”. These injuries cause a collection of symptoms that occur after a sudden acceleration-deceleration force, typically from a motor vehicle collision.
Typically, the motor vehicle collisions that most of the time provoke these injuries are rear-ended collisions and t-bone accidents. It primarily affects the neck and is caused by the rapid back-and-forth motion of the head, similar to the cracking of a whip.
It can also result from sports injuries, physical assaults, and other traumatic incidents. The severity of WAD can vary from mild to severe, and symptoms may appear immediately after the injury or develop gradually over time.
WAD can be classified into different grades based on the severity of symptoms and clinical findings. The most commonly used classification system is the Quebec Task Force Classification.
The Quebec Task Force Classification system categorizes WAD into five grades:
- Grade 0: No neck pain or physical signs.
- Grade 1: Neck pain, stiffness, or tenderness, but no physical signs.
- Grade 2: Neck pain with musculoskeletal signs, such as decreased range of motion and point tenderness.
- Grade 3: Neck pain with neurological signs, such as decreased deep tendon reflexes or muscle weakness.
- Grade 4: Neck pain with fracture or dislocation.
It is important for every person that is involved in a car accident to seek medical attention and even if they do not feel any pain at the moment of an incident they should have a doctor check their neck and have documentation of it since sometimes due to the hormones that the brain releases in moments of stress, it relieves the pain or disappears it momentaneously.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injury
As a consequence of this effect on the neck, a person may suffer one or more of the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Arm pain
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The severity and duration of symptoms can vary widely among individuals. While most people recover within a few weeks to months, some may experience chronic pain and disability.
Depending on the severity of each case, the duration of the symptoms can vary widely among people. Some people recover within a few weeks or months with adequate treatment, while others may experience chronic pain and disability.
What causes Whiplash Injuries?
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes of whiplash injuries, let’s examine some of them:
It is reckless driving without any doubt. It is dangerous to not letting enough distance between the car in front of you and yours, because anything can happen on the road and the driver ahead of you may suddenly brake to avoid an obstacle that could be either a person, an animal, or a heavy object that can provoke a major accident and as you are too close to them, you are more likely to collision in the rear-end, causing a whiplash injury to you and to the passengers on the other car.
Using mobile phones while driving has been proven as a dangerous action, it is indeed negligence by the driver because that distraction may lead to a serious accident endangering their own lives and other people traveling on the public road.
It is imperative that all drivers follow the speed limit on highways or roads. Speeding above the limit that is the speed the highway was designed for may lead to major accidents.
Drowsiness or fatigued drivers on the roads are also another problem, they cause sudden acceleration and deceleration that could provoke a rear-end collision which in turn causes whiplash injuries to the motor vehicle users.
Highways and roads can become very slippery when there is a rain or snowstorm, it is a common sense precaution to decelerate the vehicle when the weather is tricky. In that way, it can be easier to stop a car when needed.
Drunk driving is really a problem on U.S. highways and roads, the decreased reaction time they have and the most commonly reckless driving actions may lead to accidents that cause whiplash injuries.
Another cause for whiplash injuries due to car accidents is mechanical failures, if the driver is not able to control and stop the car due to a failure it can be disastrous, and lives are endangered.
How Doctors Diagnose Whiplash
As we know, the clinical syndrome of whiplash and WAD includes neck pain or stiffness, arm pain and paresthesias, temporomandibular dysfunction, headache, visual disturbances, memory and concentration problems, and psychological distress.
Unfortunately, there are no specific neuropsychological studies or electrophysiological tests that can diagnose whiplash injury. There are several psychosocial symptoms that may be associated with whiplash including depression, anger, fear, anxiety, and hypochondriasis.
In the early stage of this injury, it is commonly not detectable through radiographic imaging. A study conducted on 100 patients, all of whom had normal plain radiography results and no neurological impairment, examined the brain and cervical spine using MRI within three weeks of the injury. Out of all the patients, only one exhibited indications of trauma-related injury, specifically prevertebral edema.
The primary goal of WAD treatment is to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, restore neck function, and promote healing. That is why, doctors approach their treatment including a combination of pain medications, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physical therapy.
Heat or cold therapy, massage, and gentle neck exercises can also help relieve symptoms and improve mobility. In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, interventions like spinal manipulation, injections, or surgery may be considered.
All of these potential treatments and insights that doctors can detect and provide are crucial documentation that a car accident injury lawyer will use as evidence to win whiplash injury compensation for you or a loved family member who suffered an accident.
How to Prove Whiplash Injury in a Car Accident
As we learned, it is difficult to detect and prove with physical tests that an injury is negatively affecting the life of a person. Most insurance companies will use that difficulty in their favor to reduce the amount of monetary compensation to give you.
They may claim that your whiplash injury is a minor one and that you don’t need too much compensation. It is true that many people have used this injury to scam insurance companies and that is why they have been shielded from experts on the matter to reduce settlements.
An experienced whiplash injury lawyer can help you to battle against all of these strategies that insurance companies employ, and the guidance you receive from this professional is the following:
Prioritize Medical Attention
It is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, if it was not a devastating accident but you got a hard hit, you may not feel the consequences in the moment, but you may in a few hours. Try to go to the doctor within 3 days after the accident.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders
If they send you to run some tests, or they send you with treatment and rest, you must follow those indications, so it can be proved to others that you were in the healing process.
Expert Insight From Vehicle Damage:
The vehicle damage is clear and physical proof that you sustained a certain type of car accident in which most people get whiplash-associated disorders. For instance, if the car has damage in the rear bumper or if it was a t-bone crash, they will believe 100% that your injuries are true.
Contact a Whiplash Injury Attorney For Help
The Ward Law Group is the right place where you can find experts in the law field. Experienced and respected whiplash lawyers can assist you in this difficult situation that you or a loved one may be experiencing.
We are here to hear you and fight for you with the insurance company or any party who is liable for paying your whiplash injury compensation. Contact us now at 855-DOLOR-55 and one of our lawyers will answer all your questions.
There is no monetary commitment for a consultation of your case. We want to hear from you and we will tell you exactly how we’ll proceed to get you great results.