October 29, 2016

Car accident victims may not believe injuries from a minor crash are serious. However, whiplash can worsen over time.

When most people think about a car accident, they often recall what they have seen in the movies, or on TV. They think of serious, life-threatening crashes, where a car is crushed or has flipped in the air. However, most car crashes in Pennsylvania do not occur this way. Most are what we have come to call “Fender-benders”. These accidents, while seemingly minor, can still result in significant injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. Fender-bender injuries may seem unlikely at first glance, but in reality these collisions can necessitate extensive medical treatment for permanent injuries.

The painful issues surrounding whiplash

Rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of auto collisionsthat cause injury to the cervical spine (neck). According to Consumer Reports, there is a rear-end accident every 17 seconds in the United States. Injuries can occur in these types of collisions, even in stop-and-go traffic, where vehicles are traveling under 10 miles per hour.

Why might an attorney be necessary after a minor or low-speed accident? First, because of the common misconception of fender-benders, the insurance company is going to try to minimize the extent of your injuries. The most common phrase we hear from insurance adjustors after our client has been involved in a low-speed collision is : “How can she be that hurt? It was just a fender-bender!” Additionally, you need someone on your side who understands the nature of the type of injury that occurs in many low speed rear-end collisions. In particular, whiplash or a cervical connective tissue injury is a frequent consequence of this type of accident.

Whiplash is classified as a neck sprain or strain that occurs when an automobile occupant is struck from behind. The term “whiplash” comes from the movement of the head being snapped back and forth in a whip-like motion, such as when a vehicle is jarred from behind. Damage occurs to the connective tissue and muscles of the neck. Sometimes this damage can resolve within a few days or weeks, however, in some cases the damage can result in a persistent or chronic cycle of pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who are suffering from whiplash may experience the following symptoms:

• Chronic neck pain and mobility issues

• Stiffness or tenderness in the neck and shoulders

• Numbness or tingling from the shoulders down the arms

• Dizziness, fatigue and sleep problems

• Difficulty concentrating or remembering things (associated with concussions as well)

• Irritability or depression

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how the effects of whiplash will affect a particular person. We have represented clients who have suffered from whiplash and have been required to undergo significant treatment, including: Prescription pain medications; chiropractic treatment; physical therapy; the use of corrective devices; epidural steroid injections; and the use of a TENS (an electrical stimulation) unit.

Car accident victims may discount the need for an attorney after what may seem like a minor accident. However, if symptoms worsen over time, as is common with whiplash, an attorney may be necessary to help victims obtain the compensation to which they are entitled. There is nothing “minor” about persistent pain, which continues to interfere with your activities of daily living.

If you have been involved in a low speed impact rear-end impact and continue to have persistent pain and limitations, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis. Let us put our ability to effectively and efficiently navigate through the insurance claim process to work for you Contact us at 888.312.4351, or at any of our local numbers listed above, to schedule a free consultation. We’ve been helping your neighbors for more than 30 years, and we’re ready to help you.